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Truth Be Told, Addictions Kills—Plain and Simple

Updated on January 13, 2020
kenneth avery profile image

Many of my hubs originate from my teenage years and those past twenty. Some pieces were funny. Some were sad,.Some were down right scary.

Notice

This is NOT About Smoking, Growing, or Promoting Tobacco of Any Form. (Kenneth)

Writer’s note: Read this piece carefully. I am NOT here to get on a soapbox and declare that if you smoke, you are bound for the Lake of Fire as appears in the Book of Revelation. Lots of people smoke. On the other hand, lots of people die. By smoking? No. I know of many who died of Cancer or Emphysema who never knew the taste of nicotine. It might be considered a crap shoot because smoking, by the medical percentages, is against the smokers. Think about it.

— Kenneth Avery

Smoking Does NOT Make You Look Cool!

This can be trouble.
This can be trouble. | Source

I’m Not Here

to entertain, tell cutesy-cute jokes, or tap dance. I am here for one reason and one reason only. No, I do not want to anger you or anyone else, but at my age, there has come that time in which (this) topic is very serious and I hope, will be of benefit to all of you. No kidding at all. I do love to write hubs of all types—serious, humorous, and even those of the abstract/poetry labels. But with smoking and its dangers, I do not have to do a lot of research or get a team of physicians or medical scientists to convince me that smoking is good for you. By the same token, the same physicians and medical scientists cannot completely, without a doubt, that if I smoke one, two, maybe three cigarettes a month will take my life. Like I said. It’s a crap shoot. But it’s (a) roll of the dice which I want to win.

Case in point. The bottom line truth is this: my dad, rest his soul, lived to be 91 years of age. He began chewing tobacco at age six. He also began smoking at age 12. He chewed and smoked like clockwork. But the truth is, he never kept a chew or cigarette in his mouth 24/7. I have witnessed him (when I was a kid) watched him work and he never used tobacco while working, but on his breaks or lunch break, would take time out to smoke or chew a few minutes and then head back to work. I have to admire this whether you do or not. He loved to wear his Air Force-endorsed aviator shades.. He was a veteran of this arm of the service.

Me? I dabbled with smoking around age seven. I did it by following his example of smoking a half of a cigarette then tossing it into the fireplace in the house where we lived in my early days. Sure, in those days of yore, I guess dad considered it cute to pick-up the half-smoked cigarette and puff on it like grown people. But in my own life, the cuteness wore thin and left me because even as a teenager, smoking began to take harm on me. I never told anyone, but I knew that when a teenager (both boy and girl) has shortness of breath, something’s up. Something that cannot be good. But I simply stopped sneaking-in hiding places where my buddies and I would act adult and puff away.

The Years Began to Stack up

as I grew older and when I was as early as a sophomore, I smoked with my buddies. I smoked in my junior year of high school. And even in my senior year, I smoked. But in the early 1970s, smoking was not frowned up. Fact is, smoking was the mark of someone who had finally reach “that” measure of life where childish things were put away. Still, I smoked. Even when I started work in my first jobs, there was smoking. At my first job in our neighborhood market, men (sometimes women) would congregate and do some chewing and smoking because they were valuable patrons and the store-owner knew it full well—so he knew better than to scold them, although he did not chew or smoke. But I will tell you that although he did not use tobacco, he was not a narrow-minded, self-righteous, judgmental finger-pointer who was right 24/7 and others were always wrong. Oh, he was short-sighted as well. Not a healthy combination of a man’s life.

Even in the late 1960s, tobacco use was going gang-busters. But slowly, another “villain” was peeking around a tree just waiting to be used by a young person. Let’s right now be completely honest. The “villain” was “weed,” “grass,” okay, Marijuana. “Reefer” was also used to describe this new type of smoking pleasure, but with the “grassing,” this smoking came with a FREE bonus of getting completely-relaxed, their minds grew sharper and reflexes grew slower. The only draw-back was getting the “munchies,” and getting severe “snack attacks” like several hard-working horses. I know. I tried Marijuana, but liked cigarettes better. I was already big enough, so at least I did not abuse food. I might have been wiser if I had substituted snacks for grass. Huh?

Honestly, is This Worth it?

At least stop and think about what you are doing.
At least stop and think about what you are doing. | Source

Then The Early 1980s Were Born

and a new, fresh sunrise dawned on a society with multi addictions—nicotine (cigarettes, cigars, pips and smoking), Marijuana, and those who swore by their alcohol binges where the basic problem was getting serious hang-overs, but in (thus) case, hang-overs did not chastise us enough.

