Author: M. G.
A blog that has the aim of promoting healthy behaviour amongst youngster must spend some words about smoking. In the ‘Tips From Former Smokers' section of cdc.com (the website of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) you can now watch a 2 minutes long ad where an HIV+ gay man shares his own experience with cigarettes. The video is part of a series of ads of formers smokers talking about how badly smoking affected their lives. These stories are not easy to watch, especially if you are a smoker, since you can see with your own eyes how badly it can end once you find yourself addicted to cigarettes.
I'm not entirely sure that fear is the best way to convince people to quit smoking, anyway these are true stories and we have to respect the pain of those who decided to share such personal experiences. This is the first time that the CDC explicitly addresses the LGBTQ community with an anti-smoking message and they have very good reasons to do so, you can read some numbers here.
Nicotine hasn't just enormous effects on the human body but also on our mind and behaviour: in fact you can develop an addiction to it way quicker than with other substances like alcohol or marijuana.
By looking at the past, we can always see something that can help us in understanding situations of today. Talking about cigarettes, we can go back to 1929, when Edward Bernays (the father of PR and advertising as we know it) was able to eliminate the taboo against women smoking in public, by using the catchphrase "Torches Of Freedom": this ‘great' man contributed in making cigarettes the mass product with which many people live side by side from years already. This isn't freedom at all and many smokers have no problem to say that they would prefer a life as a non-smoker. This sounds more like a sort of exploitation, therefore don't expect to find help in this fight anywhere but from yourself. You're the key to stop and you really can't stop trying: face yourself and your weaknesses, find the right moment to stop but, more importantly, don't blame yourself and be aware of what's happening at the moment when you feel that impulse of smoking a new cigarette. As we always say, awareness is the key.