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 ills.
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 remove.
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 genocide.
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.
For more information, see: http://medicolegal.tripod.com/tcpg.htm
“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.” (Bold added)
See: “Persons with mental illness are about twice as likely to smoke as other persons.” And, “Persons with a currently active mental disorder consumed 44 per cent of all the cigarettes smoked in this nationally representative sample.”–Karen Lasser, MD, et al, “Smoking and Mental Illness: A Population-Based Prevalence Study,” 284 J Am. Med. Ass’n (#20) 2606-2610 (22/29 Nov 2000). (Also at http://www.unhooked.com/ATOD/Lasserjama00.pdf.)
With regard to schizophrenia, here is a study showing that 79% of them smoke:
Wikipedia also says that 80% of schizophrenics smoke:
Christine Ross is a freelance writer and the former host of “Choose Life,” radio talk show in Southeastern Virginia on AM 940 WKGM.