"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"



Cliff McKenzie, Editor

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1294 DAY--New York, NY, Tuesday, March 29, 2005--I'm one of 45 million American adults, 22 percent of the population, who regularly pulls out a small cylinder of Tobacco Terror, ignites it, then inhales it deeply into the lungs so that it might rob the body of oxygen and incur the wrath of multiple forms of cancer, primarily that of the lungs.

There is no logic to smoking.

There is no logic to smoking

It is, despite all the false arguments raised in its defense, a slow, insidious form of suicide.

There is no argument that smoking will, over time, destroy one's life's longevity and render the chances of a healthier body subject to hacking, coughing and ripe for a variety of other respiratory attacks.

There are countless facts that fly in the face of each and every argument that favors smoking by those of us who smoke. Most of us who light up the Tobacco Terrorist have convinced ourselves that the little cylinder we suck on is our "friend" who will "calm" our nerves when we are tense, or ease the "stress" of life, or "give us respite" from the cacophony of the madding crowds.

Some of us espouse of "individual rights" as justification for igniting a small carcinogenic time bomb that we greedily inhale deep into our lungs. We wave the right of "free will" over those who depose us as "scabs" upon society, and relegate us to huddle in alcoves outside buildings to hurriedly consume clouds of fumes that have but one molecular purpose--to suffocate our blood cells by shrouding them with plastic bags of carbon monoxide so that the rich flow of oxygen will be shut down.

I know that each time I inhale smoke, it's not unlike putting a plastic bag over my head, cinching it tight around my neck, and trying to breathe. Long ago I chose to ignore the facts about smoking for a reason that I refuse to admit, or, if I do admit to it, refuse to indemnify as worthy of my health.

In this sense, smoking is insane.

Smoking is insane

What sane human being would ingest poisons into the body that, as with small doses of arsenic, will end up cruelly killing one's self?

Those of us, such as myself, who have smoked for decades, are well aware that emphysema virtual collapse of the lungs to make oxygen--is part and parcel of the habit. Anyone who has seen a person afflicted with this disease will note the color of the skin turns darker and darker as less and less oxygen feeds the body until one day the body just shuts down. That is, after long bouts of pain and anguish not only for the smoker but all around him or her.

In many ways, I am being held captive by a Terrorist.

I am kneeling with a gun to my head and told that if I do not smoke I will be shot.

The Smoking Terrorist has a gun to my head

So, I think I have this macabre choice: slowly kill myself by smoking or refuse to smoke and "die."

Smokers like myself believe that we "can't live without a cigarette." Our "death" is denying ourselves the right to commit hari-kari.

We're exactly like the crack addict who would eat his own children before giving up his habit. The Tobacco Rules over all.

Those of us with loving families who care about us are the worse offenders. Our children and grandchildren look at us as we inhale "death" and see someone they love slowly cutting off their fingers, toes, arms, legs, until one day there will only be this blob of flesh and bones slumped over in a wheel chair, skin blackened by lack of oxygen, gasping at an oxygen tube for those last wheezes of life.

46 million U.S. smokers are held captive

Of course, we erase such thoughts as quickly as they flash before our minds. We blindly think we are invincible to such horror, or, we delude ourselves as I have for years, that I will "quit" tomorrow and save myself from the "final solution" that all smokers such as I face in the end.

Smoking is an addiction of incalculable power. Some of the brightest, most intellectual minds of all times sneak out in the alley when no one is looking and suck down the smoke. A friend of mine who is a medical doctor confessed to me recently that between patients he dashes to the window to draw the smoke deep, and is compelled to think only of his next cigarette as he moves from patient to patient.

Terrorism is about Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. Truly, when one looks at the habits of a smoker, all a smoker represents in this genre is a Walking Terrorist. His or her victim is not only himself or herself, but also those who inhale the residue of the smoke.

Daily, I carry a Pack of Terrorists around with me. I take a Terrorist out. I put a Terrorist between my lips. I ignite the fuse of the Terrorist Suicide Bomb. I inhale the Terrorist Bomb. I let the Terrorist Bomb explode in my lungs.

I do this over and over. I aid and abet Terrorism. I feed it within myself.

And, I fight it. Vaingloriously, I fight it. I make feeble attempts to quit. On occasion, I'll allow the Sentinel of Vigilance to take on the Beast of Tobacco Terrorism. When he does, I conjure the Courage and Conviction to take the Right Action. I'll put on a non-smoking patch, take some pills, chew some gum and vow not to smoke.

Then I crumble.

The gun to my head looms large. I hear the Beast of Terror's voice: "Smoke or Die!"

I hear the Beast's voice..and I crumble

Like any addict, I scramble to rip open a pack, or tear through all my pockets in all my clothes in hopes I will find a butt, a broken smoke I can tape together--anything to get my Death Fix.

It's a sad commentary. We adult U.S. smokers--all 46 million of us--are Self-Inflicted Terrorists.

We burden our society. Health care costs soar because of us. But, in a way, we are godsend for the budget. Health care providers know a huge amount of us will die prematurely, reducing future costs.

Our enemies abroad, those who flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, as well as those who wish the worst evils upon us, dance with joy each time we light a smoke. The only thing they wish is that they were lighting it, and they were sitting next to us as we coughed and wheezed and gagged, and then lit up again.

This morning I glanced at an article in the Washington Post about why people smoke in the face of such devastating facts against it. The story included a link for the Center for Tobacco Cessation

I put it in my favorites--to read it "later."

Sad, huh?

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. I make no excuses for my Terroristic Habit. I have no denials to hide behind. I hate smoking.

But, there is this power greater than myself inside me that holds me prisoner to some massive defect of character that I will not release from my tightly clenched fist.

The Beast of Tobacco Terrorism is balled up like an angry python

This is the Beast of Terror.

He's all balled up, kind of like an angry python, wrapped around that "will to not smoke." He's not giving it up.

He's proving to me how the Beast of Tobacco Terrorism is more important than anything else I do, because I am aware I am a prisoner of my own self who delays daily the real battle of fighting the Beast of Tobacco Terrorism.

I'm not going to give up.

I'm going to keep trying.

I'm going to believe the Sentinel of Vigilance is on my side whispering in my ear: "We can do it. We can do it."

Go To March 27 Story: "Happy Easter To 'The Spear Of Jesus'"




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