No Country for Smokers

To quit smoking is not easy and you do not simply need to know how. There’s no guaranteed technique, it would be useless to think so. The famous book revealing the miraculous ways to, really worked for a lot of people, but in my opinion those were not real smokers. The real smokers who started “easy way to stop smoking” are still smokers, and I know why. It is because they haven’t finished reading it. They stopped right before the conclusions. Why? Because real smokers do not want to quit. The doctor told them to, the wife or husband, a fresh non-smoking friend advised them to, or the crisis it imposing them. Is it just a coincidence the increase of rolled tobacco users? All nostalgic of the joint that are now giving us too much anxiety and tachycardia?

Na-ha. I don’t think so. People would rather give up their car and convert to using public transportation (in Rome that is like giving up punctuality) or to use the bicycle that is even healthy! “yhea, I smoke … But you knoooow, I do a lot of physical activity. I only cycle.” Aaaahhhhaaaa. Healthy. But giving up on cigarettes no uh?! NO. I say no.

smoking-cyclists smokecycle

And the excuse people come up with, ‘cos we all have that voice inside telling us how idiotic is to smoke, are just ludicrous:

Eee, a cigarette every now and again is not gonna do any harm – I can control myself perfectly, look, I count the ones i smoke daily – well, look, just 4 – not really, only if i drink – if really want i can quit any moment – yes but only rolling tobacco ones that, it’s know, are waaaaaaaay less harmful – well, c’mon, the after lunch one helps digesting – yhea, but only socially

Oh. I want to focus myself on these last two: cigarette’s super powers and social smokers.

Following the “well, c’mon, the after lunch one helps digesting”, I wrote down a list of cigarette’s super powers, the ones I believed in:

they help digestion (very advised after meals)

they feed you (portable and easier to take with you rather than a sandwich or tapper ware)

they hydrate you (better than a Gatorade after running or swimming)

they keep you warm (forget gloves and hats)

they’re refreshing (and less polluting then AC)

they accelerate time (if you’re waiting)

they’re calming (yoga meditation, what for?)

they’re a time killer (giving you the feeling of being busy when you are doing absolutely nothing)

This is what the real smoker thinks. Oh, how cool is he! This is what I’d describe as the typical Italian stubbornness. The list of super power is also what the real smoker would like to be printed on the cigarette’s boxes instead of those ugly messages. Those who are only there to save the tobacco companies from being sued. Yes, ‘cos for an Italian is unthinkable (though we always know one more then the devil), but the reason those messages exists is that tobacco companies have been sued and have lost many lawsuits(hence a lot of money) against smokers affected by cancer. Why and how the half-dead smokers won?! Not because of compassion. Because they have not been warned of the deadly consequences tobacco brings with itself. Same reason why fruity or other food-smelling shampoos and soaps have on the back of the packaging a note explaining their NON edibility. But you have to be idiot to eat a shampoo, or soap or lotion (being just tempted it is a completely different thing!!). Well, apparently it is wise to write it there and avoid unpleasant lawsuits, ‘cos it seems like the mother of the idiots is always pregnant and that, those idiots, have good lawyer!!! Now, I MUST stop for a second and tell a story which sounds like impossible.

It is the story of a lady who won a lawsuit against a micro-wave company. The reason of the lawsuit?! Her cat’s death. No, no. Not because of the cat been passively hit by the micro-waves, too easy! Nop. The lady, lovely cat-lover, seriously worried about the cat catching a bronchitis, just tucked the poor thing inside the micro-wave. Yes, the kitten exploded. EEEWWWW. But nowhere in the instruction was stated not to put a cat in it. Plastic/paper dishes, metals, plastic. Yes, all listed, so you don’t put them inside. But nowhere in the user’s instruction manual was mentioned something even closely looking to a cat. No one told her that you can’t dry a cat in it, so, victory for the cat-loving lady … not for the cat, sorry!

Back to the smoking topic, I was saying: now they warn us. Smoking affects your health. Smoking can cause vascular problems. Smoking kills. Yet, we keep smoking. Although we are warned. We do not drink shampoo. We are not stupid, uh! But smoking, yes! Because those warning are not really there to protect us and keeping us away from something harmful. It’s a trick/trap. They just want to keep us apart from our Preciouuuuuuuuuuuuus.

