Thursday, January 28, 2010

Up In Smoke!

I'm borrowing this title from a great Cheech & Chong movie.

. . .And now for something completely different. (Monty Python's Flying Circus)

For all the posts I've written, I've never once touched on this topic. Cigarettes. I've mentioned them. I've used them for example to explain cleansing from a substance that poisons the body. Today I'd like to write a bit about this nasty habit. My business is located in midtown Manhattan, on the east side. Right in the middle of a busy business district. Running errands in that neighborhood has me passing the entrances to many large buildings where "the crew" can be found. By "the crew" I mean the smokers crew. Every building has them. They're like fixtures in front of the buildings. In summer they seem to be enjoying the break from the air conditioner and the humdrum of work. Yet in winter they seem to suffer a great deal to get their fix. Their fingers blue, their lips quivering from the cold, they bring their shaky hands to their lips and pull on that cigarette as though it were the very air needed to sustain their lives. They engage in banter usually about the work load or the "drama de jour." The cigarette has burned down to a vile little nub as they suck one more lung full of mostly additives and very little tobacco. Then the part that pisses me off the most. . . the super-cool, ultra-hip, tragically childish flick of the butt to the curb. Even when depositories are supplied for the butts, the smoker prefers the flick to the cleaner more responsible way of disposal. For the life of me I cannot figure out what drives the smokers of the world to think it is acceptable to just drop their burning refuse to the sidewalks or streets. It's bad enough to have to breathe in that vile stench, let alone have to look at cigarette butts everywhere.

Second-Hand Information!
I read once about the explanation of second hand smoke. When a cigarette is burning and not being dragged on the temperature is lower and therefore does not burn the impurities, hence filling the air with chemicals and lots of carbon-monoxide. A little note about this wonderful gas. First lets turn our attention to the bloodstream. Hemoglobin is the main constituent of the red-blood cell. Its main function is to carry oxygen where it is needed. When hemoglobin and oxygen meet they "link-up" to achieve this task. Hemoglobin then carries carbon-dioxide to be released as waste. This is a basic & vital function which need to happen to keep us alive. Now lets look take the same view only with cigarette smoke entering the bloodstream. A major component of cigarette smoke is carbon-monoxide. When this gas enters the bloodstream, hemoglobin attaches to it and forms a tight, almost unbreakable bond. This is really why smoking contributes to cancer. I'll explain. When the bloodstream is filled with carbon-monoxide, the hemoglobin cannot accommodate, absorb or link-up with oxygen. The body then begins to suffocate. Cancer can be looked upon as an opportunistic disease. When the body is at its weakest, cancer begins to activate. Cancer thrives in a non-oxygenated environment.

Paving The Road With Good Intention & No Oxygen!
The more this process of oxygen deprivation continues, the greater the chances cancer cells will accelerate. Combine smoking a pack a day with drinking coffee with milk (very acidic), eating meats and junk-food (very acidic), drinking alcohol (very acidic)—and somehow people actually are shocked when the doctor tells them "there's a problem." Once again, we choose the veil of ignorance to keep us from facing the truth. If we want to live disease free, we must take our health into our own hands. We must take full responsibility for our health. And we must stop shrouding ourselves with two-way lies. You know the lies I'm referring to, don't you? These lies are the ones we hear from media and so-called health experts and choose to believe that which completely defies all logic. We believe them because they assist the process of justification. We justify why poisoning ourselves is okay and why positive change "just isn't that easy." Blah, blah, blah.

Gallows Pole
(Led Zeppelin has a song of this title) Gallows are structures made of two vertical posts and a horizontal post across the top where people are hanged.

As the smoke fills and rises to the top of gallows or entrances of buildings, large and small, people forget something very important. As the cigarette goes "up in smoke," so does their health. But what about the health of the "other" people? The non-smokers. We get the gift of free cigarettes! Due to the low temperature of the idle cigarette and the exhaled carbon monoxide/carbon dioxide cocktail along with, literally thousands of other highly poisonous chemicals filling the air—the non smoker actually gets a more toxic smoke to inhale. Wow! Thanks folks. That's so kind and generous of you. It's like the guy who walked into the restaurant I was eating a salad at last night. His cologne was so outrageously strong that I gagged. I find smoking and wearing perfume/cologne to share a behavioral component or lack of awareness. I believe this behavior to be self-centered, at the very least. The cigarette smoker often wears a lot of cologne to cover-up the foul stench they emit. The chemical smoke permeates everything. Skin, hair, clothes, etc. So the combination makes for a sickening camouflaged environment. Not too mention, somewhat deadly!

The Times They Are A Changing!
Tobacco was once used as a remedy for the lungs. This is a strange but true fact. Here's another one: One hundred years ago Marijuana, heroin and morphine were sold at drugstores as health aids. Clearly we learned a thing or two about these items. However, I do believe that if people smoked straight tobacco they would be far better off. The chemicals additives far out way the actual tobacco. Lets not just throw caution to the smokey wind. Lets take this habit more seriously. Just because there are a lot of non-believers out there or smokers who don't think cigarettes kill, doesn't mean this information should not be out there. Lots of people doing something does not make it right! If there were ten Hitler's would the horrible acts of the holocaust been accepted as a norm? SMOKING KILLS either directly or indirectly. No one thing is "THE CAUSE" of any illness. But why not remove as many contributing factors as possible and pave our way toward health rather than demise and disease. Just an idea! Even though we are witnessing a decrease in smokers. We need to spread more awareness on this terrible affliction of human kind. One last word on this topic: those of you that want to smoke and hurt yourselves, please consider doing it in your own chambers, where no one else can be harmed. And please don't smoke in your cars with you children in the same car, with the windows rolled up! This is not fair or remotely enjoyable to your children. In-fact you are providing them with the building blocks for their own demise later in life.
Tom DeVito

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Please feel free to comment or ask questions or challenge. All is welcome. All comments will be responded to politely! Be well. Tom DeVito