Are smokers to blame for the damage they do to their bodies?

While I appreciate that we do not have as much ‘free will’ on a wide range of lifestyle issues (e.g., smoking, obesity) as we would like to think, given their addictive characteristics, marketing pressures and our current lifestyle, this post goes a bit to far in absolving people of any responsibility (while changing habits is difficult – and impossible for some – do not think it is impossible for most). Quote:

It makes no sense to blame the smoker for the behavior or the health consequences, which follow.  They are hooked junkie cigarette zombies.  Without massive efforts to quit or medical care, they will continue to smoke until they die 10 years too soon.   However, we are left with a quandary.  With millions of people world wide suffering and dying in a horror show that rivals the killing fields of both World Wars, someone must be to blame!

I say convict the pushers.   The suppliers of seed, the tillers of fields, the manufacturers, the packagers, the shippers, the marketers, and the sellers.  Any politician, who protects the murderous monopoly.  Any banker who payrolls mass slaughter.  This system of production, which uses an addictive product to reap dollars from death, is criminal.  Can we convict the 16-year-old high school student, as she is chemically mutated into 40-year cash machine?  How about the 34-year-old father, already stressed trying to support his family?  Perhaps accuse the gasping emphysema patient who still cannot quit.  The tobacco industry makes “bad” seem gentle.  They are monsters that commit murder with the immorality of the worst fascists in all history.

A bit strong in terms of language and am curious whether the author would apply the same words to McDonald’s and other fast food chains, or the soft drink makers, as we are ‘programmed’ to like their products (rather than broccoli, as the cliché goes).

Are smokers to blame for the damage they do to their bodies?.


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