Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Smoking Cessation as Political Protest

I bought my last pack of cigarettes today. That's a pretty bold statement for me to make. I've been buying cigarettes since the age of 12, peddling my Mongoose down to the 7-11 to buy a pack of Marlboros for my older and lazier brother. I didn't start smoking until I was 14, at the same time I started playing high school football. Football lasted two years, but the cigarettes have been with me ever since. Still, I feel supremely confident in making that statement, because I finally have a good enough reason to quit smoking: defying the expectations of my government.

See, my government expects me to keep on smoking, even after taxes on cigarettes increase by 62 cents to help pay for health insurance for "moderate-income" families. If I stop smoking, those kids don't get to see a doctor. In fact, if I don't keep smoking, I must be unpatriotic. Why would I want to hurt those children of parents with moderate income? It is my duty as a smoking-American to pay higher taxes and to keep smoking, in order to provide for a healthier tomorrow, or something along those lines.

Well screw that. The price I pay for health insurance through my employer just went up, and I can use the money I save on cigarettes to pay for my own family's doctor bills. I'm quitting smoking as a form of political protest, because I choose not to willingly give my money to a government program I do not support expanding. My government expects that I keep smoking, but I'm going to defy their expectations and protest higher taxes and progress towards universal health care at the same time. Yes, it'll be difficult, but every time I feel like buying a pack of cigarettes I'll just view my exercise of willpower as a silent "fuck you" to the Nanny State.

I've been looking for a way to express my disapproval at the current state of affairs. Well, defying the expectations of my government is still defying my government. Quitting smoking never felt so rebellious before.

No comments:

Post a Comment