I’m not quite sure of the significance of World No Tobacco Day. It’s like having a World No Water Day or World No Air Day – a fancy title with no real meaning.
Our Health Mob has released some blurb “in honour of the day” where they tell us that “smoking still causes over 4,00 deaths in Ireland each year“. I think they meant 4,500 but sure if you’re plucking figures out of the air then one number is as good as another. Every day there are “almost 900 hospitalisations due to smoking-related harm“. God only knows where they get these figures.
Well, actually I have a shrewd idea.
I have had the misfortune to have had to avail of our hospital amenities over the past while. Every now and then they would send some kid [probably an intern trainee nurse] to fill in a questionnaire. Age, family history, shit like that. Then they would ask if I smoked. This always led to a lot of confusion as if I said yes, they would want to know how many cigarettes I smoked a day. There was no option for pipe or cigar so this would utterly confuse them. Now when I’m asked I put on that smug smirk ex-smokers have perfected and announce that “I haven’t smoked a cigarette in over fifty years”. This is perfectly true and they put me down as a non-smoker. Everyone is happy and my soul is saved as I told the truth.
My theory is that when they are compiling their figures they look at that smoker/non-smoker checkbox and a smoker will suddenly find that his broken ankle or dose of the clap is smoking related. So what they are really saying is that every day a mob of people are admitted to hospital and of those, 900 are smokers.
As for the “lowest socio-economic group” lark I’m at a bit of a loss. What exactly is this? Economically I am possibly in that group as my pension puts me outside the super-yacht class but what about my place in society? What the fuck has that got to do with smoking? Is it only the Great Unwashed who are misbehaving and smoking more? I know ASH have this lovely theory that if you quit smoking you can immediately move out of the slums to a posh suburb and party with the Great and Noble of society not to mention buying yourself a brand new Range Rover Discovery.
Anyhows I’m not going to worry my pretty little head over this momentous day.
The anti-smokers can party all they like but they’ll have to do so without me.
I have to go and buy some tobacco.