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Far be it from this cat to be preachy, but the following blog is frustratingly preachy. I have some thoughts I’d like to get off my (healthy) chest about smoking:

I think it’s fair to assume a large number of smokers take up the habit due to peer pressure, coupled with a desire to look cool. You see them, don’t you, them “youfs” huddled on street corners, fag-sucking like the whole world mistakes them for spotty James Deans.

I staunchly refuse to believe that upon inhaling from a cigarette for the first time anyone remarks: “Wow! This is delicious, and in no way unbearably terrible!”

No, the standard response that I’ve witnessed is one of revulsion; the face scrunches; gagging and choking take hold. Further down the line it gets increasingly grisly. We all know what cigarettes do to the body; tarred lungs (since when were they important anyway?), clogged arteries, rotten teeth and foul breath, an increased likelihood of heart and gum disease, lung cancer, throat and mouth cancer…also, you stink. You just absolutely stink. Eurgh. Stand over there. Yuck. You’re yucky. Pong face.

A favoured argument of smokers is: “Oh, but smoking calms me down!” No. It doesn’t. The point is, you’ve built up a dependency on cigarettes. The nicotine has skewed your anxiety threshold. The chemicals pumped into your body raise that threshold, dictating the new norm. Then, as soon as you’re not smoking, you drop below that line, becoming uneasy and panicked. A cigarette is the only thing that will straighten you out. Instead of calming you down, it merely provides a temporary fix for the addiction you chose to lumber yourself with.

Others argue that drinking is just as bad. Well, no, again, it’s not. From your first go on a cigarette your body sows the seeds for the addiction, such is the potency and toxicity of the things. You don’t become reliant on alcohol from your first pint. You must bombard your system with vast amounts of it before you get anywhere near the danger-levels of nicotine. Granted, the outcomes can be just as mortifying, but it’s all about self-control.

All in all, not a sensible¬†pastime. Honestly, if you’re aware of all the dangers, why begin in the first place?

Simple: to fit in.

In social situations, with all members of the ensemble smoking, if someone offers you a cigarette, to say “no” instantly makes you the outcast. How dorkish and uncool, not even risking your life to blindly follow the herd! How moronic to have a unique opinion!

The media is wildly to blame for this. When smoking was first introduced into popular society, no-one really understood the damage it caused. Through the ages of print, audio and televisual media, smoking was largely advertised as a positive and desirable affectation. It further cemented into the public consciousness that smoking was an acceptable thing for an intelligent adult human to do. Film stars did it, so why shouldn’t you?

But then scientists actually studied the things and discovered they were very very bad. Accordingly, cigarette packets are now adorned with inescapable warning messages:

DON’T BUY THESE, YOU’LL DIE! YOU NEED YOUR LUNGS TO BREATHE, DON’T SCREW THEM UP! HERE’S A PICTURE OF A MOLDY HEART!

Unfortunately, now everyone is so rabidly addicted to the things that nothing is going to put them off.

Unless the government acts upon the following suggestion, for I have a dream

Instead of scaremongering with the use of sensationalist packaging, I would like to put forward a subtle alteration to the design of the cigarettes themselves. Keep everything the same, the price, Tax & VAT, etc, but just change the way they look.

Let’s go back to them “youfs”, in their huddle on that same street corner. Now, imagine, if instead of the classic sexy, slender white cylinders pressed against their lips, them “youfs” in fact stood there grasping 10-inch long, pink, throbbing, veiny, glistening replica-penises, with the bulbous purple helmet as the filter, and the lit-end as the base of a hairy shaft.

What a sight to behold, these crowds of people all sucking, puffing and panting, coughing, wheezing and spluttering over huge, grotesque smouldering members, ash and smoke mockingly swirling around them in the air like a ballet of flares, snatching attention towards the miserable rows of flaming-cock suckers, 6ft away from the rest of civilisation, hocking up phlegm, with burning-dicks in hand for all the world to see.

Wouldn’t look so cool then, would it?

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