Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smokers Unite? . . .

This article cracked me up this morning.  

I view smokers (I have several friends and family members who are smokers so I am sure this will go over like a can of gasoline in a campfire) as the poster children for personal stupidity.  Yep.  I said it.

I, a man who once weighed 530 pounds and was a binge drinking lush, can look you in the eye and laugh at smokers.  No other drug or vice or addiction, to me, is more hilarious than a pack of Marlboro Reds.  Or Salem Slims, for that matter.

I don't want to seem insensitive.  I get that addiction is a strong animal.  I get that people smoke for many reasons (many of which trickle down to buoying the mind and spirit, frankly) and I get that everyone has a right to do whatever they want to do (by and large) in this country. 

But PLEASE don't ask me to feel bad when they raise tobacco taxes.  There is well documented proof of the millions and millions of dollars a year tobacco costs us in healthcare and productivity.  There is NO mention, that I can find, in the documents that our great nation is based on that guarantee the right to affordable smokes.

You smoke.  You pay.  Plain and simple.  I've already come out in FAVOR of "junk food taxes" (I don't think it will curb eating any more than these taxes will stop smokers from puffing) and I am in favor of liquor taxes and fining (versus jailing) those that abuse illegal drugs.  I'm fine with it.

You want to feel bad about the cost of things - talk to me about rising costs for public transportation.  Talk to me about public transportation being eliminated from some cities looking to trim their budgets.  Talk to me about 85 year old men and women who can't pay for their spiking energy bills.  Talk to me about families that can't afford to really feed their families the necessities of a basic diet.  Talk to me about people who can't afford basic health care and medicines for known conditions.

Don't talk to me about any luxury items that are out of grasp for most of us.  Don't talk to me about how we are all having to make tough decisions in our budgets.  The Amore household is even considering getting rid of one of our DVRs and a few of our lesser-read magazine subscriptions (we're CONSIDERING) in our budget.  Please - send your sympathies.  Don't talk to me about people feeling pinched in buying things they don't need.

We fat people, typically, keep our yappers shut when the dollar menu at McDonald's drops our favorite item.  We don't complain when Burger King raises the cost of the "King Sized" fry by a few cents.  We hardly ever mention when Ho-Ho prices spike.  We don't gripe about the cost of food.  We just suck it up and accept that there is a cost (pun intended) to eating in excess.

Suck it up smokers.  Puff, puff - SPEND!  


Larraine said...

I don't know.... Addiction is addiction in the end. I admit to having sympathy for smokers, not because I ever smoked (it literally made me sick) but because I've been fighting obesity all of my life. I know from addiction. On the other hand, if the government put a tax on sweets, I would be fine with that. A few years ago, there was an attempt in Maryland to impose a "snack tax." The chip makers squashed that. It wasn't a huge tax either. I didn't think that adding a few cents to a bag of chips was going to stop people from buying them. If a tax on tobacco gets a few more people into treatment, that's terrific. However I still have sympathy for those people who are addicted. Cigarettes are a very strong physical addition. The Nicotine causes the addiction. Hopefully the higher tax will help.

Sean C. Amore said...

I sympathize with ADDICTS - but I don't understand why an addict (regardless of vice) would feel they are entitled to affordable addictive agents.

My point in the post was more that smoking is a choice (like eating was for me) and is not something you should feel "entitled" to.