Smoking: A Crime Punishable By Death

Smoking: A Crime Punishable By Death

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jan 2001, 19:54 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

"It's only cigarette smoking - it's not
like a crime punishable by death"

"So I failed in quitting smoking, big deal. I'm not going to feel guilty or be hard on myself. I mean, it is only cigarette smoking--it is not like a crime punishable by death." I had to refrain from laughing at this statement. It was seriously quoted to me by a clinic participant who failed to abstain from smoking for even two days. She had the same old excuses of new job, family pressures, too many other changes going on.

But to say that cigarette smoking isn't a crime punishable by death--that was news to me. Last year, over 400,000 Americans were killed by cigarettes. While we know that these people were killed by smoking, it is hard to classify these deaths. Were they murders, suicides or accidents?

When examining the influence of the tobacco industry, one is tempted to call all tobacco related deaths murder. The tobacco industry uses manipulative advertising trying to make smoking appear harmless, sexy, sophisticated, and adult. These tactics help manipulate adults and kids into experimenting with this highly addictive substance. The tobacco industry knows that if they can just get people started, they can hook them on cigarettes and milk them for thousands of dollars over the smoker's lifetime.

The tobacco institute always contradicts the research of all credible medical institutions who have unanimously stated that cigarettes are lethal. The tobacco institute tries to make people believe that all these attacks on cigarettes are lies. If the medical profession were going to mislead the public about cigarettes, it would be by minimizing the dangers, not exaggerating them. The medical profession has a vested interest in people continuing to smoke. After all, the more people smoke, the more work there is in treating serious and deadly diseases. But the medical profession recognizes its professional and moral obligation to help people be healthier. On the other hand, the tobacco industry's only goal is to get people to smoke, no matter what the cost.

It could be argued that a smoking death is suicide. While the tobacco industry may dismiss the dangers, any smoker with even average intelligence knows that cigarettes are bad for health but continues to smoke anyway. But I do not believe in classifying most of the smoking deaths as suicidal. Although a smoker knows the risk and still doesn't stop, it is not that he is trying to kill himself. He smokes because he doesn't know how to stop.

A smoking related death is more accidental than suicidal. For while the smoker may die today, his death was in great part due to his first puffs twenty or more years ago. When he started smoking the dangers were unknown. Society made smoking acceptable, if not mandatory in certain groups. Not only did he not know the danger, but also he was unaware of the addictive nature of nicotine. So by the time the dangers were known, he was hooked into what he believed was a permanent way of life. Any smoker can quit, but unfortunately many don't know how.

Whatever the classification--murder, suicide or accident--the end result is the same. You still have a chance, you are alive, and you know how to quit. Take advantage of this knowledge. Don't become a smoking statistic - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

31 Jan 2001, 02:18 #2

Zep, this was great----I needed to hear this...I am printing this out to post on my wall. By the way, did you happen to see the last few commercials of the Superbowl? I was crocheting, so I didn't change the channel when I knew the outcome was inevitable. There were 2 commercials--the first was a seemingly computer generated voice talking about the tobacco industry not being able to advertise anymore and not being able to use cartoon characters to push their product. Then it changes to the source of the voice--an elderly gentleman in a hospital bed with one of those voice-gizmos in his throat to enable him to talk.
The other, was a guy and his wife in many pictures in their early twenties and the husband was talking about her dying of cancer at 46. He said that they didn't know that 23 was middle-aged. They made a great impact on me and I hope they keep these up--these are the kind of commercials we need to see to realize that cigarettes can and definitely do kill and maim and take our loved ones away. Hope teens see these before they start to smoke. I have 2 weeks, 3 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes now and I have not smoked 418 horrible cancer sticks and I stole $62.70 from the tobacco companies

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:20

01 Feb 2001, 23:58 #3

I needed this today, thanks, Zep. ~CC~ 21 days FREE.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Feb 2001, 10:20 #4

