Hello agiain Papabear
I'm back again with another issue. I am a smoker. My mate is not. It is hard for him to understand my decision because we both have lost people near and dear to us to lung cancer. I know that the old "it relieves my stress" thing is a cop out, but it does so for me. I have also quit before and I know I can do it again. Should he respect my decision, or should I quit? I know he is only looking out for me, but this is my choice.
* * *
It is, indeed, your choice to smoke, and it is not illegal to smoke. You don’t provide any reasons why you smoke, other than it relieves stress. There are many ways you can relieve stress other than smoking: exercise, meditation, a vacation/break from the routine, soothing music, certain herbal remedies, trying to change the situation that is causing you stress, and so on.
All of these things are not only not dangerous, but are actually good for you. Yet, you have chosen a way to relieve stress that is a health risk to the point of being lethal, as you well know. Furthermore, allowing yourself to continue to smoke just makes you a tool—a tool of the cigarette industry that unnecessarily puts nicotine into cigarettes in order to get you hooked on something that is bad for you. Also, because of additional taxes placed on cigarettes in order to discourage smoking, you are paying a premium on every pack (the average is $5.50 in the U.S., or $55.00 a carton, and in New York you pay about $12 a pack or $120 a carton; if you are smoking 2 packs a day, that’s costing you about $4,000 a year or more), which makes you even more of a tool. Oh, and let’s not forget something else that’s important: you’re exposing your mate to cigarette smoke, thus endangering his health, too, against his will.
Do you really enjoy being the tool of a murderous corporate scam? Do you enjoy making yourself and your mate sick? Especially when there are alternatives to smoking to reduce your stress?
Yes, you have free will to smoke or not to smoke. It really depends on how much of a derp you are.
Am I being harsh? In this case, you bet. I’m being as rude to you now as you are being to the mate you supposedly love.
Think about it. Then quit.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.