With the amount of money spent by governments on anti smoking campaigns, the various controversies over cigarette advertising and the number of places where smoking is no longer permitted, ever cigarette smoker in the western world must be aware that it is a habit that at least damages their health and at worst will kill them.
And yet, depending on whose figures you take as the best estimate, it seems between 15 and 20% of the population still smoke cigarettes.
Even though I gave up my 30 plus a day habit nearly 20 years ago, I can still remember that ‘tight’ feeling across my chest in the mornings and the need for a throat clearing cough after I had brushed my teeth.
I also never realised then that food had so much variety of taste and flavour or that actually being able to smell the roses was such a pleasure.
I guess there is little or no chance of my lone voice having any effect when I tell people they really should stop smoking, as they continue to ignore the severe warning metered out by the great and the good.
There has been a great many views expressed on the benefits or other wise of smoking so called low tar cigarettes and investigation into the subject does indicate that along with the habit forming nicotine and hundreds of other chemicals inhaled in the cigarette smoke, none of which do you any good, it is the sticky tar that leads to repertory difficulties and depressed sense of taste and smell.
There are a number of devises on the market that smokers can use to reduce the intake of tar and one of the most practical seems to be a mini, inconspicuous cigarette holder called targuard.
A good friend of mine swears by them because without the use of chemicals or moving parts, they manage to take out well over half the tar before the smoke is inhaled.
It is all done by the centrifuge principal, or so he tells me, but whatever it is there is no doubting the disgustingly visible brown sticky deposit left in the filter and the certainty that it is better left in there than taken into the body.
He uses them for four or five cigarettes and then throws them away and he really does reckon that his breathing has improved considerably since he started using them regularly and he notices more subtle differences between the various red wines he is for ever sampling.
So from me one last plea to readers who still smoke cigarettes. Please do try once more to give up, there are after all any number of courses, patches and other forms of help readily available.
To those that ignore this plea, at least smoke in a little less unhealthy way by using targuard or something similar to take out a substantial amount of the damaging tar before it enters your body.