The Marlboro Man

Posted: 11/29/2010 in Uncategorized

This is a re-post of a Craigslist post under the Rants and Raves section. There has been a long running debate (I’m using that term VERY loosely) about the smoking ban here in Michigan. Like other states, smoking is banned in public businesses such as restaurants and bars. The insults go back and forth from anonymous keyboard warriors here in mid Michigan. This one was from a guy who calls himself the Marlboro man… thought it was funny, so I am pleased to share it with you.

Why I smoke…………

I smoke because I am an environmentalist. There are three main reasons why smoking helps the environment.

Think about it. Cigarette butts have fiberglass or other insulating material as filters. If you analyze a bird’s nest in the spring you will see that the parent birds often use these cigarette butts to line their nests as a form of insulation. It helps keep the baby birds warm. We really ought to change the old saying “snug as a bug in a rug” to “snug as a baby bird in a butt-lined nest”. Not as catchy but certainly more truthful. Since many birds are on the endangered species list, I’m sure my amount of smoking (and consequent cigarette butt distribution) has helped save or prolong the life of at least one of those near-extinct wonders of nature. That is reason one.

Secondly, since I inhale, every exhale releases carbon monoxide as a byproduct (chemical symbol CO – one Carbon atom, one Oxygen atom) into the atmosphere. Eventually, this carbon monoxide “floats” up to the upper atmosphere and some of it combines with the ozone layer (ozone is chemical symbol O3). The ozone combines with this carbon monoxide into a chemical reaction that releases the more stable atoms of carbon dioxide (chemical symbol CO2) and pure oxygen (chemical symbol O2). Carbon dioxide is required by plants to manufacture chlorophyll and thus grow (or some such
science mumbo-jumbo – anyway plants need it). Ergo, I am contributing to the greening of the world and helping to prevent the deforestation going on in certain underdeveloped (as well as developed) countries. A side effect is that more pure oxygen is now available which slows down the rate at which this natural resource becomes depleted because of overpopulation.

Thirdly, since my carbon monoxide exhale is depleting the ozone layer (combining to make carbon dioxide and pure oxygen – remember), it helps to close the hole in our atmosphere attributed to ozone. Many scientists attribute this “ozone hole” to being a major contributor to the skin cancer rate in countries below the equator (and some scientists even say it contributes to skin cancer above the equator). So by depleting the
ozone layer I am helping to close the insidious “ozone hole” and therefore I am helping prevent this form of cancer.

So now you understand why I smoke – I am an environmentalist.



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