I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
I don't smoke. I have smoked in the past sort of on-again, off-again, mostly because I thought it "looked cool" when I was younger. Frankly, smoking—and the nicotine addiction—just couldn't hold a candle to the other drugs I was doing at the time.
My husband smoked a pipe for many years, but when I was pregnant, he quit. It wasn't easy for him, but he did it for his family.
Neither of us are the militant anti-smoking people you see so often in the recovering smoker crowds.
Personally, if someone wants to smoke, that is their business.
In a closed environment, I don't want to breathe in second-hand smoke. In an outdoor setting, I have no problem with them smoking so long as there are places where: (1) I can get out of the smoke, and (2) They can enjoy the place as much as I can.
Now that we have all of the PC crap out of the way...
There are a few things about the governmental and insurance industry views that puzzle me about smoking cessation...
(A) Why Are Smokers Treated Differently From Other Addicts? Yes, they are addicts. Nicotine is an addictive substance, just like heroine, cocaine, and so on. But we treat smokers differently. The PC thing today comes down to, "Billie-Bob is a crack-head, and it's not his fault, so we should help him." To a point, I agree with that. Billie-Bob needs help, and we should not punish him for his addiction. BUT, Billie-Bob has to work at this, too. I'll help him as long as he helps himself, too. On the other hand, we treat smokers as if their addiction is a crime. Why is that? Especially when you consider how much income the taxes on tobacco products generates. We should thank them.
(B) Why Don't We Make It Easier To Quit Smoking? The various nicotine patches, gums, and so on that used to be prescription are now over-the-counter. Why? No, not to make them easier to get. So the various insurance programs—including Medicare—don't have to pay for them. Most insurance programs either limit or exclude prescription drugs like Chantix and others that are clinically proven to help. I know the answer to this one...
Why Does The Government Support Smoking Instead Of Cessation? In a word, money. Yeah, money is the motivator here. Increased taxes on tobacco are in no way aimed at getting people to quit smoking. They exist as a revenue stream. Look closely at the taxes...they are high enough to generate significant incomes, but low enough that people won't actually stop smoking to avoid paying them. And that means that the government has a vested interest in getting people to KEEP smoking. If folks actually quit, the Goose That Laid The Golden Egg goes belly-up like a $0.25 Wal-Mart goldfish. The scary part here is that if people actually quit smoking, the government will not cut spending to cover the lost revenue...they will just do more deficit spending.
So, how do we help smokers help themselves and quit? That part's easy...
We make drugs readily available to them at little or no cost.
We make support systems available to them at little or no cost.
We stop treating them as second-class citizens.
We get off our high horse and realize that they need our help.
We stop browbeating them about things they already know.
And we get the government spending under control so smokers aren't seen as the answer to the deficit.
In short, we see smoking the same way we see other addictions and give them the same help we do other addicts.
Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Melodee's Books at BookStrand