And still, as the 80s rolled on, nicotine and “grass” ran neck-in-neck. One year tobacco would lead with “grass” running a close second and so it was. Yes, alcohol did come in third because it could not be stamped with a government stamp, warning those who drink lots of booze, that “alcohol abuse can lead to physical problems,” but the Big Tobacco Empires were forced by the U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everette Koop, (along with the Fed’s) led the fight against tobacco and if you look on the side of any brand of cigarettes ,cigars, pipe tobacco, and even the Smokeless Tobacco Kingdoms were shackled to wear “Anti-Smoking” warnings and most times, they contracted several health issues and got a few slick lawyers and “sued the pants” off of Big Tobacco. The many who won these huge lawsuits did not live long enough to enjoy the scratch. So the game continued. Even with warning labels, Big Tobacco went full-speed ahead as if nothing was wrong.

What is even more frustrating is the Fed’s and Koop, decided to use an end-run and force all news outlets—radio, TV, billboards, tee-shirts, magazines and newspapers to NEVER run any sign of tobacco ads be they humorous or serious. The Fed’s simply would come down hard on them if they broke the law. Personally, and I am not a smoker, I have some sort of resentment toward a government that claimed to have a Free Democracy then give-in to various complaints about some cause or another. My only question: how long is it going to be before Alcohol Corporations of any name or place are forced by Federal Law to NOT produce booze of any sort? Oh, those who small lines of type seen on Alcohol ads in print companies, TV, radio, will flash quikly, the ads that are broadcast, “drink responsible.” Okay. Fed’s in your eyes, just what is THE honest and true definition of “responsible?”

To Make Things Simple

for you. Cigarettes contain Dangerous, Lethal, and Diseases that can be traced to Cigarette Tobacco Use. Look at the list of things below and ask yourself, do I really want to take a chance on my life to take up the dreadful habit of smoking?

You can answer.

Carcinogens

  • A carcinogen is defined as any substance that can cause or aggravate cancer. Approximately 70 of the chemicals in cigarettes are known to cause cancer.2

  • Benzene is found in pesticides and gasoline. It is present in high levels in cigarette smoke and accounts for half of all human exposure to this hazardous chemical.

  • Formaldehyde is a chemical in liquid form, is used to preserve dead bodies. In gaseous form, it is responsible for some of the facial features--nose, throat, and eye irritation smokers sense when breathing in cigarette smoke.

  • Vinyl chloride is man-made chemicals tused to make plastics. Smokers are exposed this chemical through cigarette filters.

Carcinogens and How They Cause Cancer

Toxic Metals

  • Toxic/heavy metal compounds that have the Dangers to harm our health when absorbed or inhaled. In very small amounts, some of these metals support life, but when taken in large amounts, they can become toxic.3

  • Arsenic is used in making in rat poison. Arsenic finds its way into cigarette smoke through some of the pesticides that are used in tobacco farming. So if Aresnic is in tobacco farming, don’t you think that a large amount of this lethal substance can also be detected in cigarettes?

  • Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that is used in batteries. Smokers typically have twice as much cadmium in their bodies as nonsmokers.

Why You Should Worry About Arsenic in Cigarette Smoke

Radioactive Toxic Metals

  • There are a couple of Severe-Toxic Toxic Metals in cigarette smoke that carry an extra punch of danger for who breathe it in because they are radioactive. Lead-210 (Pb-210) and polonium-210 (Po-210) are poisonous, radioactive heavy metals that research has shown to be present in cigarette smoke.4

Just Read These Poisons

  • Poison is described as any substance when introduced to a living organism, causes severe physical distress or death. Science has discovered approximately 250 poisonous gases in cigarette smoke.

  • Ammonia compounds are commonly used in cleaning products and fertilizers.

  • Ammonia is also used to boost the impact of nicotine on manufactured cigarettes.

  • Carbon monoxide has huge readings of car exhaust and is lethal in large amounts. Cigarette smoke can contain high levels of carbon monoxide which are deadly.

  • Hydrogen cyanide was used to kill folks in the gas chambers. And is found in cigarette smoke.

  • Nicotine is a poison used in pesticides and is the addictive element in cigarettes.

You Didn’t Know It But

as many times in publishing my hubs, I can get carried away (depending on the subject) and really “go to town”as older Americans were prone to say. And (this) section is my final capsule, but it is such a natural fit that I would hate myself if I didn’t share it.

When TV was first introduced to Americas to spot Cigarette Smoking, (read this), The first known nicotine advertisement in the United States was for the snuff and tobacco products and was placed in the New York daily paper in 1789. At the time, American tobacco markets were local. And the tobacco consumers would ask for the brand name “Rooster,” “Top,” (snuff) “Camel,” (and other cigarettes) instead of just saying tobacco.

Soon, and you older Americans will know that when early radio sports, news, weather was first introduced, there was a “hungry wolf just lurking behind a big tree,” just waiting to be fed by unassuming costumers or gullible people. And “that” hungry wolf just happened to be Big Tobacco Corporations, but these big, powerful tobacco corporations did not start big, but small, because the smart Tobacco Mareketeers knew right off that society would be scared off—and there the valuable monies would (pardon the pun) “go up in smoke.”