It’s true. No one out there gives a crap about our good health.

smoking

When I first moved here I had no intention to quit smoking. I proudly belonged to the mix category: I can control myself + maximum 4 per day + yes but only rolling tobacco ones, that, it’s know, are waaaaaaaay less harmful. Yet, something gradually clicked inside me. The loneliness of smoking without Daniel. People’s glances, a mix of pity and disgust as if I was doing heroin in the middle of the street.

smoking9

To strengthen the cause, the media attacks. Radio and TV broadcasting jingle,

spot and videos where youngsters give comments on how much more dates you can get if you don’t smoke

Quote from the video LEFT SWIPE : “FACT: you get double the matches if you’re not smoking in your profile pictures”.

Ok, this is some social network’s material youngsters use, exactly, to socialize. But there are the old-school advertisements to. I personally adore American advertisements! They always make me laugh, sometimes with my heart and soul, others of sadness, but I think they’re 90% ingenious! Maybe I should worry?!?! Anyways, there are two anti-smoking advertisements which first made me think, then slowly got under my skin, until they start making full sense. 1- James and chickpeas: short story of a guy coming from a family of tobacco farmers who recently switch to chickpeas to meet the country’s need of humus, and because it’s profitable! 2- Social farting: a girl (same flow of the cigarette’s super-powers) explaining and giving sense to her social farting.

1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WWFG0n58aw

2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDtVYrSxvLE

How cute are these Americans worrying about public health! Mmm. Hang on. Something sounds weird. I am no idiot, at least not completely! I don’t want to get deeply in the topic but I don’t recall America having a public health system, forget a fare, democratic and loving one. Yes, they are moving forward, or at least moving, with the notorious Obama-Care, ok, but from there to seriously care … Considering that, from different people I spoke with in here, our system has been labelled as socialist! So, what is it? What is making them invest so much money in advertising? What is making them put so much effort in changing policies up to banning smoking even from open-air public spaces?! Exactly. Banning. Can’t smoke even in the open-air! Take that!

no smoking smoking3 no smoking2

Parks, beaches, entire roads where it’s FORBIDDEN to smoke, where you have tiny corners with a dirty ashtray, a neon light and a donkey-ears shaped hat waiting for you (well that’s the feeling in the reality there’s only the ashtray!).

smoking4 smoking5  smoking8

Then why all this mobilisation? Much ado about nothing?! Na-ha. Without wandering around it: smokers are a burden. As simple as that. They get sick. Is the aim to “humanize” the health system a tiny little bit?! Well, first we need to get rid of the ballast. To attempt having less people getting sick. How you do so?! First shot? Tobacco companies, they can keep their market in the rest of the world anyway!

smoking7

Surely neither in here anybody gives a crap about our good health.

If there was a real concern in a broaden and human sense there would be no space for the other legal nasty stuffs, which are countless. Food, the good and healthy one, wouldn’t be a luxury and people would live longer and healthier, avoiding all those un-happy yet tempting 1$ meals (deals) …

Beyond my over-thinking though, if the aim is to help to quit smoking, an intervention on a social scale/level is welcome. Is maybe this what we lack in Italy?! Or is it just our stubbornness, our sometimes blind free-choice attitude?! The same that makes us coming up with tons of excuses NOT to quit smoking, including the proud “I am free to decide for myself” one, which is so stupid when you think that you can die for that “freedom”!

smoking11 smoking12 smoking13

At the end of the day here, in the USA, the anti-smoking campaign works. It works so well that has even affected me. Yes sure, I have my other reasons to quit smoking (Italian pride!): economical, but especially sentimental. My husband did, so I can or better I MUST quit to (not because he’s forcing me, it’s a matter of pride again!). And then, yes. My pocket benefits from it, but more importantly I benefit. My skin is improving. I have a better complexion (less grey more pink!) and I am radiant. I am not coughing like an old grandpa anymore, I am not coughing at all. I run and I resist more than the 60 years-older next to me instead of passing out after 5 minutes. And, finally, I don’t miss any conversation to go out smoking. Neither I freeze myself for those 5 minutes of pleasure. I have to painfully admit that, no doubt, the media bombing did his part. Afrà: hit and sank.

But, I can proudly get to the conclusion that the very aim, and in this case happily, justifies the means!

Hip-hip-hurray for brain- washing! (shame on me!!Or not?!?!)

America-Italy 1-0 !!

smoking6

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