The other day I had a buddy of mine questioning me about how I do so much work to ensure that our family lives a healthy lifestyle, yet I continue to smoke cigarettes. He recently quit smoking, currently uses a vape, and likes to stir up trouble. People always argue with me about whether I really and truly can be completely un-addicted to cigarettes after having smoked on and off since I was twenty-two. Well, to prove my point, I haven’t smoked for five days. To be completely honest here, I did take a puff off of a cigarette that my husband had lit three nights ago, other than that: nada. I have not been compelled to smoke. I have not been overly cranky or nervous. I have not experienced any sort of sickness or nicotine withdrawal. I have also not experienced any feeling of freer breathing, or better sleep, or any sense of better health in general.
I have a love affair with cigarettes. I see great beauty in the way that smoke curls into the air. Some of my favorite pieces of artwork in the world include people who are smoking cigarettes. I see smoking as an ancient ritual, something that roots me to the earth, man’s ability to capture and manipulate fire. Now, I am an intelligent person and I do understand the risks involved with smoking cigarettes. Unless you are a student or a professional in the health industry, you probably know less about the worldwide effects of smoking cigarettes than I do, and yet I smoke. But here’s the thing: on the average day I smoke one to three cigarettes, on some days I don’t smoke any at all, on some occasions where there is a party or an event and I am socializing a lot, I will smoke more. I only smoke American Spirit chemical free organic cigarettes.
If anyone had ever bothered to do any research on how people who only smoke a few cigarettes a day were affected, I would have read them. If anyone had ever done a study on the effects of chemical free cigarettes, vs. arsenic laden Marlboros, I would have gleefully read them…because I have my own theories on what the results might be. No one will however because they don’t stand to make any profit. Here is something else important to consider: I eat an amazing diet. I abstain completely from fast foods, and only eat out once or twice a month. I am on a gluten free, refined sugar free, refined flour free diet. I consume limited amounts of meat and I pay attention to things like whether foods or organic and HMO free or not. I regularly get well over eight hours of sleep a night. I drink at least a gallon of water a day, and take my vitamins as well as drink a vegan protein shake. I also work out thirty minutes to an hour six days a week.
I do not appreciate the barrage of anti-smoking propaganda that is constantly thrown at myself and my children. I believe that the money could be much better spent. I believe that we have personal freedom in this country to make our own life choices. I understand completely that many people in our country are not making intelligent health choices and that smoking two packs of Marlboros a day is really, truly, terrible for them. However, I believe that this is personal business that should be discussed between people and their own health care providers. I have always believed, as with everything, that moderation is the major player in health that we do not stress enough, or even acknowledge in our society. America has become the land of the glutton; it is a plain and simple fact.
When I lived in France, my host father smoked. He smoked four cigarettes every day; two after lunch and two after dinner. He was a retired physician, by the way. I believe that because the French are raised in an environment that stresses moderation rather than abundance, and savors experiences rather than rushing onto the next, they truly are compelled to limit their consumption of everything in a healthy way. This is just a general remark: but here are the mind-boggling facts that I found in researching for this article:
1. In the US eighteen percent of the over eighteen population are smokers, as compared to thirty percent of the French population.
2. Conversely, the country of France is number 191 in the world in cases of heart disease (that is second from the bottom of the statistical list), whereas the US ranks number 135.
3. Here is the big shocker: The country of France ranks number 23 in deaths as a result of lung cancer and the US ranks number 9!!! China even ranks lower than the US and they have an intense air pollution problem.
I am sure that a great deal of people will find this information highly offensive, but I am who I am, and it is merely my opinion, (and a few rather staggering facts). As always, I urge people to do their own research and form their own opinions. Thanks for listening.
Reference for cigarette consumption per capita:
Reference for the percentage of French Smokers:
Reference for heart disease by country:
Reference for the ranking of deaths from lung cancer by country:
Here is where you can find the fabulous nutrition that I love: