joy magnetism: Smoke and Ike




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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Smoke and Ike

Magnet #1194 - Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 - 1961)

I've smoked maybe five cigarettes in my entire life - and not even whole ones. The first couple were in Europe, with the president of the Tri-Delts trying to teach me and failing miserably. The rest were in some smoky bars in North Carolina and New York. And all were in my 20s.

Scarily, it was the fault of those smoky bars (and probably a few beers) that actually had me craving the last of them. But overall, I just never could get the hang of it, really. Plus, I look funny with a cigarette, methinks. (What?)

My grandfather was a heavy smoker, who died at 56 from lung cancer. In this day and age, I feel like everyone in the world knows a smoker who died from cancer. Apparently, tobacco kills more than six million people every year - the World Health Organization (WHO) actually calls it the tobacco epidemic.

To be honest, I don't really care if others do it, it's their body and health. And while I'm superhappy I don't go to bars and come out reeking of cigarette smoke anymore, I find myself on the fence about the recent NYC ban on smoking in public parks and plazas. It just feels like the outdoors shouldn't be as regulated given that people can move about freely to get away from the offending smoke. I know, just saying that sparks several arguments right there.

Anyway, today is World No Tobacco Day, and WHO is using today to help promote the “WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control," a public health treaty whose mission is to make countries protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke, ban tobacco advertising and sales to minors and put health warnings on tobacco packaging.

So how does that tie back to our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower? According to Fitness, Ike was a heavy smoker (four packs a day!), who was urged to cut back. He couldn't take counting out his allowed cigarettes and so he quit. Just like that. Never had another cigarette in his life.

I totally have reservations as to whether or not it was that easy for him to just quit, especially because he said that he just put smoking out of his mind.

Really? Just doesn't feel like it could be so, but hey, he did it!

Yay for Ike!
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