Again in answer to why are you doing this. Because you want to live healthier. Also, because you don't want to die earlier. Do you need other reasons? Not really if you really consider the meaning of those two. But even so, other reasons exist, lot of them. Social reasons, economic reasons, psychological reasons, esthetic reasons, just being sick and tired of being a drug addict is a reason. Even without the medical risks these additional reasons are enough to make any rational person think twice. But combine the whole package deal together of smoking and you have all the reasons you will ever need to quit and stay off. To keep this quit the last quit keep remembering you are fighting for your freedom, your health and your life and to win this fight you must never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 May 2001, 21:36 #5

Here is a whole other string that was attached to a duplicate string of this specific post.
From: Christiana (Silver) Sent: 10/12/2000 11:53 AM 1 of 8
I remember sometime in the early 70's going to two particular doctors who didn't minimize my cigarette smoking. One said don't come back until you guit. And the other was jumping up and down saying "You can't smoke, it's no good for you." Of course these are the doctor, i didn't continue to see. Sigh !!!! a great big Sigh!!!! cause after that time, i don't remember getting a lot of flack about it. I have never been one to doctor much, but the most said was, "you should Quit", I never saw the compassion again i had witness from those two doctors. Even today, smoking is minimized, and i am sad to say, it is made light of in the addiction field itself. You will hear phrases like, just work on one adiction at a time. Or this one will kill you, that one won't. I understand the not overwhelming an addict, during any quit, but it seems some new terminology needs to be thought up so as to not underestimate the other. I wish i could make myself clearer. The only thing i can say is yes! lots of people have died, and are seriously sick, because of making light of smoking. Thank you for the post. PS As usual i kow i'm off the beaten track a little. Christiana
From: sahara Sent: 10/12/2000 12:38 PM 2 of 8
I have faced the same thing with Dr's myself, except a "group" I had in Florida before I moved. They were willing to do anything to get me off smokes. Which included free care during my quit. I was so dumb then. I can't help but wonder about my current Dr, Becky. She has to ASK if I have quit everytime I go in. Hummm.. wonder if she is a smoker, otherwise she should be able to smell it right? I might just need to ask next time I'm in there. I know she won't lie to me.

From: Joel_ Sent: 10/13/2000 8:27 AM 3 of 8
Hello Christiana:

I saw that your post here was moved to our homepage today. I was glad to see that. It shows great insight to many doctors and the society's view in general about smoking and addiction. Too many people minimize the importance of quitting. I am glad the people here at Freedom are not among them.

Whether or not your doctors ever asks whether your smoke free or not, just remember, it still has to be important to you. All of us here at Freedom want to know too. We think it is important for you too, but that still is not as significant as you feeling its importance for yourself. The same applies to everyone else here Freedom too.

Everybody reading this, to keep your quit strong and lasting, remember, quitting is important to save your health and extend your life, and to accomplish both goals always remember to never take another puff!

From: Joel_ Sent: 10/13/2000 8:33 AM 4 of 8

As far an an addiction counselor saying this one will kill you that one won't as a rationalization for smoking, they are truly misinformed. Smoking kills more than all other drug addictions, including all alcohol deaths, combined. Zep did a great post a few days ago showing the relative risks of smoking compared to other factors. I am going to bring it up. Print it up and if you ever hear a counselor say it again, pass along the real information.
From: Christiana (Silver) Sent: 10/13/2000 1:53 PM 5 of 8
Thank You Joel, I agree, it's us who have to realize and feel how significant nicotine addiction is. And not miminize it's importance. The information has helped me immensely. coupled with support. I am no longer in the field, when i was i was an associated worker, a resident manager, he he a glorified house mom. Yet because we were hospital affiliated, we ran a great place, and i am proud of my work there, cept for the smoking. Maybe when i get more courage i will tell you what population we worked with. I keep wanting to call my old boss and tell them about this site, not only for the information regarding smoking but i think there is lots of good stuff here for addiction in general. I'm sure you wouldn't mind some adiction counselors and program directors learning this stuff, specially ones that housed pregnant women and their children. Later Christiana
From: Joel_ Sent: 12/11/2000 2:17 PM 6 of 8
I am bringing this one up after only a few days because of something JudyinVA wrote. She was comparing smoking to other addictions in the sense that the only difference was the legality issue. While it is true that smoking won't generally cause legal action, unless on a plane or some other infringment of a similar such restriction, by its nature it causes the smoker to pay a much higher toll than other drugs, it can cost the smoker his or her life. Because of the insideous nature of the addiction and its legal status, there is often nothing drastic enough to cause a real nature of bottoming out that is often experienced by other drugs. The risk of losing ones job, social status, family, friends and literal freedom if ever incarcerated is enough to motivate many drug users to quit before paying the ultimate toll of life. But smokers often don't have these other precursers to motivate a desire to quit. Many are waiting for sufficient motivation and unfortunately, that motivation may come in the form of a diagnosis and sometimes that it too late. In others, the first real sign that something is wrong can be sudden death, and that is really too late. Half of all smokers lose their life to tobacco. All lose their health to some degree and countless other penalties in the process. Whether legal or not, smoking is a crime against oneself. Don't incarcerate yourself any longer, don't give yourself a life sentence back to smoking.To stay healthy and free--never take another puff!

