Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Quit for Our Sake

Every time my brother lights up at home, I get immensely pissed. Even though he shuts himself up in his room, the moment I smell tobacco burning, I stomp round the house to open the front door and windows and to turn up all the fan speeds. Then I finally seek refuge in either my bedroom or the kitchen and try not to breathe too hard.

He puffs, I huff... lightly.

I once hankered after a pack of cigarettes myself. That was during NS, that other awful, blackhead-filled period of self-discovery that every S'porean male must go through. Perhaps it was rebellion, perhaps I believed I actually looked cool... whatever it was, I would eventually find myself toying with another pack of Marlboro Menthol Lights. After half a stick, I would get so sick, I had to lie down. Promising never to smoke again, the rest of the pack would remain in my drawer for a week or so, till I decided the tobacco had gone too soft. And this is why I never picked up smoking as a habit. *cough loser*

Back then, my brother was still in secondary school, and he started coming home, reeking of smoke. Confronted by my parents, he claimed he didn't smoke and it was because of the places where he hung out. I even defended him and blamed his ah beng friends, clinging on to the sweet bully-able innocence in him that I once believed was uncorruptible.

Yeah, talk to him, I try. And ignore me, he does.

Well, we all know why people smoke, but have you personally wondered why you shouldn't smoke? I submit that the most compelling reason not to smoke is that if the smoker or someone living with him or her contracts a smoking-related disease, his or her family will be heavily burdened, be it financially or emotionally.

Is this worth it, I ask? As selfish as this sounds, I don't want to pour my hard-earned money into paying somebody else's medical bills; I have bills to pay, parents to take care of. As G says, we aren't just living for ourselves, but others as well. I also take care of my own body, and I don't want my health to be at the expense of another person's nicotine addiction.

Round the region, Asian countries are making it tougher for smokers to puff, even in Australia. Just as legislative changes are occuring in Japan, I fully agree and support that this is the way to go in Singapore too.

Here are some information and statistics for you:
  • Respiratory disease is the world's number one killer
  • Smoking really kills

  • Passive smoking really kills

  • Nicotine is a poison

  • 90% of lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking

  • If you have or had cancer, employers don't want you

  • British American Tabacco kills 750K a year but here are what they acknowledge and say:
  • Smoking causes health problems

  • Passive smoking causes health problems

  • BAT justifies selling cigarettes

  • BAT's Business Principles
  • 1 comment:

    Lemming said...

    Same here, totally detest cigarette smoke.
    The thing is that, research has now shown that you're can be a 2nd hand smoker even when you the person doesn't light up near you, or do you even need to inhale smoke anymore.

    Seems that the smoke particles that stick to everything that the smoke touches can be detrimental to your health too.....

    Chalk one up for the smokers guys....who needs WMDs now when you can just smoke someone to their painful, probably cancerous death.

    Just simply hate it when people smoke at the busstop, at coffee shops, IN lifts....etc

    BTW, Australia just made it illegel to smoke on Manly Beach, Sydney! Kudos!