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Inhaling

This morning, I saw a number of people outside my
office building committing suicide.

Some of them were my friends. Don’t ask me why I didn’t
stop them. In the past, I’ve tried — with occasional
success — but most of the time they didn’t listen.

They were smokers. And every time I see someone taking a
smoke break or holding a cigarette outside a car window, I
remember how difficult it was for me to quit after years
of a pack a day.

Oh, we knew it wasn’t good for us — we just had no idea
how bad it was for us. And yet it’s still being used, it’s
still being sold because it’s still legal.

Medical science seems to be convinced that a little
alcohol, especially red wine, may have some health
benefits. Medical marijuana is available in a number of
states. But nowhere does anyone promote the benefits of
tobacco.

That’s because of the nearly half-million deaths from its
use this year alone. It kills thousands of infants born
from smoking mothers.

If you’re hooked but you’re still listening, at least now
you know why they call those smokers on TV “Mad Men.”

I’m Pat McMahon.