Fumer Peut Vous Tuer / by D.M. Jerman

People treat smoking like this cool-kids in-thing lie everyone knows and passes around- a rumor bathed in subterfuge. As a rule, I don't like things like that. I don't like lies or the perpetuation of them, however necessary they sometimes need be.
Addiction is really fucking boring in my opinion, but everyone struggles with it somehow or thru another, and I respect that… but it stinks. Literally. Smoking seems to be an act, as the masses treat it, only perpetuated for the sake of itself and with no higher aim in mind. As if even the possible 'higher aims'- increased concentration and low-level camaraderie with other smokers- could be worth it in the end.

By these standards of abuse, I do not consider myself to be a 'smoker'. I'm a 'chipper'. I chip away.
It will take me months to finish a pack, and I never abandoned that phase where Clove cigarettes stopped being the most satisfying thing I could be bothered with craving. It's even better that 'my brand' isn't available in the States any more. That keeps them foreign and indulgent and at (mostly) further than arms length.

The abuse of tobacco has lead to some heinous health issues we all are aware of and therefore I won't go into here. But only to note that even light use may lead to sickness. As I write this I'm working thru just a touch of malaise for reasons listed in the last paragraph.

I have a note on my wall which I reference from time to time, which doesn't make me feel better, so much as it reminds me of the standards to which I might hold myself inside the idea that:
"If We're Going To Do This Stupid Thing, There Had Best Be Some Fucking Rules"
- Only Outside
- Have some quiet time. Stop and think and observe.
- No bumming.
- Put off the initial desire.
- Only consume the nice stuff.
- Brush your teeth and drink water afterward.
- Never more than 2 a day.
(There's more to the list that I haven't thought of right now, and maybe more will be added.)

And it is this (hopefully) 'judicious use of tobacco that can provide a real punch', to butcher a phrase coined by writer Thom Jones. 

I know how insidious this habit can be, and not only at the start. My brother still struggles with it and used to smoke nearly a pack a day. My dad was told by his doctor "Some people can smoke. You. You can't smoke."
My mom started when she was 15 in the girls bathroom at private school, presumably because most or all of her friends were doing it. All of my grandparents smoked at one point. Two died from complications from lung cancer. An aunt passed away from leukemia that was no doubt exacerbated by her heavy habit.

Right now I'm having a tough time because 2 of my close friends are 'pouch' a day smokers. They roll their own and it is harsh tobacco that has left my throat sore and gives me a cough that leads to a gnarly chest cold. I start to feel a little claustrophobic and like I can't breathe after hanging with them awhile. I don't want to stop seeing them, even as they exchange cigarettes for breakfast.
I just wish they'd smoke a little less. For their health and mine.

But what do you do when you are your own problem? 
What do you tell someone, someone close, who thinks that consuming poison is "A very 'adult' thing to do."?