Hi M G F,
I hope I did not give you the impression that I was critical of your remarks in the original thread. I certainly did not take issue with anything you said. After 25+ years as a smoker, I am sure you have heard just about every negative comment imaginable with regards to your life style choice, some from people that care about you and some from people that just like to stir the pot. I am not surprised you would take such a stance to defend yourself.
I think a big reason why some people feel compelled to make these statements boils down to the issue of self-preservation. Billions of dollars are made each year by connecting a person's desire for self-preservation to some product be it a medicine, life style regimen or something else. Society is just being carpet bombed with this sort of advertising and if a person wasn't concerned about their health before, there is a clever marketing scheme being developed somewhere to get us to be fearful about something. It is getting to be impossible to have a hot dog at a ball game anymore without feeling you are playing Russian roulette with your heart or worrying about erectile dysfunction. Over time I think society by and large has bought into this concept of self preservation at all costs eventhough a considerable amount of it is simply based off of profit driven exploitation of people's fears.
....... and then you have this group of people, these smokers who just aren't playing the game by these rules. So I suppose to reconcile why some one would smoke even though they may be shortening their lives, people conclude that it has to be because of nicotine addiction or some other weakness. I agree that nicotine addiction is highly overrated when it comes to a person's desire to continue to smoke. But it is certainly a convenient explanation especially if I was some one trying to market or develop a product to sell to smokers knowing that their actions are viewed in a negative light by many and that some smokers at least might be trying to give it up.
As you can probably tell from my previous post, I do give this topic of smoking considerable thought. I appreciate you adding your thoughts to the mix.