Article by Elly Ambridge - Year 12
Don't Huff When We Puff!
Smoking cigarettes appears to have become the biggest atrocity and taboo in modern society. Banned in offices, public spaces and bars: is it the health risks, the smell, the waste of money?
Or is it people's desperation to look better than that rebellious punk lighting a cigarette in order to make themselves feel better?
Don't get me wrong, it is a dirty habit - or rather addiction. But perhaps people have gone too far in shoving their views down the throats of smokers. It seems every time a cigarette is lit, a crowd of clean-lunged innocent civilians faint in disbelief and horror over the thought of getting just a drop of that evil tar in their lungs, and soon a lynch mob has formed to find that monstrous death spreader and repeat to them the well-known, over played, over opinionated 'you're killing yourself and everyone around you' speech.
"Put that death stick down!"
Don't forget the hypocrisy that comes hand-in-hand with the death warning that non-smokers spew so vigorously. The adults, telling a teenager to "put that death stick down!" when they smoked 30 a day once upon a time; the stuck-up girl holding back the disgust at the sight of a smoker despite having been seen at a party begging everyone for a toke. Oh, they'll deny it but we've seen it all before.
It isn't really alright for one person to do something, but then judge the rest of the world for doing it on a more regular basis. It seems baffling that we live in an allegedly free world where you can be who you want to be (as you should), yet the thought alone of breathing in that toxin is enough to send people shouting for authorities and punishments. Of course, these people don't pay attention to the bigger things in life and the lack of freedom some people have in other parts of the world, where death is a daily risk on the streets, oh no, the biggest worry appears to be who's inhaling the grim reaper and who isn't. Sad isn't it?
Ironically, people seem to 'care' more about the health of a dirty smoker than their own health. Is it not unhealthy to get a takeaway every night? Or to go through enough bottles of wine to fill a crate by the end of a week? Of course not!
If these people aren’t smoking then everything's absolutely fine with their health! And what about the girls who dish out dirty looks at the smokers at the bus-stop, whilst they come tripping out of McDonalds with their deep-fried, fat-filled, heart attack in a bag. They think they can judge me? They're allowed to increase their cholesterol on a regular basis but God forbid anyone should light a cigarette anywhere near their precious, pure lungs.
"Don't let that water vapour poison you!"
To add to the list, national pub Wetherspoons have banned the smoking of electronic cigarettes indoors, just in case someone gets ill from inhaling strawberry flavoured water vapour. Imagine, an environment that promotes excessive drinking - the third biggest killer in the UK - can't even bear the thought of what doesn't technically qualify as smoking, in their pub. And if drinking is the third biggest killer, doesn't that mean something else is as bad as or if not worse than smoking? Oh yes, smoking is not the number one killer in the UK, in fact it is high blood pressure that climbs its way to number one both nationally and worldwide. So why not stick that in your pipe and smoke it next time you order an extra large portion of chips?
High blood pressure or excessive alcoholism can kill you just as soon as smoking can. So why treat a smoker like an outcast? Why act like anyone who has the audacity to smoke a cheeky fag every now and again is a peasant, a kink in the chain of society, a burden to the perfect, traditional picture of Britain? We all know what it's like: people think that smoking promotes a negative image. I mean, any smoker at a sixth form college practically has to walk to Timbuktu to have a cigarette during their lunch break, in order not to make the school look bad.
Despite the fact that nobody is breaking the law by smoking on the pavement outside the school (which does not belong to the school in any way shape or form), it is still a demand made by the school and one that comes with the threat of some punishment that these addicts do not deserve for simply trying to release the stress that four A Level subjects and a million essays a day naturally induces. And of course, when the smokers do move away as they would have been told to, they are then called "dirty, dirty, disgusting smokers" by yet another member of staff who doesn't want their beautiful pink lungs to take any leaves out of the books of our blackened, decomposing death sacks.
So here I ask, once more, that non-smokers keep their opinions locked away with whatever other oppressive thoughts they have about what people should and should not do. Nobody would rip somebody's hair out if they didn't like their new style, so on behalf of all the other smokers, we most kindly request (as we are not just uneducated criminals because we smoke) that you neither take the nicotine from our mouths, nor let your same-y, boring opinions leave yours.
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