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The Anti-Smoking Campaign

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Old 04-29-2006, 10:19 AM
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The Anti-Smoking Campaign


I'm tired of the anti-smoking campaign in the U.S. It's making me sicker than tobacco ever could.

A current TV ad has a non-smoker claiming he suffered a near-fatal heart attack from breathing second-hand cigarette smoke a single time. This is utter nonsense. Second-hand smoke hasn't been conclusively proved to cause serious health problems, but even if it does, long term exposure would certainly be required since no one ever got cancer from smoking a single cigarette.

State and federal taxes on tobacco have been increased dramatically in recent years and now constitute more than half of the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Tobacco companies have also paid billions to government to settle lawsuits. This extra money was supposed to be used to subsidize research and offset the cost of medical treatment for smokers, but most of it was funneled into government slush funds to be spent for other purposes. This shows what the government really thinks about smoking as a public health menace.

By their own figures, the government claims that smoking kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year -- many times the number of people who die from using all illegal drugs combined. Yet tobacco remains legal while illicit drugs carry harsh prison terms, including marijuana which has not been proven to have ever caused any deaths. This is the worst kind of government hypocrisy -- reminiscent of Capt. Renault shutting down Rick's Cafe in the film "Casablanca" by claiming to be shocked by the presence of gambling while collecting his winnings for the night.

Based on "scientism" and propaganda rather than authentic science, tobacco users are being marginalized into a class of pseudo-criminals who are accused of indulging in anti-social behavior. About the only place left to smoke legally is the home and some landlords refuse to rent to smokers. This is a return to the Puritanical judgment against smoking prevalent in the past (when a woman smoking, for example, was seen as proof of her moral depravity.) The current anti-smoking campaign has a religious fervor seen before when the U.S. became one of two countries in the world to make alcoholic beverages illegal during our 1919-1933 Prohibition.

I'm not advising anyone to smoke. As far as I'm concerned, that's your business, not mine or the government's. I don't doubt that smoking may cause certain health problems, but at least I practice what I preach. After smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes per day for many years, I have cut down to three or four cigarettes per day. Maybe I'll quit totally some day, maybe not. In the meantime I'm using a legal product and I don't appreciate being treated like a criminal or an insane suicide patient.

If the government wants try to force people to quit smoking, make tobacco illegal and deal with the consequences -- a huge black market, a logjam of countless users prosecuted and jailed, and the loss of an enormous tax revenue. The government should put up or shut up about smoking.

PS: Some little-known facts about American history. I'm part Cherokee and my native American ancestors considered tobacco a sacred plant and smoked it in religious ceremonies. Land owners in the original American colonies were required to grow tobacco on part of their property to bolster the economy. In fact, it is widely believed that American could never have become an independent country without its tobacco crop.

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Last edited by starrwriter; 04-29-2006 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:43 AM
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I just gave up smoking about 3 weeks ago to get more money in my pocket and be accepted more places (and with more women )

needless to say, i'm a bit fatter now and I find myself with another barrier to romance

Last edited by TimD; 04-30-2006 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by TimD
I just got up smoking about 3 years ago to get more money in my pocket and be accepted more places (and with more women ) needless to say, i'm a bit fatter now and I find myself with another barrier to romance
Ah, the good old days when a man could enjoy a cigarette in the after-glow of love making! When I was married, my wife didn't smoke, but she didn't care if I did. Believe it or not, she never developed lung cancer, emphysema or heart disease after breathing my second-hand smoke for all those years. Now most women would throw you out of bed for lighting up -- the little brainwashed "are you trying to kill me?" darlings.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:18 AM
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If the government wants try to force people to quit smoking, make tobacco illegal and deal with the consequences -- a huge black market, a logjam of countless users prosecuted and jailed, and the loss of an enormous tax revenue. The government should put up or shut up about smoking.
The problem with this is that tobacco has remained legal for a long time and it just isn't as easy as it sounds to just make it illegal, there is more to it than that. I personally hate smoking, and I wish it was that easy. However, too many people are addicted to cigarettes and such that to make it illegal would cause a tremendous uproar and the jailing of a ton of people, this isn't something the government can allow. Another issue is the matter of choice. This is also the issue with some illegal drugs, the difference between cigarettes and illegal substances is the affect. Cigarettes give you your fix, but they don't impare you, drugs like marijuana get you high, and there have been cases were people killed someone else while they were high or caused themselves intense brain damage.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:19 AM
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I read this article while smoking my morning cigarette and drinking my morning coffee (it's 3 PM). Needless to say, I agree.

