The Cigarette Controversy:Life Behind a Smoke Screen

The topic of smoking is a very touchy subject for most, you are either for it or against it but the force compelling this choice is often quite heated. I sat down with a fellow writer and long time smoker, S.L.Bradish. She pulled no stops on this sensitive issue and told me exactly what she thought of it all.

S.L. Bradish is a long time writer who has quite a few very distinct opinions. She learned to read before kindergarten and taught herself to type when she was five years old. Bradish has worked for two newspapers and owned one of her own. Her husband Don figures as a character in many of her books and short stories, as do her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and a large collection of friends. “I use real people as the good guys in my stories,” she laughed. “The villains are completely fictional!” She noted with a wink.

A woman of many careers, Mrs. Bradish now works for a funeral home and does publicity for Carson Valley Pops Orchestra just for fun. Her first two novels, “Practice Makes Perfect” and “Promises of Things to Come” are the start of her “Libra Station series” set in a small Nevada town (much like Yerington, where she makes her home.)
Art is an important part of her life, as well. She paints everything from seascapes to desert scenes to green landscapes of the mountains where she grew up. “She’s the most barbaric painter I’ve ever seen!” chuckled a long time friend after watching her create a seascape that sold for several hundred dollars. “She uses acrylics and appears to just slop it all over the canvas! Then she stirs it around and voila! A beautiful painting!”

So, what is the biggest problem about smoking today? Mrs. Bradish is happy to jump up and tell you. ” Tobacco was a founding crop of this nation! Had it not been for tobacco farmers in the early days of our country, the economy might have been very different! Now it is very fashionable and politically correct to be a non-smoking tobacco hater! It is the one and only industry that is forced to try to keep people from using it’s product and pay horrific fines to pay for supposed medical benefits for former smokers. Bulldookey!! I have yet to hear of even one person who has benefited from the smoking funds, stolen from legitimate businessmen. If I choose to smoke and get lung cancer, who do I call to cover all my medical costs? MaybeâÂ?¦ dial a prayer? There is no actual government program set up to pay such expenses. The money goes for “education” and we all know where the money for “education” goes, don’t we? Into some politician’s pocket, that’s where! If all this tobacco money were really in a fund and even a tiny scrap of it went to “education” in any form, why do we have lotteries that also are expected to provide for “education?” Please! People like Al Gore, who made their family fortune on tobacco are in the lead of this asinine campaign to destroy the very thing that gave them everything they have. The only “education” to be had in the vast public school system consists of extreme liberal rhetoric and garbage so foul that many wise parents have chosen to home school their children. Along with an occasional mention on the terrible evils of cigarette smoking, they are indoctrinated with gay marriage, terrorist understanding courses, and an inundation of foolishness that defies the imagination!”

Cigarettes are a legally grown crop. Marijuana is legal in some places like California, but cigarettes seem more toxic to the general public. “Quack doctors can write prescriptions for pot to anyone who asks. Can a doctor write me a prescription for a Marlboro? Why the hell not? I’m addicted, apparently, because I have no wish to give up my LEGAL bad habit in order to be politically correct.” She vented.

It has been over the years outlawed to smoke in certain designated areas; such as restaurants, night clubs stores, etc. In fact, at one time it was even allowed in hospitals. It seems that now the consensus is that it is only legal when no one can see or smell this ‘still’ legal right. “I moved out of California when it became illegal to indulge in my chosen vice. My new state is now threatening to forbid me to smoke in public here as well. GreatâÂ?¦ I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that any establishment that forbids me to smoke will be losing my business. How can a FREE COUNTRY allow a perfectly LEGAL item to be banned in public places?”

“One more thingâÂ?¦. I’m sick of hearing about how “second hand smoke kills.” Kills who? I was raised in a smoking household, as were most people of my generation and those preceding it. And yes, some people get cancer. I have known people who never smoked, who were never around it (even casually!) who developed cancer of the lungs and larynx. Second hand smoke had nothing to do with them! I have known many more smokers who never got cancer! Even after 50 or 60 or 70 years of steady smoking. My point is that cancer is cause by a virus or a gene or both. Cigarettes aren’t the one and only cause of cancer in the world! Perhaps it makes some of the nut cases feel important when they can blame one segment of the population for the ills of the rest. I don’t know about you, but it ticks me off to the limit!” S.L. Bradish stated for the record in hopes that someone has been paying attention.

So, a solution in the future? Maybe. Smokers are clearly ready and willing to suggest ideas for the two very different worlds to get along in harmony. “It seems to me that there is a market for both smokers and non-smokers and both should have an equal right to exercise their preferences! Have non-smoking stores and restaurants and hotels and casinos. But you can damn sure have those same places that allow the rest of us to “do our own thing” as well, can’t you? Last I heard, this was supposed to still be the land of the free! Was I wrong? It’s not hard to picture non-smokers avoiding smoking establishments. It’s also easy to envision smokers going to places where they can feel welcome and comfortable.”

Once again, a very touchy subject being fought out amongst the public. It is a popular focus pretty much everywhere I turn, and now we have an opinion on it. No matter the side of the fence you choose, isn’t it great to have a nation still willing to fight for our rights?

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