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Smoker's Gluttony This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Smoking is a curious pastime. Whether a cigar, or a cigarette, smoking dried leaf has been enjoyed since its discovery. The applications of this recreation are innumerable: blow rings, look tough, relax, savor the robust taste, pass the time, or just satisfy an oral fixation. I will in no way condemn the act of smoking a leaf from a plant. It is practically natural and is certainly not immoral by any stretch of the pious imagination. Anyone who makes this charge is opposed for all wrong reasons. Smoking isn't wrong, it doesn't hurt other people, under most conditions. Don't reject a cigarette because your parents say it's "bad." Try it, chances are that after you're finished hacking and searching for a cold beverage, you'll reject it forevermore anyway, but at least then you made an educated decision. Although detrimental to the body, if enjoyed in moderation, the effects are negated over times of abstinence.

If only this was the case. If only all humans could just enjoy smoking in moderation. They can't; they're incapable! Whether through prolonged peer pressure or a justified fondness for it, it sticks. Like everything else in life, the key word is moderation. But in real-life America, there is no such thing. We either oppose it dead on, with no allowances, or we abuse it, with no regrets. As to our standings on the issue, our methods of prevention follow the same ignorant paths. Absolute celibacy, with no room for human experimentation or absolute apathy, with no control.

Well, it seems in my rantings and ravings, I have forgotten smoking's addictive qualities. The manufacturers put in the nicotine to keep you hooked. Yes, that is all part of the risk taken when moderation is dismissed in today's market. And when the dark hand of addiction inevitably does take you, you just give in! Don't you see it as a challenge of life!! Can't you take it as test of your will and a measure of your manhood or do you surrender and take the coward's way out, under a facade of your incredible stress.

Furthermore, how can you respect a human whose life revolves around, and is controlled by, a plant. Wouldn't you want your friends and role models to possess greater self-control and respect for their bodies and their minds?

Take some pride in yourself, fight the cancer stick. If you lose, you're just another loser who "tried" to quit, join the club. However, if you succeed, a superior fate awaits. You have built something up in yourself that can never be torn down, something that will help you for the rest of your life. If this is what you want, then go get it. If you don't see this as advantageous, then all you're doing with that invaluable brain of yours is killing it, cell by cell. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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