As for women, I usually don't smoke around them for the first few times being with them so that they can't write me off so easily. Sometimes they ask why it said I was smoking on my away message, and I say it was weed (which is so much more acceptable for some reason ). I don't really even smoke weed much anymore either.
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Brandonsb
The problem with this is that tobacco has remained legal for a long time and it just isn't as easy as it sounds to just make it illegal, there is more to it than that.
Alcohol had been around a LOT longer than tobacco, but that didn't stop the U.S. Congress from passing the Volstead Act.

Originally Posted by Brandonsb
... to make it illegal would cause a tremendous uproar and the jailing of a ton of people ...
Same thing happened during Prohibition.


Originally Posted by Brandonsb
... the difference between cigarettes and illegal substances is the affect. Cigarettes give you your fix, but they don't impare you ...
Quite the opposite in certain cases. Doctors in mental hospitals discovered that nicotine had a positive calming effect on many psychotic patients that couldn't be duplicated using psychiatric drugs. (If tobacco is outlawed, I suppose I could feign insanity to get checked into a mental hospital if I was really jonesing for a smoke.)

Originally Posted by Brandonsb
drugs like marijuana get you high, and there have been cases were people killed someone else while they were high or caused themselves intense brain damage.
First, it's impossible to smoke a lethal dose of marijuana. You'll pass out long before any toxic level is reached. It's a disproven myth that marijuana causes violent behavior. Drugs like alcohol and meth are associated with violence in certain individuals, but psychiatric disorders are the real underlying cause. As for physical brain damage from marijuana, that has never been proven. Some pot smokers go many tokes over the line of moderation, but that only shows a lack of self-control that was present before they smoked their first joint. A small percentage of people shouldn't use drugs of any kind. A few people can't get out of bed in the morning without causing problems for themselves and others.
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Old 04-29-2006, 02:54 PM
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I don't really have a thing against tobacco. It's your choice if you want to smoke it, fine, whatever. Granted it has many side-effects, and can lead to many life threatening diseases - but once again it's your choice, and that shouldn't be regulated, and really can't be regulated fully anyways. (The same applies to Marijuana)

What I DO have a thing against is the tobacco industry itself. It is a corrupt industry, using lives - American lives, third world countries, whatever - for its own gain. That's what bothers me.

But if you want to smoke, who am I to tell you not to. (although I wouldn't prefer to date a person that smoked... doesn't really taste that great when you kiss them if you don't smoke.)
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Old 04-29-2006, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Perfect_Paradox
IWhat I DO have a thing against is the tobacco industry itself. It is a corrupt industry ...
No argument from me on that point. Tobacco companies have repeatedly lied, bought Congressmen, knowingly added unsafe ingredients to cigarettes (to make them burn uniformly), and generally behaved like racketeers.

Originally Posted by Perfect_Paradox
But if you want to smoke, who am I to tell you not to. (although I wouldn't prefer to date a person that smoked... doesn't really taste that great when you kiss them if you don't smoke.)
And I was so looking forward to our first kiss.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by starrwriter
And I was so looking forward to our first kiss.
ahaha. Ohhhhh, I'm sure you were :-P
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Perfect_Paradox
ahaha. Ohhhhh, I'm sure you were :-P
Maybe if I gargled with mouthwash after smoking, we could "suck face" some day.

Seriously, though, I only smoke a few cigarettes now when I write and drink beer (which always happens simulataneously.) It's a habit I picked up when I was a young newspaper reporter. Back in those days, most reporters were notorious drunks and chain smokers (not to mention spouse-swappers and enthusiastic indulgers in other forms of depravity.) A newsroom was like a Roman bath house without water.

I imagine the situation is quite different today. Reporters have college degrees (frowned on in my day) and probably eat health food and avoid alcohol, cigarettes and profligacy. Which means they would be no fun at all to an old hedonist like me.
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Old 05-03-2006, 02:31 PM
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I'm weird, I smoke like once every two weeks.

Now, if there wasn't gum in the world I would be a smoking fiend most likely.
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Old 05-03-2006, 03:17 PM
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I was a sickly child. i was highly allergic to smoke. My eyes would swell if I was anywhere near smoke. My mom had a big No Smoking sign on our front door. When I graduated from high school, I worked offshore, and was in a small 10 by 16 mudloggin unit, with three heavy smokers. It did not take long for my body to finally get over these allergies.

starrwriter, I like your article. Individual rights are being taken away. Waffle House has always been a safe haven for smokers. Even they have to have a non-smoking section.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:08 PM
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I once wrote a paper for an English class about the myth of second hand smoke. I was shocked to see all the lies we are told to make second hand smoke such an evil. I was also suprised to learn that at the time of my paper there was no neutral study about second hand smoke.
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Old 05-04-2006, 05:16 AM
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another week and no ciggies. some days i needs the gum early in the day, some days i get right to teatime before the artificial nicotine method needs using. breathing is easier, i don't smell of smoke so can get closer to people, but i'm also having to change my diet as things don't taste the same anymore
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Old 05-04-2006, 09:53 AM
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GENEVA (Reuters) - Half the world's population burns wood, coal, dung and other solid fuels to cook food and heat their homes, exposing them to dangerous smoke that kills 1.5 million people a year, the U.N. health agency said on Thursday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said women and children in Africa and Asia were especially vulnerable to indoor air pollution from open fires and poorly ventilated stoves.

