The United States gets it wrong over and over again, in regards to certain health hazards, recommendations, and beliefs. Whatever is currently in favor is praised, and whatever currently is out of favor is vilified, whereas the truth is either set aside, ignored, or exaggerated to make whatever point serves the purpose of the government and its mouthpieces. A case in point is cigarette smoking, in which, if you were to believe the government, smoking cigarettes appears the be the single worst thing that anyone can do to their own body or to anybody in the vicinity of their smoking. For the US government and its guileless citizens, smoking is wrong, a weakness, and should be eliminated, in which upon the cessation of smoking, everyone will be so happy and complete. Rubbish.
While I do not argue for excessive smoking, I do understand that there are certain reasons why people might want to smoke. First off, people like to smoke, because smoking helps to ease their discomfort and loneliness in certain social situations. They also like to smoke because cigarette smoking suppresses their appetite and allows them to concentrate better on tasks. Additionally, there is a certain pleasure in smoking which helps to relax an individual. What the critics never seem to understand, and never seem to get right, is that there is no ongoing social situation or peer pressure which would get people to smoke if there wasn't any benefit or pleasure from the act of smoking to begin with.
There are plenty of ways to die, and certainly dying from lung cancer, or emphysema, or cardiovascular disease, is not going to be a pleasant experience, in which excessive cigarette smoking is a significant reason why these diseases may ravage your body. However, many things that are done to excess or are ignored are not going to be good for your brain or for your body, such as excessive alcohol consumption, excessive consumption of unhealthy fats and sugars, excessive stress, and the total lack of exercise. Your diet, your habits, your personality, your genes, your decisions, and your luck, are all going to be factors that are involved in your overall health.
For those that believe that cigarette smoking and lung cancer, or cigarette smoking and lifespan are inexorably linked and that the conclusion is obvious, that smoking truncates and ends your life, prematurely, that conclusion is called into question by studying other countries and their cancer rates and lifespan. For instance, Japan's consumption of cigarettes far exceeds the United States, in which Japan's consumption of cigarettes is nearly 85% more than the United States, in fact, many more Japanese smoke than Americans, but Japan's lifespan is the 2nd highest in the world, significantly higher than the lifespan of the United States. Incredibly, as reported by nih.gov in November of 2001, the United States incidence of lung cancer is "…six times higher than in Japanese relative to community controls."
Rather than act like little children and cry out that the sky is falling, such as Chicken Little, the United States should stop hiding behind lies, deceptions, and deceits. That is the inconvenient truth about smoking and yes, moderate cigarette smoking of around five to six cigarettes a day, is just fine.