Monday, January 11, 2010

This Day in History – Jan 11 1964

The US Surgeon General warns against smoking for the first time.

Wow, 5 years before I was born…the Surgeon General began it’s warning crusade and yet today….smoking is still puffing along.

Great Job there, it’s working like a charm.

Here is a brief history of warnings on cigarette packs in the US -

  • Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health (1966–1970)
  • Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health (1970–1985)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight. (1985-)
  • SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide. (1985-)

Who would have thought that when the Native Americans (he….can I take them to court for introducing the white man to this?) first brought tobacco to Columbus’ attention, which lead to its spread all over the world, that today we have to have labels telling is it is bad.

We KNOW it is. You and I know it, everybody knows it…yet, we still continue to smoke.

And do you know why? BECAUSE I CAN.

I grew up in a smoking family. My father was born and raised on a tobacco farm and both my parents smoked well into advanced age.

I had a brief foray into cigarettes when I joined the Army (Smoke’m if you got’m), but I let that pass as a fad.

I wasn’t “Hooked” or “Addicted”. I could and did quit when I wanted to.

But later in life, I picked up cigars because (like drinking), I ENJOYED them.

Even now, I could quit in a heartbeat….and have often debated on it based on the sin taxes levied against me.

But I choose not to, no matter what the naysayers say.

And who are the naysayers? I’m glad you asked.

The Surgeon General.

The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of Public Health in the federal government. The Surgeon General's office and staff are known as the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG). He (She) hold the rank of Vice Admiral and is in command PHSCC, one of the seven uniformed branches of the military AND one of only two that has no enlisted personnel.

So, a “Uniformed Service” under the command of a “General” (who is actually an Admiral) which has no “working” force and is comprised entirely of officers.

To me that sounds like a cluster f***. Oh wait, after reading these warnings all those years, it’s apparent that it is.

Look, when stores have to label individual cigars, things have gone to far. The wasted manpower and resources to do this, so that people can ignore (which is what everyone does) the ridiculous labels, is insane. Mother’s continue to smoke while pregnant, under aged kids are not charged for breaking the law by smoking and the government wants to reallocate my wealth via taxes to “bolster” a broken healthcare system.

We know smoking is bad. We enjoy it. Get out of our lives and let us live it.

Today is the anniversary of Cigarette labels. Another attempt by the establishment to influence the people. Why can’t they just let us live happy lives?

Enjoy the day and Smoke’m if you Got’m

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