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Smoking – A Study In Manipulation

When I was 14, these little old ladies from the  local church came into our 7th or 8th grade class to tell us all about the evils of smoking. This was in the 50s. Naturally the entire class wanted to give this “evil” a try. So in the pecking order of things, to smoke was considered “cool” and “grown up”.

I later learned these charitable endeavors were actually sponsored by the American Tobacco Organization. It is the best manipulation of youth I have ever seen. It is subtle and still going on in one form or another to this day in our schools. All in the name of telling children it is “evil”. . .

I have been against smoking most of my life. In 1950, I talked my own Father into quiting. I must have been 7 or 8 at the time.

We moved here, to the United States in 1948. I had 5 uncles and 4 aunts, two grandfathers and one grandmother. The other grandmother died of kidney disease when my Dad was nine. All of these people smoked. I have something like 50 cousins. All of these relatives reside either in England or Canada. Most of these cousins smoke.

I am one of the few exceptions. I don’t smoke tobacco in any of its forms. I think my remaining cousin in Canada might have quit years ago. The rest of these people are all dead.

The important fact here is I am fully aware of smokers and smoking. I am also familiar with one aspect of smoking – Mortality. Most of the above relatives are dead of one form of cancer or another. Most died between 70 and 80 years of age of cancer. One died of a heart attack before he could die of cancer.

Did that stop anyone from smoking? Only the intelligent ones quit. Most average people do not have the determination to give up the habit once they are addicted. It is an addiction just like any other hard drug is an addiction. The difference is smoking is perfectly legal.

The ideal age to hook someone on this drug is 16. Drive your neighborhood on any day when 16 year old or even 14 year old children have just gotten out of school. Most are walking home. I guarantee you will see at least a few of these children taking a drag on a cigarette.

This manipulation got out of hand. It is now extended to drugs like marijuana. Has been since the mid 60s. Most people have been exposed to this at some point in their lives.

I think the only solution to this problem of smokers is we are going to have to go to the manipulators and find a way to make it “not cool” to smoke in school. They paid the original manipulators 100,000 dollars in 1950 to start this program of addicting teens. In today’s money I am not sure how much that is. Probably around 10 million dollars.

That is why I look critically at the antismoking ads on television to this day. I wonder if the manipulators are still at work addicting children to a life time of smokes.

(Authored by Dave Webb)