“Smokers are brainless idiots!”

I’m sorry if you’re smoker and just read this, but I’m not taking it back. This is exactly how I feel about every single person who lights up a cigarette during the course of his day.
Brainless idiots.
So there!

Now, I don’t want to go into all the already-well-published details on the why’s and how’s of smoking being bad and all that – I guess anyone with the intelligence of a humming bird knows that smoking kills. But that’s not my problem.

My problem is, people’s attitude towards smoking and smokers.
Despite it being the most universal of ‘undesirable’ habits (of course in my book, alcoholism, drug abuse and indiscriminate sexual behavior also top the lists but I guess different cultures have different levels of tolerances towards these), I count around 65% of young people here in Hessen with a cigarette in hand and not a care in the world.

And, no one’s saying much either. Last October, Germany passed a law making it a crime to smoke in public buildings – such as restaurants, hotel lobbies and offices. But while anti-smoking advocates were high-fiving each other, the lobbyists made sure that what made the final bill was the word “public buildings” and not “public” – which meant that you could smoke anywhere as long as you weren’t inside anyplace.

And that makes me mad because what this shows is tolerance towards this despicable habit. I don’t know about most other people but I have zero-tolerance towards anyone who smokes.
I yank cigarettes out of my friends’ hands and crush them underfoot.
I make rude remarks at smokers at restaurants.
When in a group, I refuse to pay for anyone’s cigarettes.

And I guess everyone needs to do their part.
Maybe by hanging a board at the door that says, “Smokers and dogs not welcome here”, you’re not helping the guy quit; but at least by letting them know we don’t like it, and maybe, just maybe it might make a difference.

And for all the smokers reading this; I’ve just two words to say to you:
Go quit.

Because the rest of us think you’re brainless idiots!

15 comments:

Jaffer said...

Have you ever been close friend with a chain smoker ? Have you ever asked them how craving for a cigarette feels ? Have you seen how one suffers when they're deprived of a cigarette for long hours ?

Granted that one is not allowed to smoke where they work. But if they have a craving and cannot even smoke outside, where would they go ?

Yes smoking is a serious health problem but instead of telling them where not to smoke we should promoting programs to cure addiction.

I feel very sorry for those smokers who know well of every hazards of their habit but cannot find motivation and proper treatments to quit.

rahman said...

@jaffer,
Actually I recently lost an uncle who was a chain-smoker.

With regards to how they feel and stuff, all this sympathy towards smokers really doesn't help because this is not some 'disease' that arose to begin with.

That's the problem with western conceptualization:

No one say's alcoholism is a problem; but doctors treat such 'cases' as medical illnesses.

No one say's indiscriminate sexual behaviour is a problem, but we treat rapes as a legal problem.

My point is, unlike malaria, typoid or whatever, this is not a natural problem for us to waste time and effort on 'cures' and 'treatments'. The problem is the concept that smoking is okay as long as you can get rehabilitation if you ever need it.
That is what needs change.

rahman said...

Why I wanted to address this was because most smokers just see themselves as "another class of society" - one that is not allowed in restaurants and stuff.
And not as part of a problem.

That is so untrue - I don't know any smoker who started smoking not knowing it was bad...and I don't feel sorry for them because they are responsible for what they are.

mydominanthemisphere said...

ARN:

Have to say, I concur.

As a medic, I can tell you that studies have shown most smokers would like to quit at some point but don't think they can. A doctor's written prescription to quit smoking is the most effective means to help them make a start. And the best proven way to initiate smoking cessation is via the smoker's employer's referral to a doctor.

Smokers need constant prodding to quit and do need to understand that successful quitting is possible, and that it is alright if they do not succeed in their first few attempts, as relapses are quite common until a number of attempts have been made.

Rayees Ahamed said...

y this much hatred :D.

If we ask any smoker how did he start the habit, many would remember their first attempts during school days just out of curiosity. And the curiosity is seeded by existing inspirations in the society.

From historic empires (especially mughal empires, except a few exceptions) to modern days movie heroes, many many VIP´s including Einstein have been the bad examples and deep inspiration to tempt the youth into the passion for smoke.

