A DURRY, a dart, a death stick, call it what you want but it’s hard to think of another product dumped so dramatically from the cresting wave of popularity than the fabled fag, especially in the past few years.
To be seen without a ciggie in hand was quite the social faux pas in decades gone by, a must-have sartorial accessory lest one subject themselves to the gasps of shock and derisive scoffs of their peers.
Snarling rockers, taciturn cowboys, heartthrob actors and actresses hardly had the same spark without smokes dangling out of their mouths like an exclamation mark on their being (who hasn’t seen Grease?)
Smoking was so ubiquitous hospitals and GPs’ offices weren’t complete without ashtrays.
Now the smoker is the outsider, banished beyond the thresholds of pubs and restaurants and many other places.
The non-smokers are now the ones gasping and scoffing imperiously at their fellow townsfolk who might have let out a wheeze or cough, a by-product of their personal pro-puffing policy.
Statistics reveal smoking has significantly run out of steam, and campaigns such as the Cancer Council’s Saving Lives 2019 campaign have been put into place.
The campaign calls on the NSW government to fix the current smoke-free laws by amending the smoke-free Environment Act 2000 to ban people from smoking in pubs and clubs gaming rooms.
The call has been backed by statistics, with Cancer Council Western NSW community programs coordinator Camilla Thompson said smoking caused 5,500 deaths and 47,000 hospitalisations in NSW every year.
But more importantly than that it’s been backed by Glenn’s story about his brother Trevor who was diagnosed with tonsil cancer.
Trevor was a non-smoker, but it’s believed his cancer was caused from second-hand smoke.
It’s something that could happen to anyone, and another reason people who do still smoke, shouldn’t take up the cigarette around another person. It may be their choice, but it’s not the other persons.
There would be a lot of stories out there, from people who have been diagnosed with cancers relating to smoking who have never smoked.
So next time you light up, have a look around first, and think about Trevor and Glenn.
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