Tobacco – the Deadly Seductress

 
For thy sake, tobacco, I would do anything but die.
Strange! Isnt it? Unlike the horrendous, frightening pictures on cigarette packets here’s a beautiful mouth with some exquisite & harmless looking smoke coming out of it. Somewhat of an invitation, to experience the apparently smooth, soft, tranquilizing effects that tobacco can have on your minds. Well that’s because this is exactly what tobacco appears to be like at first. It lures you in with different sorts of promises; maybe one to look cool or even rugged, for women it could be glamorous; one to be accepted into an uber kind of society or group of people; and one simply to indulge. Indulge in the numbness of the moment that it gives you. Indulge in a state of mind where you momentarily forget about the chaos, the noise, the pressures, the expectations, the sorrows, the deadlines, the burdens, The Endless Charade that day to day life today really is! Yes, it lets you indulge. This indulgence then transforms over time takes the shape of a habit and then eventually a need. A sordid, treacherous compulsion.
If you look at the history of tobacco you would see it first came to be known as containing medicinal properties. It’s first use was documented in the interiors of Cuba, where people smoked tobacco leaves to get rid of fatigue. Due to this unique quality of tobacco it soon became popular in America, Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire as not only a means of relaxation but also as a medical drug. Please note this was the time between the early 1500s to 1700s when no one was even remotely aware of the long term ill effects of tobacco. Soon tobacco spread around the world with people coming up with new and different ways of consuming it: smoking in pipes, cigars, blunts, cigarettes (bidis, kreteks, roll-your-owns), hookahs; chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco (placed between the lower or upper lip and gums), tobacco paste (applied to and soaked by the skin). By the early 1900s tobacco was a way of life for many across the world. The West, The Europeans, The English, even less modernized areas like Afghanistan all used it, males as well as females. It was only in the Mid-1900s that medical science diagnosed the ruination tobacco could cause to human body. But as apparent, it was too late. Following the new developments of medical science reforms took place, governments acted, people protested, some withdrew and some compelled others to stop using tobacco. It became more difficult and expensive to buy tobacco, to indulge. But as is with any other unscrupulous trade, tobacco trade thrived despite new legislations by various governments. Where tobacco was banned people smuggled it in, where it was expensive counterfeits were made. All sorts of illicit activities took place and tobacco thrived. The deadly seductress had done its job. It had lured its victims in, and had them addicted to itself. It became a compulsion, a sort of disease being passed down from one generation to another. Spreading all around.
With a toll of 6 million people in a year, today Tobacco use is the worlds leading cause of preventable deaths. Meaning by using tobacco we are inviting our own deaths, smoking / chewing to it every day. On average smokers lose upto 15 years of their lives. But tobacco doesn’t just make you die early it makes your body decay, taking away a piece of you each time you smoke a cigarette or chew on some leaves. It’s not a painless sliding away into oblivion, it is indeed a tortured, painful depreciation of your existence. So asks yourselves this, do you really want this? Are you so easily manipulated by the idea of momentary relief in exchange of a lifetime of hell?  Can you condemn not just yourself but also your future generations to an eternity of rotting? Are you that weak? If not then stop, please stop. Because unless you give it up companies will keep producing it and will keep on making a living out of your deaths! Governments will only look at it as a source of income. They wont ban it for theirs money to be made. All they will do is put up pictures and run ads but not ban it. They don’t take responsibility, you will have to.
They won’t stop till you do.-Sakshi Talwar Arora
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