The Price of Pleasure and Luxury
Aristotle once said that man is a social animal, and thus cannot survive without actively involving himself with others of his kind. Ideally, this involvement ought to have been based upon a desire to actively contribute to the evolution of humanity, to better each other’s lives, and to make the world a better and brighter place for us humans to live in. Sadly however, when faced with the question of satiating our pleasure-centered desires or to let go of such intents for our best interest, most of us generally do not believe it to be a worthwhile notion to be seriously considered. Consequently, regardless of the rising number of lives claimed by tobacco consumption, tobacco industry still persists in its production and subsequent marketing merely to sustain their luxuries. Nevertheless, every 31st of May is celebrated as the World No Tobacco Day in the hope to educate people about the hazards and the life-threatening but preventable diseases caused by tobacco consumption.
Every year more than 8 million people smoke their lives away into nothingness for the mere pleasure of a few moments, leaving behind grieving families and bereaved friends. Every year US$ 9 billion are spent to consistently replace these 8 million lost consumers, making their lives the fuel to be burnt in maintaining the glamorous blaze of wealth and power enjoyed by the tobacco industry.
In addition to this loss of life, it should also be acknowledged that the marketing strategies adopted for the sale and dissemination of these tobacco products are misleading for the young lives and entice them into becoming addicts of a deathly pleasure consequently letting their lives be squeezed out of them in the serpentine coils of physical, financial, and psychological strains. For instance, most of the over 15,000 flavours of tobacco consumption attract children and adolescents. The free sampling of tobacco products, and the selling of single stick cigarettes make addiction easily accessible and affordable even for children and unemployed teenagers. Such manipulations not only ruin the carefree days of childhood and the youthful energies of adolescence but also make such young tobacco consumers potential victims of life-threatening, mortally fatal diseases.
About 25% of cancer deaths throughout the world are caused by tobacco consumption. The presence of nicotine in tobacco products is responsible for increasing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. So no matter whether it is e-cigarettes, shisha, or other apparently harmless forms of tobacco consumption, it should be remembered that they double the risk for the individual of becoming an addict in his/her future; and they severely damage the brain development of a child, subjecting him/her to a handicapped life of mental inabilities or at the very least, ineptitudes.
In essence, the harsh truth is that we humans have allowed materialism to consume our conscience, to the effect that we no longer care how many lives we are ruining as long as our pockets are being filled with money. Let us all take some time to ponder upon the question, is this world governed by the avarice of ambitious men who play with the innocent lives in the name of pleasure? Or is it merely because of the heedlessness of people like ourselves who acknowledge the perils of all hazards but do not do anything about it simply because we are too lost into the affairs of our daily lives to care that our children and our youth are paying the price for their misguided pleasures and the luxuries of others?