"Tobacco could not be sold without government
support. Some people make the point that tobacco remains legal so that
the government can tax it and commit genocide at the same time."
by Christine Ross
We all know tobacco can cause lung cancer and heart
disease. And we know the mass media suppressed this knowledge for many
years due to tobacco industry pressure.
But did you know that smoking tobacco can make you
crazy? That's the power of mass media. For years, medical literature has
documented that smoking tobacco can cause brain damage. And that same brain
damage can lead to insanity, crime, alcoholism, promiscuity, and a host of other
When was the last time you heard that on the
evening news? Or that medical research now considers smoking itself to be a form
of mental illness?
Visit a mental institution or penitentiary, and you
will find the inmates smoke like chimneys. Indeed, the mentally ill smoke 44% of
all cigarettes smoked in the USA. A recent Australian study demonstrated that
80% of schizophrenics smoke. (See Notes Below)
While not all smokers are criminals, it is a fact
that most criminals are smokers. It used to be common knowledge that smoking
damaged character. Smoking damages character by causing brain damage in
the brain's areas of self-control and morality. For that reason, famed
inventor of the light bulb Thomas Edison and auto manufacturer Henry
Ford both refused to hire smokers.
Likewise, while not all smokers are alcoholics, it
is a fact that most alcoholics are either smokers or former smokers. The fact
that tobacco is a gateway drug leading to other drugs like alcohol has been
recognized by the medical community for centuries. Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence in the USA, noted the relation of
smoking to alcoholism in his writings 200 years ago.
The power of the mass media to control minds and
shape public opinion has altered public perception on smoking. Obviously,
inhaling smoke is bad for your health. Your lungs are designed to inhale fresh
clean air, not smoke.
Smoking leaves tar over everything it touches -
clothing, drapes, carpets, etc. The tar is difficult if not impossible to
Yet movies used to depict a filthy, disgusting
habit like smoking as something glamorous and "cool." And countless men and
women smoked themselves to death as a result.
There has been much talk in the USA of health care
"reform." Yet nowhere does there seem to be any acknowledgment that people have
a right to buy products that will not harm them. Or that the sale and
promotion ot these products, such as tobacco, is a kind of
The right to breathe clean, fresh air has been recognized since
earliest times. No one seems to mention that in these silly and useless
debates on "smokers rights" by the conservative movement.
It is as if the madness of smokers has migrated into the minds of their
"defenders." Rather than advocating the banning of the manufacture and sale of
tobacco, conservatives erroneously state that smokers have the right to poison
the air that we all depend on to survive.
There is no right to pollute the air. Rather, the
law has recognized that we need clean, fresh air to survive.
Nevertheless, truth cannot be hidden forever. Like
a plant growing through concrete, the truth that tobacco causes much more harm
than good is slowly entering public consciousness.
Many smokers erroneously believe that they can calm
their nerves and solve their personal problems by smoking. Obviously, no one can
find peace of mind by poisoning themselves to death.
The growing public awareness of tobacco's many
dangers cannot be suppressed by the media forever. As state after state bans
public smoking, eventually they will stop tobacco madness and ban the
manufacture and sale of tobacco as a dangerous poison. Maybe then we can
all breathe easier.
"Smoking prevalence is among the highest for people with mental illness -
approximately 75 % of individuals with serious mental illness are tobacco
dependent compared to 22% of the general population.
Individuals with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder
consume about 44% of all cigarettes in the United States.
People with mental illness also experience higher rates of disease and premature
death than the general population and are dying prematurely - 25 years earlier
than the general population - largely from tobacco caused diseases."
With regard to schizophrenia, here is a study
showing that 79% of them smoke:
Wikipedia also says that 80% of schizophrenics
--Christine Ross is a freelance writer and the former host of "Choose Life,"
radio talk show in Southeastern Virginia on AM 940 WKGM.