The handsomely rugged model for the macho smoker succumbed to lung cancer this week. He was 51. You remember him. He had that patriotic eagle tattooed on his hand and rode the range punching cows like real men once did in the old west. And he did something else the tobacco manufacturers would have us consumers think was a he-man thing to do ... SMOKE!
What many of us didn't know was that he spent the last three years of his life warning others of the dangers of smoking. Tho it was too late for him, he thought that if he could keep just one kid from starting or get one smoker to stop, it'd be worth whatever the cost. It is the same motivation for this little goad of an article. He was a convincing spokesperson. He knew all too well the price to be paid for becoming enslaved to such a nasty habit, regardless of how the advertisers romanticized it.
As a former smoker myself I am not at all unsympathetic toward those of us who have allowed this nicotine nemesis into our lives. I applaud the model's change of heart and eagerness to rectify the lie that was portrayed in all those years of ads. Implied in those commercials was the notion of freedom and enjoyment and fresh air. Fresh air indeed. I noticed no cigarette advertisers ever showed a smoke-filled room of emaciated hackers delivering up their burn offerings to the God of tobacco.
Before I put down my pen, allow me to list just a few of the unheralded and unadvertised results of smoking.
1) Bad breath (I never dated girls who smoked because I hated to kiss a girl and smell a camel).
2) The second hand smoke factor involving innocent family and friends.
3) Less money for healthier pursuits.
4) Clothes that reek.
5) Unfriendly stares at restaurants and other public facilities.
6) High blood pressure.
7) Lung disease.
8) Loss of self-esteem and self-control.
9} Addiction to the point where it seems impossible to stop.
The Marlboro man reminded me not to let anyone or anything have control over me except the Spirit of Christ. - Steven Clark Goad