Tuesday, July 29, 2014


In 1965, 42% of Americans smoked. That has dropped to 18% now. I remember buying cigarettes for 50 cents a pack and now, the Federal tax is $1.01 per pack.

Smoking is blamed for $300 billion in medical bills and lost productivity, so there is still a long ways to go. Living a stone's throw from North Carolina where the tobacco industry is still a big deal, the statistics have to be a lot higher, but at least we don't have to eat in smoky public places any more.

Remember when people smoked on airplanes? The gunk clogged the gyroscopic instruments which I would imagine is a bit more serious than the danger of using your iPad while in flight. Even though I was a smoker at the time, it surprised me to find the ashtray in a Beechcraft Bonanza located just above the valve that controlled the fuel flow from the wing tanks.

Making progress. Not sure if it will continue, though, as nicotine is such an insidiously habitual drug. And it lasts forever. A friend and I once made a pact--we would continue to avoid smoking until we turned 80. Then it isn't going to accelerate your demise greatly, so might as well go for it!

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