The Social Toll Of Tobacco

Tobacco is deadly. It kills through cancer, heart and circulatory diseases, emphysema, fires and many other causes. Most people recognize the physical assault tobacco exerts on the user. But many fail to consider the psychological, emotional and social toll caused by tobacco.

Since the majority of adults in America do not smoke or chew, people still using are subject to greater harassment than they have ever experienced before. Over time, many tobacco users quit because they were beginning to feel like social outcasts. They no longer felt comfortable using tobacco. Today, things are even worse. Tobacco users are finding themselves in many situations where it is no longer permitted. Many users now go through eight hours of peak physical withdrawal symptoms daily, for they are no longer permitted to use tobacco while on work premises. They go to social gatherings only to find that they may be the only person in the room smoking or chewing. They start to feel unwanted in the homes of their closest friends and family. They either have to suffer the embarrassment of using or the withdrawal from not using during these gatherings.

More non-tobacco users are now exerting their right to breathe clean (not smoke filled) air, something which 15 years ago would have appeared radical and in poor taste. All these sentiments are “bad news” to tobacco users. What they must now consider is that even though it is hard to be a user in today’s society, the social ostracism is getting progressively worse.

So now, when the urge for a chew hits, be sure to consider the full ramifications of taking the first dip. Not only will you reinforce an addiction which is potentially deadly, but also you will be back to a socially unacceptable and very dirty chemical dependency. Do you really want to go through life viewed as an addict and chewer?

© Joel Spitzer 1985
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.

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