Light ‘Em Up

The numbers are in.  And ….

People with mental illness are 70% more likely to smoke cigarettes than people without mental illness, two federal health agencies reported….New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and tumblr_lhatmf4hbV1qb1udmo1_1280Mental Health Services Administration show that one of every three adults with mental illness smokes, compared with one in five adults without mental illness.

The study noted several possible reasons that smoking among the mentally ill has been and remains high, including marketing by the tobacco industry and the historical use of cigarettes as an incentive to improve behavior in psychiatric hospitals. — NYTimes

Summary:  You don’t HAVE to be crazy, but it helps.

Don’t you love the bit about the “historical incentive?”  Here’s how this works.  Let’s say you’re locked up in a loony bin somewhere, at the complete mercy of a pack of sadistic at worst, apathetic at best so-called medical staff (because that’s who runs these places).  You haven’t quite adjusted to your breakfast of coffee and Thorazine, so every now and then your eyes bug out in paranoid frustration and you start screaming at the top of your lungs, thrashing about like a boated sports fish, and flinging around whatever you get your hands on, even if it’s your own fresh shit.

After a few hours of enforced isolation, sometimes adorned in a straitjacket that severely reduces circulation of blood to your fingertips, some white coat sits down across from you and makes you a deal.  Don’t do that tomorrow and you’ll get 4 extra cigarettes as a reward.  Don’t do that two days in a row, you’ll get 5 more.  Etc.

Ferchrissake, don’t tell him you don’t smoke.  Maybe you’re crazy, maybe you’re not, but don’t be a shmuck, too.  You take the smokes and either learn to love them, or trade them to another inmate for his dessert, or extra meds, a blow job, whatever.  Now you’re set.

Yes, the mental health system at its best, with a side order of capitalism.  Brought to you by American Tobacco Institute.  They care.

Thinking back, most, not all, of the certifiably crazy people I’ve had the pleasure to know were smokers.  They often had other bad habits, too, like a fondness for folk music and crafts.  But many also developed good habits, like drinking, which made them a lot happier, especially in combination with their drugs.  It also kept the medical establishment at bay, and as crazy as they were, they weren’t so dumb as to understand that the worst thing that ever happened to them was slipping into the clutches of the cult of psychiatry, and to avoid further exposure.

In other tobacco news, it has come out that cigar makers are sticking cat litter into their products to save on taxes:

A dozen tobacco companies have gained from a legal loophole that helped them avoid up to $1.1 billion in U.S. taxes.

Their secret: Using fillers such as the clay found in cat litter or stuffing the products with more tobacco to tip the scales in their favor. The heavier weight lets the companies sidestep a 2,653 percent increase in a federal excise tax, taking advantage of a 2009 law that spared so-called big cigars.

“It shows what length the tobacco companies will go to avoid taxes and regulation that were designed to improve public health without regard to their customers,” Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research at the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, said in a telephone interview. “They should equalize the tax to stop the shenanigans.” —Seattle Times

I get the image of my cats finding their way into my humidor and using it as a litter box.  This might help keep the cigars moist, but I doubt if it will do much for the flavor.

Wait — what was that tax increase?  2,653%?  That’s got to be enough to convince some smokers to switch to cigarettes, and those that do would be anything but crazy.

Tell me again why marijuana is illegal.

[Image Credit, with thanks]

This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Light ‘Em Up

  1. odtley says:

    you have it right about the way they use cigarets in those places of which ive been in maybe 15-20 over 35 years but its even worse because many mentals get hooked easily on all sorts of things let alone physically addictive substances so really these doctors are just making matters worse for their patients while at the same time building their own businesses with repeat customers

    • Squathole says:

      odtley: I love it when you comment here but PLEASE start your own blog, too. You must have a million great stories. I’ll link you and visit daily, and I bet most people visiting here will, too.

      • odtley says:

        i will think about it actually i have been thinking about it and maybe i would if somebody else actually set it up for me and showed me how to do it so maybe i get it which is how i learned to needle inject after a while its easy and you never forget kind of like using a skate key

  2. syrbal says:

    Sheesh, I feel like I need to start smoking to fit in or something. Damned peer pressure.

  3. Sue Perfluous (not my real name) says:

    “Tell me again why marijuana is illegal.”
    Because it’s against the law.

    • jdwheeler42 says:

      A.) To keep the prices high for the drug dealers
      B.) To keep hemp from competing with nylon
      C.) To help fill private prisons and make them more profitable
      D.) To ensure that people use expensive psychopharmaceuticals

      Take your pick…

  4. Barbara Ganousch says:

    Anybody who trusts a psychiatrist ought to have her head examined.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s