Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Letters to the Editor

February 8, 2014

As long as there are tobacco-using customers ...

JACKSONVILLE — Last I checked money does rule the world.  At least the love of money does.

Capitalism in its purest form provides that which is needed or wanted at a profit.  When the dust settles, you will find a profit involved in the move to “phase out” tobacco by CVS Caremark.  

At the very least the news of the “phase out” will promote their company better than many millions of dollars of advertising ever could. Then, a simple statement like “Due to popular demand ...” could put tobacco back on their shelf.  History teaches that whatever evil man desires he will get. Probation sought to do away with drinking alcohol—repealed. Criminalizing marijuana did not cure the drug problem.  

We seem to be at the end of that era. White slavery is still rampant if you can believe the latest headlines.  As a child of the sixties I grew up in a world where it was a smokers right to “light up” in public.  My father smoked.

Overseas, the government provided Camels, Lucky Strike (green) and Pall Mal (without filters) all at little or no cost to our servicemen. When dad came home, he and thousands of his fellow soldiers brought their “cigs” with them.  I could hardly wait to start smoking “just like dad.” I never thought of it as a “bad habit.” It was never a “crutch.” I never smoked to “ease my nerves.”  

I smoked because it designated that I was a man. I smoked because of the “rush” it gave me. I smoked because I liked the feeling of strength and belonging it gave me.  

I quit when medical science proved smoking was bad for your health and would shorten your life; I decided I wanted to live better and longer.  Terms like “bad habit,” “crutch,”  “addiction” and “poison” were used to discourage folks from starting smoking.

Unfortunately, these same words became the justifications that precluded self control for smokers.  The desire to smoke became “addiction.” The terms “bad habit,” “crutch,” and “poison” removed personal responsibility and put quiting beyond the smokers ability to control their desires. Nothing could be further from the truth.  

To encourage stores to stop selling any product is like blowing on a boiling pot to cool it. To stop the pot from boiling we need to turn off the burner. Let’s continue to teach people that smoking is bad for them and pray they will continue to choose the healthier alternative.  

When there are no more customers, all stores will stop selling tobacco.  When we decide not to take mind altering drugs of any kind they will all cease to be sold and the crimes committed by all engaged in the trade will cease. What an amazing idea: ”Just

say No!”  

Calvin Howell

Jacksonville

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