I call it quits!


Arshid Malik
Last Sunday, the 31st of May, was observed as the World No Tobacco Day all over the world, while I was struggling to keep my count under 20. I learnt a lot about the health hazard that tobacco is later that night as newspapers, television news channels and the evanescent radio sprawled with anti-tobacco campaigns and documentaries and kept on, ahem! puffing. I understand that I am a hard-headed person who does not mind being fooled into darker territories and intrinsically aligns ahead with alienating aphorisms all the time, an incoherent example being cigarette smoke; though you can take my word over one thing, it is not at all helping my heart, not to mention my lungs. Anyways let me put it this way; I am a struggling trapeze artist (which by all standards I am not) trying my best to make it is a Sioux chef, which exactly means that I am confused. Yes, the thing is that I want to quit smoking but am not able to do it – eh! I am not able to tell my heart that I am calling it quits on that wonderful, ever-pleasing and ever-available companion of mine, the cigarette. I am enveloped in misery as I contemplate life without my honey dewy rolled up, bundle of joy and there is little I want to do to really get over with. So I sit down to write the “saddest lines” that I believe are reason(s) enough for any smoker or tobacco chewer to finally shut the door on it. I am willing to share these lines with you, so that you my friends might build up courage enough to just give it up, for at the end of the miserable day, many a lives are at stake.

Well, here it goes:
Sugar approximates to roughly 20% of a cigarette, and many diabetics are unaware of this secret sugar intake. Also, the effect of burning sugar is unknown. …So diabetics, I reason, have reason enough to shove the final in.
3,000 non-smoking adults die of diseases caused by exposure to second hand smoke every year. …Picture the faces of all your loved ones you could risk losing, besides your own self.
According to the WHO Tobacco and poverty are inextricably linked. Many studies have shown that in the poorest households in some low-income countries as much as 10% of total household expenditure is on tobacco (and therefore) less money to spend on basic items such as food, education and health care. …There, no wonder the poor are becoming poorer.
Smoking, surprisingly, contributes to world hunger as the tobacco industry diverts huge amounts of land from producing food to producing tobacco. …Wish we could use tobacco as a dietary supplement; half our troubles would be done away with.
A lot of wood is needed to cure tobacco leaves, so we have faster disappearing forest cover. Besides, child labour is often needed in tobacco farms. …All ye thoughtful citizens of the world arise.
Wait till you read this. The WHO notes the impact of fires caused by smoking (10% of all fire deaths, killing 300,000 people, costing $27 billion). …I have managed to bludgeon holes in five mattresses and partially burn three quilts.
The WHO also notes that 1987 saw the world’s worst forest fire caused by cigarettes happened in China in 1987, killing 300 people, making 5,000 homeless, and destroying 1.3 million hectares of land. …Who is worried about mattresses and quilts?
They say that in addition to the high public health costs of treating tobacco-caused diseases, tobacco kills people at the height of their productivity, depriving families of breadwinners and nations of a healthy workforce. Tobacco users are also less productive while they are alive due to increased sickness. …How they demonize you, my poor angel!!!
I have decided to call it quits after burning all the quilts. What are you waiting for?

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