"Day in day out, and for hours at a time, women and their small children breathe in amounts of smoke equivalent to consuming two packs of cigarettes per day," the WHO said.

Yet in a report entitled "Fuel For Life: Household Energy and Health," the Geneva-based agency said it could cost as little as $6 per family to install better-insulated and fuel efficient stoves in developing countries.


A different kind of smoke apparently is killing nearly as many people as tobacco. To prevent this would cost the amount of taxes on a couple packs of cigarettes in the U.S., but the affected people in other countries shouldn't hold their breath until it happens.
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:43 AM
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From the Honolulu Star-Bulletin:

For the past 14 years, Cindy Lauronal has sat on a small wall just outside Macy's at Pearlridge Center three times a day and taken a smoke break.

But Lauronal could be forced to find another spot to light up if a bill prohibiting people from smoking within 20 feet of public entrances is signed by the governor.

"Once you're outdoors, I don't feel they should have a right to tell us where to smoke if it's open air," she said yesterday as she sat in her usual spot.

"We already got banned from smoking indoors. Once we're outdoors, it's free air," Lauronal said.

The state Legislature approved a bill this week to reduce second-hand smoke exposure, banning smoking in enclosed and partially enclosed public places and workplaces, including bars, restaurants and shopping malls.

The measure includes a provision that prohibits smoking within 20 feet of building entrances and exits, open windows and ventilation intakes. Smoking will also be banned from hotel lobbies and outdoor lanais as well as airport terminals.

Some smokers at Pearlridge Center and Ala Moana Center had strong reactions to the bill.

"I'm totally against it," said Lauronal, of Pearl City, who smokes a pack a day and works as a customer service representative for Macy's. "It's totally taking away my freedom."
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:23 AM
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Well what can I say. I know loads of smokers. They all want to quit, but many can't. Why? Because it's an addictive drug. What would it be like if everyone who smoked cigarettes was also an alcoholic or a crack head? Bad.
So yeah they're using propaganda to encourage a nation to be more healthy, while this thread is near-proof that more factual infomation is freely available to anyone who wishes to look. I am againced the use of propaganda in war or politics or any controversial social policy (such as abortion).
Smoking on the other hand is a drug that is known to adversely affect your body in ways that far outweigh and outlast the benifits. It it also highly addictive. So I see no reason not to give people every reason to give it up. After all, it's doing these people a favor - dispite how much their addiction makes them cling on and complain.
Making it illegal isn't a good idea. That is indeed taking away people's freedom. Hmmmmmmm but wait - why is marijuana illegal?

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Old 05-09-2006, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike MHz
I know loads of smokers. They all want to quit, but many can't ...
A lot of smokers want their cake and eat it, too. They say they want to quit, even "try," but what they really want are the health benefits without actually having to quit. Human nature is perverse. There are effective ways to quit smoking if you really want to.

Originally Posted by Mike MHz
What would it be like if everyone who smoked cigarettes was also an alcoholic or a crack head?
Apples and oranges. Tobacco doesn't cause violence or anti-social behavior like crack or (in some cases) alcohol.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:05 PM
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Mostly well-reasoned, but like most smokers on this subject, avoids a principal argument - why should I have to inhale the by-products of your addiction?

Here in the UK, a restaurant / bar ban comes in nest year, and it can't come in soon enough. If I go for a drink, I should have the right to enjoy that without adverse affects to me, my health or wellbeing.

Imagine you're in a bar, and someone is shouting and swearing thirty feet away. No real problems. But imagine that person is sitting next to you. Would you like it? Would you ask them to stop? Would you expect the bar owner to take action? Producing foul-smelling, potentially harmful smoke in my vicinity is antisocial, and spoils my enjoyment. The sooner it's banned in all public places (including the covered entrances to hospitals, for God's sake), the better.

I've nothing against anyone smoking. That's a personal decision. Just don't do it near enough so it affects me.
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:28 PM
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WEED AND HEED:

(WASHINGTON POST) -- The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana even regularly and heavily does not lead to lung cancer.

The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist whose 30 years of research has been widely used by federal health and drug enforcement officials as scientific evidence that marijuana is dangerous.

"We hypthesized there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," Dr. Tashkin said. "What we found instead was no association at all and even a suggestion of some protective effect."

He said the active ingredient of marijuana, THC, may kill aging lung cells and prevent them from becoming cancerous.

