Reading Richard Cohen's rant on tobacco today, [The faces behind tobacco's deadly addiction] I have to wonder how long it's been since he smoked his last cigarette. He admits to being a former smoker, but his piece in the Washington Post demonstrates that he is still very much addicted to the drug.
Cohen still misses "......the stuff, the rush, the virtually sexual release from lighting up, the nicotine triggering an onset of dopamine - focusing the mind, twittering the senses, occupying the hands, soothing, comforting, assuring."
I'm a former smoker my self - quit 18 years ago after having smoked for more than 25 - but not once in that 25 years of smoking did I feel a virtual sexual release from lighting a cigarette. Sorry, Richard, but your mind just isn't right.
Cohen goes on to say, "We former smokers are an intolerant lot. We are motivated by regret and rage. We have been suckered and sucker-punched, lied to repeatedly and fooled in our juvenile years into taking a course that we can only partly remedy."
Intolerant? Speak for yourself, Mr Cohen. Why be motivated by "regret and rage"? It's really pointless to be angry with Louis C. Camilleri, Richard Burrows, Daniel M. Delen or the other tobacco industry big-wigs you name in your article.....those guys are not responsible for your having smoked as long as you did. First of all, the guys you rave about are all younger than you and were probably only a glimmer in their father's eye when you took up the nasty habit. You can't even blame the tobacco executives who were around when you started - they're more than likely dead now any way - but the responsibility for your having started in the first place rests firmly on your shoulders. Depending on how old you were when you started, part of the blame might be put upon your parents.
Cohen goes on to suggest that, rather than put the new, more graphic warnings on cigarette packs, the government should require that photos of tobacco executives be used on the warnings instead. How about we track down all the folks holding tobacco company stocks and put their photos on cigarette packs as well?
I agree with Cohen that anyone involved in the selling of cigarettes in perfectly despicable .... I'm thinking that there may be a special corner in Hell reserved for them, but seriously, Mr Cohen, you're still carrying this addiction around in your head and you need to just drop it. You may have been "suckered and sucker-punched, lied to repeatedly" but it was you lying to yourself.