From: Joel_ Sent: 2/9/2001 8:07 AM 7 of 8
This thread touches on another aspect of the denial of treatment string. I do realize it is a sensitve issue and I understand the line that it straddles and seems to cross to some people. But often the physician has the best interest of the patient in mind when taking such a hard line approach. I recognize it because it is not all that dissimilar to the hard line approach we take here at Freedom, and for the same reason, we recognize that success or failure in quitting is a life and death issue. Unless viewed that way a smoker is likely to push his or her luck, smoking till the very last moment, sometimes his or her actual last moment. When refusing treatments, physicians and dentists may not only be trying to minimize their liability, improve their statistics or accomplish any other self-serving goal, they are sometimes just trying to save the person's life in the best way they know how, influencing the smoker to quit and then letting them repair what damage they can.

I think the people who responded to this string months ago recognized this issue. I was at my dentist yesterday who coincidently brought up this same topic. He was saying how periodontists often refuse procedures on smokers, one for the chemical irritation that smoking will do to the surgery and the other reason for the sucking motion on a cigarette causing problems with the sutures needed for procedures. He also brought up some issues specific to women and estrogen and smoking that apparently is playing havoc in some periodontal diseases. I am going to look into the issues when I get a chance.

Also when I was leaving the dental office, one of the office staff stopped me because her daughter had just left her a message on how she was going crazy after two days without smoking. I actually ended up in a 15 or 20 minute phone conversation with the daughter. Ended up missing my lunch but it was worth it if it gets her through that all critical third day mark.

I think it is important for everyone here to recognize that you all have been getting an education and an understanding of the nicotine addiction and its treatment that is helping you to stay nicotine free. But that understanding will not only be beneficial for you but for many around you. Most people don't know this information, even some of your medical professionals. Share with them your success and your knowledge.

You would be amazed at just how many people you may touch. When you are at your doctor or dentist, let them know you quit and how you did it and how you feel now that you quit. Don't assume this is uninteresting information, or something they have heard a thousand times before. It may have been told to them by others but they may not have actually heard it or assimilated the material. The most important message you can get across to them is your understanding of nicotine addiction.

Again, being medical professionals they may understand the danger or smoking but they often don't understand and have never been trained on the issue of the nicotine addiction. Share that information. The most important message you can share with them is your understanding of how you stay smoke free and how all their other patients can accomplish the same goal, if they simply understand the importance of remembering to never take another puff!

From: Fat Tony (BRONZE) Sent: 2/12/2001 3:48 PM 8 of 8
The straw that broke the camels back. Last November I went to the dentist for an annual check up. I had some parialdontal problems that required surgery. But because I smoked she refused to refer me and gave me a lecture about smoking. The weekend before I quit I had some painfull gum problem. That monday morning I began my quit. I beginning to realize that most of those annoying non smokers who tried to get me to quit, for the last 16 years, did it because they cared. I didnt know how much damage I was doing to myself and to my family and friends. thanks Zep

one month 3days 17 hours 43 minutes

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jun 2001, 21:50 #6

Also for Mandie's husband, although everyone can benefit to remember these facts. Again, it should never be minimized by anyone that quitting smoking was a fight for your life. To win that fight always remember to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Oct 2001, 22:42 #7

Image For Isabing and all people here who have ever lost a loved one from smoking. The odds are no one here has escaped this distinction. But you can escape following a similar route yourself as long as you always remember to never take another puff!


