Sunday, November 28, 2010

☆ What's Going On: Smoking; Ugly for You, Ugly for the Planet ☆

They're gross. They're smelly. They cause cancer. They cause pollution. They're bad for you and they're bad for the Planet. Yes, I'm talking about cigarettes. 

There are admittedly fewer things that irk me more than Cigarettes. No offense to Smokers, but most of you are horribly inconsiderate. You smoke everywhere and anywhere, subjecting those around you to your filthy habit. And it is especially sad when those subjected are babies and children. Obviously, not all Smokers are this way. I have seen many that purposely smoke out of people's way in more secluded areas. So to those people, I am appreciative.
Smoke being involuntarily inhaled is one thing, but it's not just this that I find inconsiderate. Cigarette buts are littered carelessly all over the sidewalks, streets, grass fields, parks, highways, and wildlife. And they don't just disappear, they take 18 months to 12 full years to decompose!

Most people know the health hazards (unless you live under a rock) so I don't really need to go too much into that. Tobacco kills one person every 10 seconds. Lung cancer is the ninth most common cause of death in the World and the most common form of cancer, taking someone's life every 30 seconds. It is estimated that smoking a single cigarette lowers one's life expectancy by 10.7 minutes--which may not seem like much, but that's for EVERY cigarette! Add them up and on average that's an estimated 23 years of your life. 
More than 53,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke.  
This is just brushing the surface. 

Now, I'm sorry if I seem a bit frank here, offending people isn't ever the purpose that I write. I'm just trying to just give you a little dose of reality, or at least a little eye-opener. 

Sadly, most people forget the severe environmental impacts of this bad habit. When you light up, you're sending up to 4000 chemicals up into the atmosphere. Amongst that toxic cloud are air-polluting, smog-inducing VOCs such as formaldehyde, benzene, and hydrogen cyanide, as well as ammonia, arsenic, tar and carbon monoxide, just to name a few. Now, put into perspective that there are about 1.2 billion smokers in the world (that's one-fifth of the world's population!) and you've got quite a scary reality to face. 

To make matters worse, the production alone uses over 11.6 million kilograms of pesticides on these crops every year in the US alone. Then consider that most of the production takes place in developing countries where the safety of workers and the protection of rivers and wildlife are disregarded. 
Drying out the leaves has led to serious deforestation in some parts of the world. Tobacco curing and production is responsible for about 200, 000 hectares of chopped trees a year in Southern Africa, and fingered for nearly half of South Korea's deforestation in the 90's. 

Back to that damn littering... Filters have been found in the stomachs of sick or deceased fish, birds, and other creatures who have mistaken them for food. And regardless of where they end up, they all inevitably leach out those thousands of chemicals from your cigarette. As if this wasn't bad enough, all that damn butting was responsible for 14,030 fires between 1995 and 1999 in Canada alone, as well as killing 356 people and searing thousands of acres of beautiful Canadian forest. 

Don't feel guilty enough yet? "One tree is axed to fire-cure every 300 cigarettes rolled in paper. That's one tree every two weeks if you smoke a pack a day, and 26 trees for every year you've been hooked."
Are you really comfortable with that weighing on your shoulders?

I don't know who decided that smoking was sexy, but it is not. I will see a beautiful person but as soon as I see a cigarette laced between their fingers, the hot factor dissipates. It's not cool. You don't look "bad-ass." You don't look sexy. You like a moron, especially when you're standing out it the middle of winter in freezing temperatures just to get your fix. It is just simple not attractive. Teenagers need to wake up (cuz we all know that's almost Always when smokers start and then get hooked for the rest of their lives). Teens needs to realize that there is nothing cool about it and realize that it does not make them look "grown-up"--it's immature, there is nothing "grown-up" about it.  

Sorry people, but there's no upside to the ugliness of smoking. 

Quit the bad habit, for yourself and for the planet.   

Peace & Love,

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1 comment:

  1. Quite a lovely list compiled there! I was a weekend smoker (aka, I only smoked when I went out on weekends, so I was totally a social smoker) since my 18th birthday till I was 25, then I decided it was the most silly way to harm myself and waste money and resources, so I quit. And now, working where I do, seeing cancer patients craving a cig even if it's the cause of what's killing them... makes me even more glad I did!


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