I’m sorry but someone has to call this bullshit. You can’t be morbidly obese and a smoker; that shit is just ridiculous. Yet, when I look around me, I am reminded that this is an increasingly prevalent phenomenon.
As a [relatively] healthy being it literally makes me dry retch to see fatties smoking across the road from my office at 7am. Not to mention the can of Coke they’re also taking swigs from in between their nicotine intake.
Firstly, let’s do the math…
It’s believed that a heavy smoker metabolises the equivalent of an extra 200 calories every day. As someone who doesn’t necessarily ‘count’ calories but is at least calorie-aware: Oh, what I would do with an extra 200 calories a day! Check it out here. I admit it doesn’t look like that much extra food but times that by seven over a week and 52 weeks a year equals a fuckton of extra food that smokers get to enjoy without putting on a scrap of weight. I certainly wouldn’t mind chowing down that much extra bacon on a daily basis if it meant zero weight gain. But, unfortunately, my health-conscience isn’t willing to smoke for it.
What has really gotten my goat up is when I was walking to the work car park the other day and the woman in front of me (who was about as tall as she was wide) was puffing away, “enjoying” her afternoon dart. Meanwhile, I’m copping intermittent clouds of second-hand nicotine to the face as her smoke-farts descend like oncoming traffic into my path.
Eventually, to avoid the crude offensive on my nasal passages, I stopped walking and waited five minutes until the path was relatively pollution-free. It was literally all I could do (short of doing something I’d no doubt regret) to stop myself reeking like an ashtray before getting into my car.
I probably could have forgiven her if she was only slightly overweight but this lady was literally not a person any more, just a blob on feet. You can’t have two ‘indulgences’ (food and nicotine) while I have none and then inconvenience me in the process. That just pisses me off.
Moving on from my personal feelings on the matter, the toll that obese people and smokers put on this country’s health system is immense.
A 2005 article published in the Medical Journal of Australia stated “overweight and obese Australian adults cost the Australian economy $21 billion in direct health care and direct non-health care costs, plus an additional $35.6 billion in government subsidies.” And this figure will continue to rise. Similarly, in 2004-5 the cost to Australian people from tobacco use came in at an estimated $31.5 billion.
These figures are pretty mind-blowing, so to put it in more general terms (and in the words of a beloved former Prime Minister); morbidly obese smokers are a ‘double-whammy’ on the nation’s health system.
So where to from here? Perhaps a tax on high sugar content beverages? Tax cigarettes even more? Or maybe a restriction on fast food advertising? Get real people. Yes, the government’s there for the ‘greater good’ but is it really the government’s responsibility to protect citizens from themselves? Also, why should the rest of us further subsidise the bad habits of others and be punished because smokers who eat their weekly calorie intake in a day can’t exercise a little self-control?