So Big Tobacco started out small and without fanfare. Cigarettes were used in the very first radio drama’s as well as other programs. Honestly it was a slow start, but when private eye characters were used, smoking became very manly because the P.I.s smoked, those such as:

  • Barry Flatman as Don Shade, Matt's father, a retired electrician who now owns the Red Bird Diner.

  • Jordyn Negri as Juliet "Jules" Shade, Matt's visually impaired daughter who leaves for Italy in the season two finale.

  • As Detective Derek Nolan (seasons 1-2), a police detective who is initially antagonistic towClé Bennettards Angie.

These were among the early P.I. series and I want to include, “Lamont Cranston,” “The Shadow,” who was probably the most-famous of all P.I.s.

And with radio and tobacco who had “the perfect union,” came TV, with yet another great entertainment as well as advertising vehicle. Of course Tobacco did a short courtship and within a few months, Tobacco and TV made “the jump” from radio, but (some radio programs with cigarette ads stayed faithful) and made millions.

The P.I.’s in a very realistic world were known by: “Peter Gunn,” played by Craig Stevens who had a gorgeous girlfriend, “Edie Hart,” who graced the TV screen with Lola Albright’s natural acting ttalent. Then came “Jim Rockford,” James Garner; “Joe Mannix” Mike Connors and THE best-known P.I. of them all was Humphrey Bogart who played both “Phillip Marlowe,” and “Sam Spade.” And the Tobacco and Nicotine Marriage was very happy.

So How Could These Two Be Any Happier

the New York and Hollywood producers and writers went with a bold move: to try and place Cigarettes into more than P.i. shows. Namely the westerns such as “Gunsmoke,`” “Maverick,” and “Laramie,” but these cases, the show’s stars were happy to be the spokesmen for their cigarette company’s sponsors and man, did Cigarette Smoking have a ball.

With the rest of the U.S.A., there was one more market in which Tobacco wanted to invade, but it was tricky. American Industry. Then enter the big ad agencies on Fifth Avenue, New York, where the biggest and best ad agencies were located and without boring you, you know the rest.

Enough of the sharpest, most-creative advertising men all grouped-up and came out with ad campaigns for radio, TV, magazines and newspaper . . .all designed to appeal to the Men of America, the factory workers, the businessmen, and the business owners. No. Sorry. In this time, there were not that many women who the ad agencies wanted to trust them enough to do jobs such as fetching coffee, typing, and be able to tell certain people lies that were so believable that hardly no questions were every asked. And with “these” markets taken over, a “few” TV shows were not enough, so have you ever wondered why most every TV show in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and a few years of the 70s, pushed and promoted cigarette-smoking and cigarette ads, like they were going out of this world. And pretty near did that too. If you go back and catch one of those nostalgia TV Rerun Networks, you might catch the show’s stars lighting-up and smoking just as if everything was okay. And for us American’s, it was. We dared to not ask any questions, especially the tobacco-using TV shows or else we would be thought of as Communists, troublemakers, and bums. A few of us did ask some tobacco-based questions and were scorned. Some didn’t. Those who didn’t kept smoking.

Life Can be Up in Smoke . . .

"Life is but a vapor. It appears and then faadeth away." NT, Book of James.
"Life is but a vapor. It appears and then faadeth away." NT, Book of James. | Source

And It All Goes Back

to where smoking by us average Americans started? Radio, TV, Billboard, Magazines? Newspaper? This is what you call a tough call. There is really no ONE resource in which Big Tobacco took root and didn’t turn loose. They did in 1971 when Congress banned ALL types of cigarette advertising. Na, da. Null and void. Which meant, Big Tobacco took a lick on their chins and lost dough.

Not so. If you visit any convenience store or outlets who sell cigarettes, look for a moment and see how many people are still buying and smoking cigarettes. You might be shocked. What I am about to say might shock you back:

is there ANY type of warfare that us Non-smokers can use to have clean air and longer lives? (I’m just playing percentages.)

January 11, 2020_____________________________________________________


© 2020 Kenneth Avery

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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      17 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      whonunuwho . . .seriously, I am very sorry for your news in your comment. I mean that. But there is another side: my dad died at age 89, and from the age of 7, he chewed, smoked, and sometimes used a pipe. It was like a never-ending cycle. He did quit is all, but only for two years. I think that his nerves were the reason that he used tobacco. And his time in the service, I never did stand in judgement on him or anyone elese.

      whonunuwho . . .you are a good friend. Non-smokers and chewers and YES . . .non-vapers.

      Peace. Write me soon.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      18 months ago from United States

      My Dad lost 80% lung capacity before he passed. He smoked since he was 11 years old. It was cigarettes and a pipe most of his life. My own son is now having breathing problems, You can't change a thing. They have to decide for themselves. Sad but true, Addiction kills a lot of good folks, my friend. Blessings to you and family.. whonu

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