A recent news item about the destructive California fires reports that at least one originated in a homeless camp just a few miles from an expensive plush community. It may have been caused by a carelessly tossed cigarette.
Remember way back in the days when almost all adults smoked? Gee, that oppressive, smelly, choking odor was just what I needed to make my dinner more enjoyable. Aunt Flossie lights up her stinky Chesterfield while Uncle Max puffs on his stinkier Cuban cigar. Even sadder memories are when she died of lung cancer at age 45, and he didn’t make it to age 60 when throat cancer killed him.
The American Cancer Society recently released a report claiming that 29% of early smoker deaths are caused by cigarettes. My personal beliefs are that it is a very low estimate when you consider the lung damage caused to non-smokers, including families, children and others constantly exposed to the poisoned air.
Of course, nicotine addiction isn’t the only cause of early death. Asbestos causes cancer say all the wanna-get-rich lawyers. That may be true when people are exposed to it for long times, such as in crowded Navy crew sleeping areas. I snoozed aboard ship during WW2 and the Korean War surrounded by asbestos-covered pipes.
I believe the most cancer-causing elements there were not the pipes, but never-ending cigarettes puffed in surrounding bunks. It eventually shortened the lives of the heavy smokers, but also all the non-smoking guys who had to put up with the poison, smell and fumes.