Jay Taylor letter: Smoking addiction really not a choice
In response to the editorial about smoking (Forum: "Defenders of smoking not credible," July 2), I couldn't agree more, except maybe on the point that smoking cessation programs are "big business." The program we run at MeritCare is "small busine...
In response to the editorial about smoking (Forum: "Defenders of smoking not credible," July 2), I couldn't agree more, except maybe on the point that smoking cessation programs are "big business." The program we run at MeritCare is "small business" and doesn't turn enough profit to support itself, but it's a necessary part of our community and our health program, so I believe we'll keep it going.
Our legislature has a chance to catch up with other states (and whole countries) that have outlawed smoking in public places, stating it to be a true health hazard. Why North Dakota was so reluctant to complete the job last session I don't know. I'm hopeful next time smoking will be put into its proper and safe perspective and banned from all public workplaces and businesses.
And just one more little point, if I may ... Those who still believe smoking is a "choice" have not seen the struggle that folks go through when they try to quit. Smokers use tobacco because they are addicted to nicotine, one of the most addictive drugs in the world - more so than heroin and more so than cocaine. Eighty-eight percent of the population can and does get addicted to nicotine. The only ones who really have a "choice" are those 12 percent who do not get addicted: They can, quite literally, quit any time they want. So is smoking a true "choice"? I think not.
A colleague of mine wrote in Sunday's paper that she witnessed this addiction by watching someone pick up a partially used cigarette from the sidewalk and smoke it. My wife and I saw the same thing while on a vacation last year. This well-dressed gentleman pulled the remnants of a cigarette out of an ashtray at a hotel where we were staying. Doesn't sound like much of a "choice" to me.