Operated by John-Riley Harper. Dedicated to archiving photography from Utah's underground scenes, as well as other personal projects.

Article Brainstorm.
The UVSC newspaper had an article today titled "Wellness Education wants you to "Break Free" from smoking. Although I'm not a smoker myself, it annoys me to see the constant demonization of people who happen to have become addicted to inhaling smoke. Truth be told, the constant cigarette breaks drive glass shards under my fingernails, but at least they make decent conversationalists. I defend smoking just as I defend any consensual crime. I feel that we have the right to do anything we want to our bodies and minds; It is not the business of the government, in any instance.

What strikes me about the headline is the wording. We want you to "Break Free" from smoking. I can't help but see "Break Free" as a subliminal idea that enhances corporate conscription. For centuries, it seems, workers have demanded what is now a time honored "smoke break." The "Break Free" organization seems to be trying to infuse the idea of skipping that break. I have always been envious of the smokers and their 5 minute breaks, and it is a good behavior. I worked for eBay for 2.5 years, and we had productivity experts come in and give chats from time to time. A consistent message was that regular breaks helped productivity, worker morale, and overall happiness. The problem is, of course, that if you simply go take a break you can be identified as lazy. However, if you have a cigarette between your fingertips you are awarded immunity. A double standard? Maybe, but it seems to be tacit law. But this new "Break Free" campaign is, in my opinion, a move to whittle away at the heartwood of the smoke break. It serves to keep employees working, working, working, to leave no nook for the nicotine crook.

The article cites the website http://www.quitnet.com/, which is full of quirky and clever expressions such as "quit all together," which definitely does conjure up images of clapping lumberjacks, so they are not alone in their fight against the "nicodemon."

What really gets me, though, is the phone number. 1-888-567-TRUTH. Yeah, I'm not naive enough to know that anytime people use the word "truth" they are usually trying to deceive you. It's not hard to see through when you watch anti-smoking commercials. They are filled with eggageration and appeals to emotion. A recent anti-smoking campaign shows children who lick the soles of dirty shoes; smoking is is the same sort of fetish. I guess antismokers can't think of any good reasons other than blatant lies to neuter the nicotine "nightmare."


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