My girlfriend and I thought long and hard about starting this blog. We are not sure how it will be received or how it will develop. We don’t want to be seen as apologists for the tobacco industry and we don’t want to encourage anybody to smoke. We fully accept that there are significant health risks connected with smoking and that as smokers our risk of developing many serious illnesses is much higher than those who don’t smoke. We understand that smoking could reduce our life expectancy. Furthermore we recognise that one of the many chemicals present in tobacco is nicotine which is highly addictive; meaning that once you start smoking it can become very difficult to stop when you want.
With all that being said, we both do smoke and we do it because we enjoy it. But why write a blog about it?
Before I answer that let me ask something else? Would anybody think it controversial or strange if we started a blog about wine? In truth there already are many blogs appreciating wines of the world and the stories and cultures associated with them. Sophie and I both drink wine too. We are not really experts but we know what we like. We have sometimes looked up different wines on the internet or read about them in blogs or magazines. Adults in many parts of the world are brought up to believe that it is actually quite respectable and sophisticated to drink wine and discuss it knowledgeably. Think about how many books and films you know where wine or other alcoholic drinks are quite important aspects of the work.
There are probably almost as many people who smoke cigarettes or cigars but in much of the western world it has become almost taboo to admit to enjoying it or even to talk about any aspect of smoking in a positive way. Add to that the fact that smokers rights to smoke in various places including at home are being severely restricted. Generally we are treated more and more as social lepers. Even so, in most places smoking is still legal and as smokers we contribute a huge amount to our nations revenues through taxes. In the UK for example about 99% of the cost of every packet of cigarettes is tax.
But of course smoking is dangerous to your health. Well so is motor racing. So is mountain climbing. So is bungee jumping… In fact serious and fatal injuries can happen in just about every sport. Indeed the truth is that life itself is dangerous. Eating the wrong foods can be dangerous, eating too much or too little can be dangerous. Driving can be dangerous. Crossing the street can be dangerous. In fact just breathing the air in some cities can be dangerous.
Smoking tobacco in various ways is just one of many lifestyle choices that people make because for them the pleasures are worth the risks.
Sophie and I are unashamed and unapologetic smokers and we refuse to be made to feel guilty or anti social because of this aspect of our lives.
This blog is called Smokers Writes. We use the word Writes because this is a place where we and perhaps others can write about all aspects of smoking in our lives and culture. But we also mean “Rights” as in the legal rights we are loosing and in our small way are fighting to retain and regain.
I suppose many will regard it as politically incorrect to write anything vaguely positive about smoking. Well, we are two bisexual women living as a couple and we are quite opinionated in general, so we are quite used to not being politically correct, breaking taboos and challenging norms!
Here we will write about various things connected with our experience of smoking and the rules, laws and regulations which impact on smokers lives. We may also write reviews of brands of cigars and cigarettes we are familiar with and bars, cafés, restaurants, airlines and airports which are friendly to smokers. If there is enough interest we may invite other people to contribute as well.