Thursday, July 13, 2006

One Billion Tobacco Deaths? Big Whoop

I read an article a couple of days ago that claimed the 21st century will see one billion people die from tobacco-related causes. One billion. The American Cancer Society and World Health Organization see this as a huge problem; one worthy of being declared an "emergency."

I say screw 'em.

I don't mean that in a bad way, but seriously, one billion people? Over the course of a century? That's not too bad, if you ask me. In fact, it helps out another "problem" that the World Health Organization is worried about: overpopulation. Not only that, these smokers are dying from something that, in all likelihood, THEY WANT TO DO. It's not like one billion people are getting run over by drunk drivers or getting thrown off of cliffs. It's smoking, which is an acquired habit, and which they can quit if they really wanted to (as a former smoker, I feel entitled to say that). But you know what, most of them LIKE IT.

I say let 'em smoke.

One billion people over 100 years really isn't that bad of a number. That's about 10 million deaths per year on average, which is less than 5% of the American population. Given that the birth rate is still high enough to blow the death rate out of the water, what is everyone so concerned about? Besides, wouldn't we all like a little more elbow room? I know those living in Los Angeles, New York, Seoul, Mexico City, Tokyo, and all of those other crazy places sure as hell would.

Now, I'm not claiming that the world is overcrowded, or is anywhere near it's "sustenance limit," but the fact remains that in 1950, the world's population was only about 2.5 billion. It is currently estimated to be about 6.5 billion. Think about that. Thanks to medicine, technology, and the like, we went from taking THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of years to reach 2.5 billion to taking only 55 years to add another 4 billion more. And, at the current growth rate, the world is expecting to hit 9.2 billion by 2050.

Shit... let 'em smoke, let 'em die. Like I said, at least it'll be from something chosen, and not some fucked up accident.

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