Why is he quitting? Big Tobacco doesn’t deserve columnist’s money

I have been on a self-improvement kick lately. As some of you may know I recently lost 95 pounds of biscuits-and-gravy fat due to a flu bug about five years ago. That and a continued determination to not die while tying my shoes.

I have been on a self-improvement kick lately. As some of you may know I recently lost 95 pounds of biscuits-and-gravy fat due to a flu bug about five years ago. That and a continued determination to not die while tying my shoes.

So after my weight-loss goals were somewhat in hand (I still have a little to go) I decided to quit smoking.

At first I thought I have let hubris get the best of me. After all, I lost almost 100 pounds of fat. I can quit smoking cigarettes in an hour and a half. Just give me a pack of nicotine gum, point me in the direction of my easy chair and leave me alone. No problem.

Big problem. I forgot that there are millions of people who smoke every day. Often at all hours of the day, just like I used to. And they don’t care that I am trying to quit at all. I have quit smoking in the past, for years at a time, and this time is the most difficult of all.

Why did I choose to quit? Well, I could say it was the fact that I am tired of contributing to Big Tobacco’s bottom line. Or I could say it was the coughing jag every time a chest cold came to town. But actually it has come down to the almighty dollar. I was tired of paying my hard-earned cash to watch it go up into literal smoke. When I first started smoking cigarettes were $2 a pack. Now it is closer to $8. When it gets to $10 dollars a pack the good folks at Philip Morris, or whomever, will gladly pay your deductible for your chemotherapy, or so I have heard.

The general public wants you to quit, too (thank you, general public.) They have succeeded in banning smoking from outdoor venues,restaurants, any enclosed structure and approximately 25 feet from any door that may or may not lead somewhere. Forcing some die-hard smokers (pun fully intended) to actually consider smoking in the street. It’s a punishment non smokers have been trying for years.

Cigarettes relieve anxiety and stress. These are its only positives.

The expense, diseases, health risks and general prejudices that come with smoking are all negatives on a product that the government should have made illegal years ago.

If you are a young person, don’t even pick one up. It isn’t worth the trouble and if you are not so young, do your best to keep quitting until you get it right.

Maybe as a nation we can finally put out of business the one business that has been killing people legally for years.

Big Tobacco.


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He is a former president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. Contact thebrunells@msn.com.
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