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On Smoke, Smoking and Smoker!

Updated on August 31, 2016

Shahida Siddique Khan or Shahida Khan wrote several articles (read here!) for The Desert Times. This article appeared in September 1998 issue of The Desert Times. Interestingly enough most of our friends – the Desert Friends are non-smokers.

In this article, Shahida set out to convince an imaginary person to quite smoking! Check out if she succeeds in her mission! [today, Sept. 2, is her birthday... Happy Birthday Shahida!]

Running a NO SMOKING campaign!

By: Shahida Khan

Where there is smoke, there is usually a smoker buffing and puffing at a cigarette. I spotted one and decided to convince him to quit smoking.

Me: Sir, I am running a campaign against smoking

Him: you are running.I am glad to hear that.Jogging is good for you.As far as against smoking, I am with you.I hate smoke... smoking buses, smoked...

Me: (cutting short): smoking cigarette reduces life by 10 minutes.

Him (excitedly): Now that is a wonderful piece of news, why didn’t you tell me earlier?Let me get my calculator!Hmm! Four cigarettes would reduce one hour of life.To reduce one day would be 96 cigarettes.And to reduce one year would be 35,040 cigarettes.That a too many.I couldn’t get my wife to smoke 4.8 packs of cigarettes a day.She would get very suspicious.Hey let me know when cigarettes get more potent.


Tell me why you smoke?

Me (not giving up): cigarettes are bad for your wallet. They cost too much.

Him (almost gleefully): Not for me. My father-in-law has a cigarette agency called – watch it go up in smokes.

Me (Getting worked up): your nose goes off to sleep when you are a smoker. You can’t smell the sweet aromas around you.

Him: Oh yes! And it is such a blessing. When the garbage collectors go on strike, everyone is miserable except me.

“Cigarettes are bad for your teeth.”

“My brother-in-law is a dentist. It is good for his business.”

Changing my approach entirely, I said: “Tell me why you smoke?”

He, with a big smile, “Aha! So now you are coming around. Well to begin with, cigarettes give me something to do when I am at work. Also, they feed my creative frenzy. I can make beautiful rings of smoke. These days I am trying to make Eiffel Tower, you might read my name in the Guinness book of World Records. And smoking gives me a macho image. Remember the Marlboro Man! You see in magazines and bill boards?


Effects of Second Hand Smoking!

Me (Triumphantly): exactly, you know that macho Marlboro Man died a miserable man; of lung cancer. The macho image is a farce.

He (not daunted): Well! I know that too. That is why I have switched from Marlboros to Camels.

Me: and what do you plan to achieve by that?

Him: Well, have you seen any camels dying of lung cancer, ha, ha!

Me: There is also the danger of secondary smoke.

Him: And what is that?

Me: A person sitting next to a smoker is exposed to the same degree of harm as the smoker. So in other words whey you smoke, you can harm your kids and family.

Him: Almost jumping up): I am glad to have met you today. This is the best piece of information that I ever received. I will make sure I puff right into my boss face the next time he come to check on me.

Then suddenly he stopped and said, oh! I am so excited, I have got to smoke.

US Statistics

deaths annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke)
deaths per year from secondhand smoke exposure
deaths annually among men
deaths annually among women

Author's Comments

On average, smokers die 14 years earlier than non-smokers.

In United States of America, one fifth of deaths each year are caused by cigarette smoking.

Passive smoker (second-hand smoke) is causing nearly 50,000 deaths annually.

Statistics from


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