John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

28 Jan 2002, 10:10 #8

Bryan wanted you to know
Last edited by John Gold on 07 Jul 2009, 13:47, edited 2 times in total.

John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

14 Feb 2002, 03:18 #9

Is the risk of death exaggerated?
You be the judge!

Cause of Death

How to Prevent These Deaths

1998 Deaths
AIDS condoms, education, research 13,426
Alzheimers medical research 22,725
Auto Accidents seatbelts, airbags, highway safety, training 42,191
Bike Accidents reflectors, lights, helmets and training 142
Breast Cancer mammography and medical research 42,068
Diabetes medical research 64,751
Drowning life jackets, swimming lessons, supervision 4,406
Drug Reactions read the labels, consult your pharmacist 276
Falls awareness, safety harnesses and helmets 12,595
Fires & Burns alarms, extinguishers, education and planning 3,362
Gun Accidents deprive children of access and hunter training 866
Hepatitis vaccine (A&B) and clean needles & testing (C) 4,796
Illegal Drugs motivation, education and support 16,926
Leukemia research, exercise, diet, and no tobacco 20,324
Lightening stay indoors and wear rubber shoes 10
Liver Disease sound diet, max. 2 oz. of alcohol, research 25,192
Meningitis vaccinations 768
Murder police, courts, prisons, awareness 18,272
Pedestrians reflective clothes, sidewalks and crosswalks 5,412
Poisoning secure cleaning fluids, poisons and pills 10,801
Prostrate Cancer testing, exercise, diet, research 32,203
Snake Bites awareness, boots, vaccines 8
Suffocation think, anticipate and alter ventilation 4,585
counseling, mental health and love 30,575
Syphilis abstinence, condoms, education 45
Ulcers avoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine 4,695




Death by Tobacco
Suicide? Murder? Accident? Stupidity?
© WhyQuit.Com 2000

Why Wear Seatbelts?
Today there are almost 50,000,000 smokers in the United States, which is about 20% of our entire population. If 20% of the 42,191 who died in 1998 automobile accidents were smokers, your chances of dying from smoking are 50 times greater than being killed in a car accident. With those kind of odds, why even wear a seatbelt? With 200,000 middle aged smokers dying this year, each an average of 22.5 years early, why not sell the seatbelts and the airbags and use the money for a down payment on a coffin. Seriously! Have you ever been coffin shopping? It's a real eye opener - so many colors and lots of styles. Save your family the hassle! Plan and pay for your own funeral now. Last fall I corresponded with a 46 year old with small cell lung cancer and little time remaining. We had something in common. She mentioned that she always bought her cigarettes by the pack because she always believed that tomorrow she would finally quit. I did the same thing. We rolled the same dice. Her luck ran out. We both quit smoking. Sadly, the word "quit" was defined differently. Look again at the list above. Why not stay off the list altogether and die of natural causes at a ripe old age? Are you committing suicide or after you're gone do you want your family to consider it murder or an accidental death. Take the time to explain it to them now. It might make a needless death seem more understandable once you're gone. Is this simply more scare tactics or are these words truthful? The truth is that each and every day 1,178 Americans get bad news and none got to pick the date. Which cigarette, in which pack, will contain the irritant that gives birth to that first cancerous cell, to the first diseased cell, or that pulls the final trigger of death with the stroke or heart attack that follows. Roll those dice!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John R. Polito
Last edited by John Gold on 07 Jul 2009, 13:46, edited 1 time in total.

John Gold
Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 21:43

14 Feb 2002, 03:22 #10

This picture is of Bryan Lee Curtis and if you have not yet read
Bryan's story he has message that he'd like you to hear!
Last edited by John Gold on 07 Jul 2009, 13:48, edited 1 time in total.