Tuesday, May 31, 2011
So since I can't sleep I find myself passing time into sleepyland by texting an old friend... rather bbming from my blackberry. How I miss the days of simple MSN and dinosaur computers. Was much easier to sleep back then, less to keep you up at 2 am because you'd have to physically be up in front of a huge monitor... not laying in bed with something smaller than the first testament. He's a smoker, and since I'm already tired and cranky I decide to argue with him about smoking... or rather... lecture. So now I'm going to rant to the world my points to him. Mainly because I can and partially because I know he's getting quite annoyed.
To me smoking is classified as a "gateway drug".
I know that my opinion most certainly rouses a lot of conflict and input on the subject, and is definitely met with a tonne of disagreements but let me explain.
Smoking has been and always will be primarily a social thing. How many people when they turn 19 (21 in the states) wake up on their birthday and think to themselves "I'm going to buy a pack of smokes today" without anyone or anything influencing them consciously or subconsciously. Someone they know (parent, friend, sibling) smokes and they've seen them do it. And either feel pressured or curious and want to try it out. But in reality, how many people in this day and age actually start smoking at the age of 19? And if you're not smoking at the age of 19... where do you get smokes without a fake ID? Does anyone simply buy a pack of smokes from a store to try one to see if they like it or not? No. They sneak one from their parents or sibling, bum one off a friend or someone walking down the street. The moment someone gets a cigarette off of a person that is not selling them from a legal store, they're socially influenced.
In my experience, wherever people are outside or inside smoking is where the party is. If you're inside with all the "non-smokers" you're probably sitting on a couch or chair listening to music. Or playing beer pong or flip-cup - depending on the type of party you're at. And when people go for "smoke breaks" it's usually one or more people that get up and leave to go outside. Leaving the odd two - three that don't smoke. Now these people naturally follow the pack of people outside to continue to be "part of the party" and part of what's going on. Nobody likes to be left out.
Now this is where smoking turns into a "gateway drug". Say there's a group of people outside smoking and there are a few within this group not smoking. One of the smokers will definitely say to a non-smoker "do you want a smoke?" not to pressure them, but possibly under the assumption that the person not smoking isn't doing so because they have run out of smokes. Now it's a 50/50 chance of this person saying yes or no. They may say yes because at that point in time they feel pressured to have a cigarette because a) they were offered one and b) everyone else was.
Next comes how it ties into drug use. So all the smokers are outside relaxing enjoying a nice evening, while inhaling toxins that will eventually destroy their lungs. Someone lights up a joint and passes it around to share. Someone who may have never smoked weed before decides to try it when it's passed to them. It may be because they feel pressured to, or because they're curious about marijuana and want to give it a try; it's free, why not? Then the next time they're out with people this same person may be in the same situation. Just hanging out and a joint gets passed around, they try it again, and again.... you see the pattern here? Eventually they're going to realize how calm and relaxed pot makes them feel and start buying it on their own to smoke here and there. Like any other drug or habit, it becomes addictive. People smoke cigarettes and weed because they like how it makes them feel. Some people like to feel that way all the time and do both more than others. Eventually weed may not be enough and people bridge off into other drugs, like Shrooms, Acid... even coke. Drugs are so commonly talked about amongst people in their teens and early twenties that more and more people do stuff every day. It's human nature to be curious. One person hears how another person had such an amazing "trip" off doing shrooms that they want to try it themselves.
I think the real problem here in this day and age is self control. People always feel like they need to be occupied. Whether it's a beer, smoke or joint... Even a cell phone. Can you remember the last time you just sat outside on a gorgeous day with your hands at your side? Not fidgeting or thinking about anything? Guaranteed you're wondering if so and so has texted you back, or what's new on facebook or one of the many games you play online...
Peer pressure has taken a funny turn the past few years... instead of being outright made fun of people are just not included. Like if you don't drink, what are the chances you're going to be invited to your friends Kegger? It's not because they don't like you, but it's because they don't think you'll enjoy going to a place where everyone's drinking when you'd prefer sobriety...
Like I said, I know everyone has an opinion. I'm not saying I'm 100% right... what I am saying is think about it. Can you honestly say you don't agree with some of my points?