Monday, December 28, 2009

Litter of a Different Nature

It is safe to assume that I am a non-smoker. Cigarettes are just plain bad for you (even "socially"). Modern science has brought this fact to everyone's attention, yet smoking still exists. I can understand old people having this addiction, but anyone younger than forty, who is addicted, is just weird. When they were young, they understood that smoking is no longer cool; it's quite the opposite. Why did they begin in the first place? It's expensive, it stinks, it turns your lungs black, it is far from 'cool', and it kills you.

Basically, hemoglobin carries oxygen to the lungs. However when Carbon Dioxide, or nicotine, is available, they replace oxygen and are carried to the lungs in its place. Alveoli, where gas and oxygen exchange occur, decrease resulting in less surface area for gas exchange (oxygen supply to the lungs). This leads to emphysema and long-time smokers get to carry around an added accessory, known as the oxygen tank. Sadly, many second-hand smokers (non-smokers subjected to smoke) also get to carry around these fun devices.

Much to smokers' chagrin, a growing number of laws forbid smoking indoors and near entrances; some countries are even outlawing it completely. Hopefully, this number rises, as well as cigarette taxes in countries that have yet to outlaw smoking. Smokers argue that this is unjust, claiming that smoking only affects the smoker. Evidence reveals otherwise. Additionally, it smells horrible and it makes other people's hair and clothes reek. It’s an all around annoying habit.

They are also litterers. I am an urbanite who cringes every time I watch a smoker throw their cigarette down on the sidewalk. They always do, it is inevitable. This is why San Francisco recently upped their cigarette tax - to afford the extra costs that are required to clean up after smokers. The extra taxes and laws are well-deserved. Furthermore, they should not be able to take additional 'smoke-breaks', while the smart people have to toil away to pick up their slack. They should not be able to congregate outside their place of employment causing patrons to walk through their cloud of stench to get to the entrance of the building.

That’s today’s rant. I haven't updated in awhile thanks to finals, school, and the holidays, but mostly due to shame. I did not make it a month without sugar. It started with an accidental Mimosa (orange juice and Champagne) during brunch in San Francisco. It was an accident, but sugar is still sugar. I also knew Thanksgiving was just around the corner and I love cranberry sauce. If anyone has tried cranberry sauce without sugar... Anyway, the short-lived trial made me realize that sugar is easy to accidentally ingest, or forget about. However, I will repeat the challenge in the coming year; this time I will succeed.