A smoke & a few mirrors!


Never believe a man who promises while wielding a smoke!


The latest factsheet by WHO on Tobacco consumption states the following –

  1. Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  2. Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year.
  3. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
  4. Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030.
  5. Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/   (Updated in May, 2015)

But am I the smartest one to look up these facts on WHO website and reproduce them here? Not at all! I’m sure my smoker ‘friends’ would be knowing all of that in greater detail. To be honest, all I have tried in the name of smoking has been a hollow, rolled paper while I was still in primary. So, I have no idea what a cigarette feels like. But I am sure there must be something really wonderful and liberating about it that some people can be safely termed as ‘Cigarette Fundamentalists’ today.

‘Tobacco causes cancer’?  – Are you so stupid?

‘Cigarette smoking is injurious to health’? – Dude look at my abs!

‘Sir, you shouldn’t be smoking in public, it affects the non-smokers’ – What? I am the one smoking here!

‘Sir, you shouldn’t be throwing the butt there, there is a dustbin available’ – Brother, there’s a housekeeping guy who will clean it up, don’t bother!
I have realized now that my smoker friends have been on the right side of the fence all this while. I mean none of them has died so far. So, the world must be a smarter place than I understand it to be. I have many friends who smoke. Trust me, they are good human beings. They don’t hurt people, they don’t harm anyone, and they don’t want you to smoke passively either.  Alas, you happen to be their friend, what are you friend for if you can’t put up with this one habit of theirs? Come on, anything for a friend! Everyone has to die someday, so why not for a ‘smoking’ friend.  Additionally, you might die before your friend will. Wouldn’t that be the best gift for your friend?

“There is no greater sacrifice than smoking without a filter for a friend who has got a filter!”

WHO also tells us that at least 40% of children have one smoking parent. I was really disappointed at this. I sincerely believe having a smoking parent is our birthright and we must work towards spreading this awareness. The other 60% is equally entitled to have smoking parents and why one, we must ensure that gender equality is upheld and the world becomes a Smoker’s paradise!

“No country for Smokers!”

The Indian law prohibits smoking at the following places –

Auditoriums, cinemas, hospitals, public transport (aircraft, buses, trains, metros, monorails, taxis) and their related facilities (airports, bus stands/stations, railway stations), restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, amusement centres, offices (government and private), libraries, courts, post offices, markets, shopping malls, canteens, refreshment rooms, banquet halls, discothèques, coffee houses, educational institutions and parks.

Phew! I am surprised how no human rights agency has raised this issue yet! Isn’t this a violation of free expression? My friends have told me how smoking gives them a cathartic feeling. One must be allowed to express this feeling wherever he/she feels like. After all, we are living in a democratic country.

I don’t smoke and I know how dumb it is to be standing between all my erudite friends while they create castles of smoke and life in the air. At the same time, somewhere I am also proud of myself, because smoking passively is the real macho deal! Filters are so passé. If my friends are listening, a death this way must bring me a posthumous Oscar, for having acted all my life as your friend while I could not prod you to give up smoking. I’ve let you die slowly all smiling, and all charged up about our reunion parties, birthday parties, wedding parties, employment parties, break-up parties and ‘I-Will-Smoke-Only-2-Today’ parties, talking about all the random stuffs about our lives pretending you were not smoking and I was not objecting. I have helped you plan your life knowing that those plans might just remain plans after all. You bet it takes a hell lot of guts to do that. That piece of acting deserves an Oscar in a supporting role at least.

And when I die while inhaling what you exhale, and if you live to see that day, do mention without fail in my eulogy- “Never believe a man who promises while wielding a smoke! He shall not last enough!” while you light up another pipe!

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