Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Habitual Stupidity

So, I was visiting family this past week and I stumbled upon something I dread. Cigarettes.
For those of you who aren't familiar with cigarette packets, they are unique. They are required to carry a special label that warns smokers of the negative effects of its content.

Although it sounds dissuading at first, it's pretty futile. The required label may indeed symbolize good intentions, but it is, as said, just intentions.

Being around smokers my whole life I have come to the conclusion that it isn't the act of smoking that is the only appealing aspect, but rather the idea of the ritual that revolves around that.

To clarify, what I'm trying to say is that a veteran smoker isn't interested in only breathing in the harmful gases, but has developed a habit of of lighting his/her cigarette, holding it a certain way and feeling the lightweight sensation when one is on their lips. In other words the ritual of smoking.

By the same token, such a smoker finds the warning a trivial piece of information that cannot affect them in the near future, therefore fear isn't able to outgrow the desire to smoke. 

In all fairness, though, these labels may prevent new smokers from picking up this habit. Then again, the labels don't serve this purpose. If you think about it, no company wants to lose customers, more specifically it doesn't want to lose on income. And what's another way to lose on income? To be sued by somebody just because there isn't a label on a packet.

In the end it's all a game. The only way to break out of this habit is to feel its effects or decide that you are better than this.