Can I Say Smoking Is A Disgusting Habit?

Apparently, not – if a blogger or two are to be believed.

You see, my previous statements about smoking being an utterly disgusting habit has marked me as some sort of right-wing, prejudiced, holier-than-thou, “hardcore” Christian. I am not entirely sure where these people got the idea that I was writing an anti-smoking apologetic from the Christian camp, but since I am a Christian, I suppose I will take responsibility for that, too. After all, Light and Salt remain the same wherever you might find them, no?

Anyway, in the interest of a healthy discussion, let’s address some issues.

One, as a Christian, I do believe that smoking falls under “The Grey Areas of Christianity” (though some might disagree with me). This means that there is no outright condemnation of smoking per say, as recorded in the Bible.

Two, as a Christian, I am convinced that smoking is something that is frowned upon, especially when one attempts to embark on the Christian journey. For one, there is that whole bit about the body being The Temple of the Holy Spirit and all that. This is immediately followed by that whole “You are not your own, you were bought with a price, so honor God with your body,” (I Cor. 6:20). Needless to say, this can be a convincing argument that one’s body (and lungs, especially) ought not be misused and offered up to the altar of the gods of Malboro, Salem and Dunhill. (And I’m not being selective here – this applies to being faithful stewards of our entire body. Thus, since I *am* overweight, I am not taking care of my body like I should and therefore, need to exercise – which I am.)

Three, I do agree that being prejudiced is pretty nasty and disgusting – but so is hypocrisy. And in case we’ve missed it, that was part of the point of my previous entry. The smoker’s conscience has always intrigued and amused me. They fully believe that they should not be judged for their habits, but feel no remorse in judging non-smokers for asserting their desire (rights?) for breathing clean air and not smelling like an ashtray at the end of the day. I’m sure it’s easier to just call someone “prejudiced” or “holier-than-thou” or “hardcore Christian” than it is to give non-smokers a decent reason for smoking in their presence. Smokers also hide their habit to some and/or dissuade others from smoking – especially younger, potentially “impressionable” people. However, smokers also get rather testy when someone chides them for smoking. After all, can daddy really be angry when little Sonny found daddy’s pack of Malboro’s and started lighting up at age 9? Hence, when a smoker asks if it’s alright to smoke in my – a non-smoker – presence, I just hope they realize what it is they’re actually asking and the laughable contradiction of it all.

But back to the question at hand: Can I describe smoking as a disgusting habit? We are all quite aware of the health risks smoking poses, but has anyone seen a pair of smoker’s lungs (See disgusting examples here and here)? Those deep breaths a smoker takes so that their lungs can fully enjoy that menthol? Well, along with that menthol comes tar – yes, similar to that stuff they use to lay on roads. The black gooey kind. One-pack-a-day smokers can have up to a quart (1 quart = 1.136 litres) of tar while enjoying their little light ups (and my medically-trained friends could corroborate this). So, I don’t know about you – when I see something pink and fleshy ooze out a black gooey substance, I’m not thinking about pretty ponies and picturesque sunsets. I pretty much go, “Yuck, that’s damned disgusting.” Sorta like how I’d go if I stumbled onto Uncle Robbie.

Smoking is a disgusting habit. A pretty damned disgusting one. Smokers themselves have told me so, and yes, they use the word “disgusting.”

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