I often wonder about tobacco and it's amazingly addictive properties. I also wish that I had never "trained" myself to be a smoker, because it took some serious-minded effort to develop a taste for cigarettes. I ask, "Why was there this terribly addictive drug marketed to me throughout my youthful, formative years?" If only it hadn't existed, perhaps I could have avoided what has resulted in the biggest challenge of my adult life - quitting. Now, if we just outlawed smoking, yes, a fourth (or fifth or tenth depending on your location) of the population would have a pretty rough year. But eventually, out of sight-out of mind would win out, and people would live longer, healthier and decidedly less stinky lives. It could be a gift from our generation to the next. And wouldn't it be so much easier to be forced to quit en masse? There would be plenty of company to commiserate with.
As is the case with the oil companies, there is just too much profit to be made from the poisoning of lungs. This profit pulls strings, and the people are rendered powerless. (to clarify, expecting every person to have the strength to quit smoking is tantamount to expecting everyone to just boycott buying gasoline. It's not a reasonable expectation.) Don't expect tobacco to become a controlled substance any time soon.
And so I struggle. Deep down, I only have myself to blame, and only I can break the addiction. Still, allow me to take this time to lash out at the oligarchy we live in..