Hating the American Tobacco Industry
I hate the American Tobacco Industry! I rarely have the word hate crop up in my vocabulary. It’s a powerful word, but in this case the use of the word isn’t strong enough. Here we have an industry that blatantly lies, sells a drug that kills, and smiles all the way to the bank. What I don’t understand is that the education about the vile, unhealthy aspects of smoking has been going on in our country for over forty years. Yet, we have people who are either very ignorant or follow the old adage mostly upheld by the younger population, “it won’t happen to me.”
My mother just passed away on Saturday night. The cause was lung cancer, which metastasized in her brain, and it was directly attributable to years of smoking cigarettes. Even though she quit over twenty-five years ago, the seeds of the cancer lay dormant in the tissue of her lungs. She was diagnosed over a year ago.
My mom was 91. Yes, she lived a good long life and it was time to go. But there’s where I have the rub. It was how she went. Because of the cancer from cigarettes, she died in unbearable, excruciating pain. Her final week was horrible for the family. She did not deserve to die with that kind of pain. No one does. I totally blame the American Tobacco industry for the way she died.
Currently, I work with several smokers, and every time I see them I just want to shake them, rip the cigarette from their yellow stained fingers, and tell them to wake up. I even confronted one worker and he said he doesn’t care about dying. Fine. Just wait until he gets cancer or more likely COPD. From what I know first hand from seeing my mother and talking with doctor friends, the pain is unbelievable…nothing like we’ve ever endured. No one should have their final days be so agonizing. Our lungs were never meant to inhale smoke, and when they don’t work any more because of years of tar coating the hairs, there’s nothing worse than not being able to get a breath.
As I said, I hate the American Tobacco Industry... a lot! It is sad that after all the lawsuits, and the millions upon millions of dollars paid out to states, the industry is alive and well...and people blithely shell out hard earned money to a heartless, murderous industry. I wonder if there will every be a time in the future when people don’t smoke. Sadly, I’m not very optimistic. However, just maybe if we all start bugging or, better yet, encouraging our friends or family members to stop, we can put an end to this insanity and killing. What do you think?