June 19th, 2009


12 Hours, 18 Minutes

Score one for Big Lung!

Would that be, I'm assuming, the opposition to Big Tobacco? Of course, that just makes me think of some giant, building destroying internal organ that grows bigger by the day. Mostly because smokers keep dying by the day.

Who knew this country could be so selectively health conscious? While alcohol - especially domestic beer - is more popular than ever before, fast food chains garner kudos for eliminating trans-fats even though every value meal you get corresponds to one-half of your daily recommended caloric intake (and varying obscene percentages of your daily intake of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, and other bad shit), and stuff like caffeine and over-the-counter medications are as addictive as any illegal drug on the market; while all of that is happening around us, right under our noses, cigarette popularity is in the toilet.

Look, I'm not going to try and defend cigarettes anymore, even though I think their "Second-Hand Smoke" numbers are obscene bullshit. I think it's a good thing that they're going to be regulated by the FDA; everything else is. But, it's bullshit like this that really gets to me:

"The legislation Congress approved this month ... would give the FDA power to ban candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes, widely considered appealing to first-time smokers, including youths."

Let me be perfectly clear: no one ever started smoking real cigarettes because they consumed candy cigarettes as a kid.

This is the kind of shit I'm talking about. I'm all for liberal ideals, but there are wackos in any sect. And THESE liberal wackos who think that the tobacco companies are hitting our children while they're young by getting them to fake-smoke bubble-gum cigarettes are the most annoying batch of cunts who've ever walked the Earth. Yes, even more annoying than all of those bible-thumping repressionists out there.

Nevertheless, the tide has shifted considerably. First and foremost, thirty years ago, the only way for a smoker to quit was cold-turkey. Or through some super-expensive detox program. Now, you buy a pack of nicotine gum and you're in the clear. There are tons of affordable ways to quit smoking. Secondly, yeah, advertising has shifted considerably. Even in movies where you're encouraged to discuss the negative effects of smoking for tax credits. Remember that whenever you watch a movie within the last 20 years; whenever one character is saying to the other how smoking is bad for them, just know that those words of dialogue were thrown in there to help the producers make a little extra money.

More than anything, though, Big Lung has gotten to our children. They've stigmatized smoking to the point that kids think it's uncool. Of course, being kids, they're always going to try to do some dumb shit they shouldn't be doing. It's my hope that, in their efforts to denegrate cigarette smoking, they've helped push kids towards harder and harder drugs. Look at what the abstinence-only program has done for the number of teenage mothers!

I plan on celebrating Big Lung's minor victory this weekend by chain-smoking pack after pack of cool, refreshing Natural American Spirit Mentholated Cigarettes. Twice the lung-crushing capacity per cigarette because they're packed extra tight with more tobacco than your ordinary cigarette.

God Bless Las Vegas. When the rest of the civilized world has gone batshit crazy with rules and smoking regulation, Las Vegas will remain, forever, the bastion of the casual smoker.