I, personally, smoked for fifty years. I am one of the 50% of smokers that managed to escape the harms of the demon. The other group of smokers that can escape the harms of tobacco, are those that stop smoking before the age of 35. Like my husband, for instance.
Strangely, except for my father in-law, I have no experience of people in my orbit, that have developed any debilitating harm from smoking. My father in-law was a heavy drinker and smoker. He suddenly developed pains in his chest at the age of 75, and was admitted to hospital where he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was dead in a week.
But not before he'd pinched the nurses bottoms and eaten loads of jelly and ice cream. He seemed to snuff it quite quickly, with no struggle for breath, and certainly no long drawn out suffering. But I suspect his lung cancer, being completely untreated from the time it started, had spread everywhere and he fell apart pretty quickly.
I DO know people, old people, who have escaped the harm that smoking does to some people.
But I completely accept that SOME people cannot smoke. It is their destructive demon.
Why can some people smoke and escape debilitating harms, and others are so badly affected? Suggestions are, that some people have a susceptible genetic make-up.
I have always thought of "our family" - I had five children, as being free from the allergy syndrome. Despite growing up in a smoking house, in the days when everyone smoked everywhere, none of them smoke and they seem to be strong and healthy. But our second to last granddaughter, had a terrible time with allergies from six months into her little life. I don't know where that came from - it just genetically appeared! Poor thing has had a dreadful time, and is one of the millions of people who are cursed with extra sensitivity to chemicals in our environment.
The first report put out by The World Health Organisation on Second Hand Smoke, found that children brought up in environments where there was SHS, were less allergy prone and less prone to asthma. And there are suggestions nowadays that too much cleanliness is one of the causes of the rise in allergies, or the greater use of chemicals in every product we use - chemical pollution in our homes.
I don't know the answer, but our daughter has got the situation more under control by huge effort on her part. And without drugs.
So back to the smokers who are felled by the habit of smoking. It is no good believing, like I did, that our family had anti-allergy genes, that if no one in your family has developed debilitating illness, or death, from smoking, it will not happen to you. Science does not really know what genes you need to not be affected by demon tobacco, or what makes some succumb, while others don't.
Smoking IS like playing Russian Roulette because we cannot tell if there is a bullet in the chamber or not.
Yet smoking is such a pleasurable activity it is very hard to stop. Smoking can be celebratory, comforting, calming or stimulating. People use smoking for all sorts of life improving reasons. It's a life enhancer to smokers. Giving it up can induce grief for something lost. No nicotine patch or gum can give that back to anyone. I know of people who have fallen into depression, and even become ill, after giving up smoking.
It's like the death of a loved one.
As the ideas of the anti-smoking brigade using abuse against smokers, like name calling, segregation, banning and prohibition, moved into MY life, I decided I would fight it. It seems to me that education is the key to all the world's ills. Education is the key. Education ONLY is the key. Smokers armed with knowledge are empowered to make their own minds up about whether they wished to play Russian Roulette or not. I do not believe that smokers are a mindless bunch of zombies lining up for their nicotine fix. I do not believe that smokers are only poor people, mentally ill, ignorant or uneducated people and so need to be forced to stop the filthy habit that enhances their lives. Or taxed criminally for doing so.
I view Tobacco Control and it's puppet, Public Health, and all their activities as being a truly evil thing. Its propaganda has been offensive to say the least. It has twisted science, bribed science, hidden science, spread untruth and lies and re-sculpted society to it's own ends. It muzzles any discussion on smoking or any protest by smokers. It has made them powerless.
Smokers, except for one or two voices crying in the wilderness, have been completely silenced. Even the media have been got at. It's shameful.
The deepness of Tobacco Control and Public Health's deviousness, has been exposed by the new kid on the block - vaping. How they have manipulated information about vaping and twisted the science has been an eye-opener to many people, who once viewed Tobacco Control and Public Health as truthful and righteous. The scales fall from your eyes as you realise how they have done the same about smoking, with no regard for smokers.
The United Kingdom has to accept the new Tobacco Control Directive constructed by the European Union, but favouring vaping, they might try to mitigate it's impact on vaping. Nothing like that, that I know of is happening in other EU countries. But in the UK, Parliament seems quite content with the Tobacco Control Directive as it stands about smoking and smokers. It really is a disgusting, totalitarian document which is simply accepted as somehow being "good". It's a truly evil thing in reality.
I wish smokers would rebel! I wish smokers were as activist as us vapers are! But how CAN they be? They have been silenced, muzzled, disembowelled!
Vaping, being "new", has an advantage. We are passionate about it. We meet in large groups, we psyche ourselves up for battle with demon Tobacco Control, that dared to include Article 20 into The Tobacco Control Directive, even though vaping is not smoking.
In other countries vaping has been banned - completely - in the USA, vaping might get worse treatment and be more severely restricted than Article 20 will do to us here in the UK.
Smokers have been silenced through no fault of their own, but by design. That hasn't happened to Vapers yet. We are not throwing smokers under the bus - they have already been thrown there. The righteousness that vapers have got, is that vaping is a REALLY GOOD substitute for smoking. And no one can deny that if people vaped rather than smoked, no one has to play Russian Roulette.