view from out here in the NC tobacco field

The Charlotte Observer ran a column today written by an older generation’s favorite conservative curmudgeon, James J. Kilpatrick. (Shana, you ignorant slu… sorry, I was mixing 60 Minutes reality with early SNL fantasy) Anyway, James writes exactly what I’ve often thought; the tobacco industry doesn’t owe a friggin’ penny to the survivors of anyone who smoked themselves to death. It was the smokers’ own stupid fault.

Reading Kilpatrick’s experience as a former smoker I thought about my father. After more than 20 years of smoking since his teens, my father quit ‘cold turkey’ after the Surgeon General’s report in the early ’60s. I respected him for doing that but sometimes wonder if his death at age 60 (1985) was somehow related to smoking. Blaming anyone has never occurred to me. I believe life is neither “fair” nor “unfair”. Life just “is” and we must deal with it.

What’s next? Will brewers, distillers or wineries be sued every time someone drinks themselves to death or is killed while driving drunk? Wait, don’t answer that. Let’s go to a bar and discuss it over a nice cold draft ale.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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4 Responses to view from out here in the NC tobacco field

  1. I have to agree with you. I’ve never been a smoking, but smoking like so many other things is a choice. One can choose to smoke or not. The tobacco folks are hoping you will, not holding a gun to anyone’s head saying, “Smoke this or die”!

  2. papoose says:

    It’s a scary direction our society has taken. I for one am glad I wasn’t born any later than I was. This coupled with the fact that our society is becoming more ‘transparent’ as my stepson puts it, where our evey move and behavior is being traced, I don’t want to see the future.
    I guess that makes me a codger, but I don’t care.

  3. LOL!
    I have to agree here. I’m a former smoker who quit cold turkey after 7 years. I think the only case that can be made where the smoker’s might have a case is in our father’s and grandfather’s generation. They were the early ones who grew up with ads about how cigarettes cured asthma and were generally healthy for you. They were the product of seductive and inaccurate advertising.
    Since the 60s when cigarette ads were pulled from television and all packs and cartons have been stamped with the Surgeon General’s warning…well, you own your own vices as well as virtues people. Live and die by them as you choose. Your choice is not someone else’s fault.

  4. joebanks says:

    I don’t know, I there is a little grey area here. Maybe there should be a cut off date. The tobaco comapnies knew before everyone else that the product was dangerous, yet they fought even warnings every step of the way. I remember anti-smoking adds on TV way back, they were in B&W. By the late 60’s everyone new smoking was bad; so maybe that should be the cutoff date for liability. My uncle who is dying of lung cancer smoked unfilterd ciggarettes up until 10-15 years ago; there is no question that it’s his fault.

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