ethel’s words

Click your browser’s “Back” button to return to SmashingIkons


When the prohibitions were put in place, whether planned or unplanned, Mormons played an active role: (Obviously Mormons--Gentiles would have said, “It’s The Church at it again.”) Instead: “This has nothing to do with The Church”, they shouted. “This is not something from Latter-Day Saints; this is everywhere, not just in Utah.” They reiterated, again and again, “This has nothing to do with religion. This is a health issue.”

But elsewhere, we observed, when we traveled, people were still joyous, laughing, jabbering, smoking up a storm. Having FUN. Wow.

But over the years, the fear and the prohibitions have spread. Still, questions remain.

Health issue? Why do they--the Big They--talk about emphysema being caused by smoking tobacco or even just cigarettes? To the uneducated, it simply seems obvious, that even though some emphysema seems inevitable with age, smoking would exacerbate it. Maybe they don’t mention it because of that epidemic of emphysema among cows in Utah County some years back. Maybe to protect the air polluters: “Say ‘cancer’, not ‘emphysema’.” Don’t muddy the campaign with extraneous facts. Cancer is scarier--it IS scary--and the threat of cancer should terrify smokers into wanting to delay the next step of eternity.

The “Big They” don’t say it only once: “Cancer/smoking”. They say it a thousand times, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Yet, some folks still smoke. And enjoy it, so far, but less and less as the campaign makes them feel as if they are murdering innocent people.

If they say it a million times, it may turn out to be correct. Who knows? All they lack is the evidence. All we lack is a thousand studies of other possible factors, such as herbicides, insecticides, mercury, lead, common pharmaceuticals, food preservatives, and maybe even psychogenic influences.

Who pays for the studies? Who dictates what factors will be studied? Why are the peons of this culture not told about the chemicals added to their cigarette tobacco? (Maybe all tobaccos except certified organic?)

To whom can we address these questions? Ah, another clue. There is no one identified as responsible for this oppressive control of human behavior.

Ethel C. Hale