Who Invented Smoking?
My apologies to any smokers who are about to read this blog post. If you enjoy your habit or are easily insulted, do not continue reading. My intention is not to make smokers feel bad, but to consider the question why do so many people smoke?
Whoever invented smoking must have been either bored or strange. Think of all the things that guy (or gal) had to light on fire, stick in his mouth, and suck on before he discovered tobacco. How many different things do you think people tried smoking over the years? I am sure someone dried out cabbage or a little broccoli, or even beetle dung, rolled it up in paper, or stuffed it into a pipe, and gave it a puff to see what would happen.
Finally tobacco and some other smokable materials were found and people began spreadimg the word. “Hey Buddy! Stick this in your mouth, light it on fire, and inhale…….Cool right?”
I am not sure that is how it went but I would love to know.
Over the years people have smoked and smoked, and we have studied and studied, and learned all about it. We learned that there is very little to be gained from smoking, and a lot to lose. It may be a worse idea now, than it was in the beginning when humans were experimenting with all kinds of materials. Think about the following choice presented to a person considering becoming a smoker:
You can start smoking and look forward to bad breath, yellow teeth, premature and excessive wrinkles, 50% increase in your chance of erectile dysfunction, greater risk of cataracts and ulcers, reduced ability to taste food, yellow fingernails, a deep manly voice (for men and women), a cough that will never go away, fewer days to live, a lower quality of life during those fewer years, a higher risk of cancer, a frustrating battle if you ever decide to quit, a more difficult time climbing mountains or playing sports, but you might fit in a little better with a particular group of friends.
None of the above.
Given that choice which would you choose?
Isn’t it amazing how many people still choose Option A? It calls into question the rationality of human beings all together. Is it just conformity or is there another social force at work? Is it rebellion? Since most people pick up smoking in their teens, is it just their way of rebelling against a world that does not accept them as adults? Wouldn’t that be equally irrational? Imagine the mind of a young teen thinking, “OK , since you tell me I can’t or I shouldn’t smoke, I ‘ll show you! I’ll start killing myself slowly to get back at you!” How crazy is that?
Maybe I am missing something. Maybe there is more to it than I imagine. Feel free to enlighten me!