My Issue With Vaping

Recently, I presented a collaboration with colleagues on the dangers of vaping. Alongside we also explored rhetoric in advertising. An examples was a fifties picture of a pack of Viceroy cigarettes, with a dentist promoting the idea of using filters to protect our teeth and body. The premise was meant to identify safety in ingesting tobacco. We live in that time again of false representation, or we might easily acknowledge the practice has never gone away.

I remember as a child, or young teen, cigarette ads were banned from television commercials because somewhere along the line, someone with influence managed to convince the producers this method a dangerous precedent, especially given the impact on teenagers.

I was a heavy smoker from my late teens until around 15 years ago. There have been many gifts to my life that have occurred because of my decision to stop smoking. I can breathe again, without rasp, without a chronic cough, without the fear of blackening my lungs. I had a medical procedure nearly a decade ago. I had quit smoking a few years before hand, and so during the testing I feared they would find spots on my lungs. I was fortunate to live with the resiliency of our body’s capacity to recover their full health. Certainly not always the case. No spots, no memory of years of cigarette smoking.

So what does all of this have to do with vaping in today’s society? In my own personal life I feel fortunate to have quit smoking years before the trend began. Had I been a smoker I would have been one of the first to buy a vape device. I’m a trend junkie, and it would have been the right transition because it might have seemed and looked rather cool. I feel fortunate as I read the increasing evidence of its damaging impact on society, people, our teens.

I write about this today, because I came across a picture of this young woman laying in a hospital bed with tubes, diagnostics and oxygen at her nearby. The commentary to follow the photo is sad, supportive, hopeful and at times cruel. The idea of a person in a hospital clinging to their lives as being weak is reprehensible. The very nature of what we do not know about vaping and its unknown ingestion of chemicals just in simple terms scares the hell out of me.

So, two things pop into my mind about this picture. One, my immediate compassion for this young woman’s welfare. The very fact that even if the picture is photo-shopped or exaggerated, the truth is there are people in her position in hospitals across the country experiencing her condition as we speak. The evidence exists. This cannot be considered weak, it needs to be understood as dangerous and fact.

The other piece even more frightening is the practice of using pot, or THC to be hidden inside the wonder of a Juul. People laugh about it – they can walk anywhere and hit their Juul without being detected. The reality their body is impacted matters far more than a hidden treasure in the midst of a public audience.

So today, as I watch this phenomena in its still early stages, not even peaking with intrigue, I think of the young people whom are so easily drawn to the dangers of vaping. We know lung cancer is what it is, rather than directly connected with smoking or not. Imagine what will become common knowledge or memory for the lives of so many people caught up in the seemingly safe and potentially life threatening rave that is vaping.

Yes, as much damage as cigarettes did and do over the long term, vaping in any regard frightens me to no end. Those that have lost their livelihood, their health due to such an unidentified habit, my heart goes out to all and I only pray for their strength to overcome the medical consequence that may lay ahead of them.

We just don’t know.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

juulclaims.com

 

 

If They Are Just Kids

emma

photo – Face The Nation

If everyone knew the correct answer,

then why would the children be so annoying.

If the adults might only listen for a reason,

then perhaps they might never again tease.

 

There seems to be a worthy cause on our horizon,

kids are speaking up, and there’s a faction of

human beings,

still want to only talk about guns.

 

They’re saying the kids don’t know enought

about weaponry,

the stuff that killed their best friend,

point blank in the head while studying pre-Calc.

 

Let’s teach them CPR states a diplomatic

asshole,

one that frankly might even know the color

of their own child’s eyes – ask the nany perhaps.

 

A great deal of anger seems to be the agenda

on both sides, tehre are issues and debates,

what’s different this time, says the speaker,

trying to find an inward path toward freedom.

 

Seems there might be a quiet revolution,

it involves the kids and their number are great,

if we decide they’re not worthwhile,

thank perhaps we must ask the question.

 

Why did we choose to raise children to be

the next generation of free thinkers in our society..

In High School We Believed

Everything

mattered, occurred, became known,

whether we wanted notoriety

or a simple life as a student.

 

Remember walking the halls,

feeling the eyes,

wondering about thinking

that could expose your own state of mind.

 

I remember they told me otherwise,

so I trusted their ideal,

and when the walls caved in

they were nowhere to be found.

 

I remember the rumors,

she was so beautiful,

carried such a wonderful spirit,

no one would understand the hate in mirrors.

 

In high school, we lived many different lives,

some would last a week,

others perhaps a couple of days,

it only mattered if we could find definition.

 

When the word arrived in our mind,

how could we possibly imagine

telling anyone, especially those eyes we were

already afraid of, deathly afraid of knowing.

 

While the world seemed different outside,

internal walls protected our sanity

only when we accepted ourselves in earnest,

if not, we relied upon a mask.

 

Though the transparency, when noticed,

became the final reckoning, we did understand.

always just a little late …

Serenity

A silent muse,

peace, a posture

wishful

in why to seek

serenity.

A word,

create a visual

definition,

breathe in

breathe out

breathe again

for there is nothing

without.

I often want to travel back,

stand in the hallway

outside the cafeteria,

where I can still remember the double

locked

lunchroom doors,

almost feel their clasp,

like speaking

to my childhood

years later to suggest I did exist then.

The mind can choose to listen

or scream,

to advocate a fresh perspective,

or recall.

The eyes though have it,

they can see what happened,

the pain, fear, torment, confusion

of an adolescent nightmare.

Sing to me soft melody

allow me new serenity.

 

My Last Night

When the pain became too much
I stopped looking
Finally the strength
To step away overcame me
False reality
Bitter truths
Splayed before my eyes
Quite simply my heart was broken
In more places than even they could know

When a cry occurs
Soft petals
Rain soaked tears
Skin damp from streams released
Across my cheeks
The general public never sees
Trails of passionate fears
Not because they can’t visualize
The instance of pain

A child’s eyes
Meant to contain beauty
A sparkle of delight
Expressive response to a world
That allows her unbridled love
Safe to imagine
Without panic or anxious torment
Without slander or tactless assault
Only soft cushions of life

Why have all the children disappeared
Innocence and naiveté, and quiet love