FROM THE BOQ: BUSINESS, POLITICS AND ETHICS #91

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Given a specific amount of money to use in fighting lung cancer, would you rather spend it on public education about smoking or on medical treatment for cancer patients?

As a recovered nicotine addict myself, I know how difficult it is to quit smoking.  In fact, it is now known that nicotine is more addictive than cocaine and heroin. 

I smoked twice in my life, once for several years, later for just a few months.  (I smoked my last cigarette September 4, 2007.)  And the only reason I quit, both times, was that I was jolted awake every night in my sleep with a violent, dry, gagging cough that just went on and on.  Were it not for that, I’d still be smoking.

In stating that I’m a recovered nicotine addict, I only mean that I resist the daily urge to smoke.  This urge has become weaker, over time, but it has never gone away.  And it never will.

In fact, were it not for caffeine, I’d still be smoking–caffeine is the only drug that comes close to soothing the urge for nicotine.  But make no mistake, I’d much rather smoke every day than drink coffee. 

I despise those who judge smokers, having never experienced nicotine addiction themselves.  They are hypocrites.

But I would be even more of a hypocrite if I didn’t consider the needs of those who were not as lucky as I–those who were unable to quit smoking.

So, given a specific amount of money to use in fighting lung cancer, I would rather be ethically compelled to spend it on medical treatment for cancer patients.

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