Rayees Ahamed said...

i am not sure if we can say them "brainless idiots", but they are addicted and they will justify what they do somehow to cover the negatives. for example

statement of Einstein upon joining the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club. (1950) :
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.

we cannot say he is brainless but he may be an idiot thats different story (the major contributor for hiroshima nagasaki)

Jaffer said...

I think I've already pushed too many buttons. Check out this story:

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/2008/06/14/now-smoking-onstage-for-your-entertainment/

Jaffer said...

Oops ! That didn't work. Here's the link again.
Now, smoking onstage for your entertainment!

Arun Sundar said...

Rayees is funny. He is doing research to back his idea up. Good!

Alok Meshram said...

Hey Rahman,

The tone of this post seems very angry and personal, so I think I'd refer you to this post.

But if you really ask my opinion, I think we should give people enough freedom to do what they like to do.

It's their choice, man.

rahman said...

@Firas
I think the first thing to be told them is that smoking KILLS...and if that doesn't help, I'm not sure what else will...


@rayees
I guess back then people weren't aware that smoking kills.

@jaffer
Bro, I'll get back to you...

@arun
Yeah, lol at the Einstein theory! :D

@alok
Actually yes regarding the personal part - like I said earlier, I lost a chain-smoker uncle recently.
But I can't agree that smokers should have the freedom to do whatever, because they affect ppl around them in public, their loved ones etc.

Rayees Ahamed said...

hehe, perhaps Einstien had known smoking kills :D ...

i have a friend here who is a chain smoker , he promises everyday , i ll not smoke from tomorrow and immedietly lights a cigarrete and blews it out passionately .. aaaaaaahhhhhhhh hooooooooooooo .....

He also says , beedi and suruttu (cigar) give more kick coz of tar.

in my child hood i remember a Patti drinking alcohol with his son, she occasionally smoked beedi too.

More than smoking , sometimes i get irritated on seeing people taking oral intoxicants, i mean , hans , tobacco , poyala kattai , mooku podi, pan parag etc., they die for the heck it , those spittings, tar dripping noses, yucky saliva slurry leaks over the corners of their lips .. Yuck!!

The Victorious.. said...

It hurts a lot to read things like this on smoking particularly when a close relative of yours is a chain smoker. I hate when someone smokes and the hatred intensifies due to the smoke/dust allergy accompanied by the difficulty in breathing.

But what can one do when the person does not listen? My dad is a chain smoker and all my efforts to stop him are in vain. I'm only left with my prayers.

I just hope the country banned the manufacture of cigarettes. I know my hope is far from being materialised when it earns a lot through the excise duty imposed on them.

And as Rayees says, it is extremely disgusting to see people spitting all over the road. Sometimes I wonder if Chennai is the land of reckless morons who chew pan and 'beautify' the roads with their saliva.

I remember these lines I read in a Tamil magazine:
"in foreign countries, you don't have to pay when you use the public toilets but pay a fine if you do it on the road. but its only in India where one has to pay to use the public loo and can do it 'freely' in public"

Hari Vishnu said...

im with u RN.. but like jaffer said, the dependency is so hard on tobacco that it becomes almost impossible to quit it instantaneously once ure a chain smoker, even if ure well informed of the results..

nevertheless, i do have friends who have quit smoking totally after having been chains once..

the problem, like jaffer said, is not of making clear to people that we hate smoking, most smokers alread know that. its just the problem of how can we save them from the addiction.

a recent documentary i saw ranks tobacco as the 9th most dangerous drug. even above marijuana, above barbiturates, LSD, ecstasy etc.

Ela said...

I never thought of calling smokers as 'brainless idiots' but i have always made it clear that i do not want to die sooner because of their smoking around me....i really cannot stand the smoke from cigarettes and never thought it was unpolite to say so to people and always had done it although it was polite request that i don't want them to smoke around me...

And most of the time my German friends and colleagues have complied by that because they also do not want others to suffer because of their habits which they enjoy or in some cases are not able to get rid of! I would be happy to get rid of smoking completely but it takes quite a lot of effort and everyone has to work together with understanding and respect for each other's feelings! But i agree it is hard of rnon-smokers esp. when the person who is smoking is utterly disrespectful and i have been horrified seeing German mothers smoking sitting next to their small kids!