Tashkin's study involved 1,200 people who had lung, neck or head cancer and an additional 1,040 people without cancer who were matched by age, sex and residential location.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:25 AM
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the anti smoking campaign makes me sick. Last week in Soc. we had a unit on alcohol and tobacco, where the teacher just bashed those two drugs the whole time. I was particularly disheartened by her comment: "My mom useto smoke and after dinner she would always have a cigarette and I felt like puking, I'd be like 'Mom I'm eating here!'" I felt like puking by all the ignorance. and nowadays even bars are outlawing smoking, I don't know about you but I think alcohol and cigs go hand in hand.

christs sake you're gonna have to leave the planet to have a cigarette by 2010. (a jest)
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:45 AM
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I like a cigarette after sex. it seems kinda creepy to want to share M and m's. I have smoked and not smoked and smoked and not smoked. I wonder how many of those people comlaining about second hand smoke buy into the apothocary of drugs that are legal and numb your senses like Lexapro.I took Lexapro for a little while and it had felt like I had a reefer haning out my mouth all day. if you don't kill off your lungs, you kill your liver, Pick your poison, we werent built to live forever guys.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:58 PM
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I absolutely agree with you on all points, Starrwriter. I view "second hand smoke" as a myth made up by anti-smoking zealots because they weren't getting anywhere making people do things that were hurting no one but themselves. I'm an ex-smoker who supports smoker's rights. The government does not have the right to make it illegal for a bar, restaraunt, or any other private business to allow legal activities - like smoking.

I have an occasional cigarette if I have been drinking (have had about three in the past two years since quitting). I also have an occasional cigar (again, about three or four in the past two years).

I joined a private club because it is the only place left in our county where someone can sit at a bar, have a drink, and smoke a cigarette or cigar. Even if I'm not sitting there smoking, I want it at a bar and I will go out of my way to find one.

The other scary thing about agreeing with you, Starrwriter, is that I am part Cherokee also.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gary_wagner View Post
The other scary thing about agreeing with you, Starrwriter, is that I am part Cherokee also.
Aha! That explains everything. Cherokees have been fighting with each other ever since the U.S. Army force-marched them from the southeast part of the country to the Oklahoma Territory along the "Trail of Tears" in the 1840s.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ENILORAC View Post
I wonder how many of those people comlaining about second hand smoke buy into the apothocary of drugs that are legal ... if you don't kill off your lungs, you kill your liver ...
You're right about that. Nearly every prescription drug has a warning that, translated truthfully, means it causes liver damage and shaves years off of your lifespan.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:06 PM
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It's funny, when I used to smoke (it's been almost two months now), I never did think it was right to subject nonsmokers to my smoke. I just thought it was good manners, because smoke smells nasty and clings to your hair and clothes. However, I got sick of the moral judgments people passed on me because I smoked. They acted like I was one cigarette away from total immorality and next would be out working the streetcorner. It's funny that it's especially bad here in the south (the judgment--it's all the Baptists, don't get me started on that), because the south is the heart and soul (or is that lungs?) of tobacco.

I do agree that it's not very nice to kiss a smoker. I never liked it, even when I smoked myself.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:44 PM
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i think smoking being banned from pubs and restaurants is a good thing and that prolonged exposure throgh passive smoking is bound to have an effect.I've worked in pubs for years and it makes a huge difference in the working environment,smoking been banned from pubs in Ireland for about three years its definately had a negative effect on business and driven a lot of people from the pubs more so the older lads who enjoy a pint and a smoke and aren't built for smoking in the rainwhich is sad but most places now have smoking areas (beer gardens with canopies) and far from from being marginalized are great places to meet people you'll even see non smokers in there,with all that said when we clear the house first thing i do is light up. I understand what you're saying though ive been to the states a few times and i felt i was doing something wrong smoking,i think attitudes are less harsh here,
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:14 PM
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Starrwriter,

I am an ex-smoker -- but not a "righteous" one. In fact, after a year-and-a-half of not smoking, I still really, really miss them. I was forced to quit smoking because of my health -- lung disease -- and now I have to deal with the ten pounds that I put on after I quit. Sometimes, you can't win for losing.

I tell you, though, I got sick and tired of being treated like a pariah because I smoked. The only people who were nice to me were the Indian (from India) family who ran the cigarette store.

It pissed me off that I was being charged a small fortune just for a pack of smokes. When I started smoking, cigarettes were 24 cents a pack. Awhile after that, I remember paying $3.00 a carton. But then at Burger King hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes were 15 cents, too.

Ah, the bad old days. . .

I think that the tobacco companies are culpable, targeting to teens (I was 13 when I started smoking) and putting in additives to make cigarettes even more addicting.

I don't think that smoking should be a public problem either.

Just my thoughts.

Good article.

Julie
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