I was thinking today about all the vices we have that may or may not take a toll on one's health. We eat poorly and drink heavily, those are extremely common ones, but why is it okay to chastise smokers? I'm not so sure it's worse for you, if done in moderation, than drinking daily or being obese. The difference has to be the number of lobbyists who get funding to work against big tobacco.
I suppose there is a culture around cigarettes that makes them unhealthy. They can be enjoyed at anytime during the day without affecting your productivity. They are smoked in conjunction with coffee, cocktails, meals, or just conversation. If we took the attitude we had towards cigarettes and replaced it with the one we take with alcohol, things would be different.
Among people in my age bracket, it is much more socially acceptable to smoke weed than it is to have a cigarette. I cannot figure out why. There seems to be this myth that marijuana and mushrooms are 'natural' and tobacco isn't. You know what else occurs naturally? hurricanes. earthquakes. mean people. The likelihood of getting any of the mentioned substances without any additives is slim. The effect on your lungs is going to be the same or worse with weed, and the altering of your brain chemistry is much more significant with weed than with nicotine or even alcohol.(http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/body/effects.html)
One argument I have heard is that cigarettes don't offer up any high, and thus they are a waste of bodily harm. Well, I think they offer about the same high as a cup of coffee, and I can say that from experience. Again, coffee isn't really bad for you...point is let everyone pick their own poisons. Our liberties are getting fewer and fewer in the political forum, let's maintain a little more acceptance in the cultural forum. I would like to be able to enjoy an occasional cigarette without a sneer, it is your prerogative to sneer if you chose to, but remember that what you're suckin' out of that bong with three four times the frequency, is just as bad if not worse.