I am a college-aged young woman, so yes, there are a multitude of things that REALLY get on my nerves. Being that I am becoming more mature, I have learned to keep my opinions to myself, people should be able to live their lives the way they want to. Despite this, there is one thing that agitates me so much that I can’t keep my judgments to myself. Because this is something that to me is not an opinion, it’s factual information that I have increasingly noticed people I care about ignore. I’m not one to belittle others and their lifestyles, but for this I do not feel bad. So here’s a few things people have said to me in response to my criticism of them smoking cigarettes, and also what I have to say about it:
1. “I only smoke when I’m drunk.”
I will NEVER understand this. When people say this to me (and it’s actually been a lot of people) I look at them so dumbfounded and confused, and then I just get mad. Why is being drunk an excuse to purchase and subsequently use a product that legitimately says “THIS WILL KILL YOU” on the package? I didn’t know alcohol made a person put less value on their life! Intoxication is no excuse to smoke a cigarette. Isn’t alcohol enough fun on it’s own? It’s not even like cigarettes produce this amazing sensation that it’s even SLIGHTLY worth it.
2. “Why are you judging me so hard for smoking cigarettes rather than those smoking illegal marijuana?”
Simple answer. Because not only has marijuana NOT been DIRECTLY linked to various diseases and eventually death like cigarettes have, but also, I understand that it produces a high that users enjoy. For that reason, I see it’s value.
3. “Chill, I don’t even do it that much”
THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF DOING IT AT ALL? If you aren’t addicted, then what pleasure are you even receiving? I hear all this talk about a “head rush” but what even is that? Is it worth your lungs?
4. “It’s not a big deal”
This is my absolute favorite. If it’s “not a big deal,” then why is the government investing BILLIONS into propaganda against it? In my lifetime, I have never seen a product so not recommended to the point where deathly advertisements are on the boxes. We would not be putting so much effort into informing people of the negative consequences if smoking was not such a big deal to get involved with.
As you can tell, I have a very strong outlook on this discussion which I don’t even think should be a discussion. I write a lot of controversial pieces, and I do not see this as being one of them. At the end of the day, the most I can do is give my friends a look of disgust, feed them some statistics and tell some scary stories. But none of this is actually going to stop them from engaging in smoking cigarettes. It’s up to the individual involved to make a change; a mature, logical change.