If you watch old movies or television shows everyone smoked and nobody thought anything of it. If they had a stressful experience, they smoked. If they wanted to look badass, they smoked. If a room needed atmosphere, everyone smoked. It was standard. So why the change?
Truth is, there are certain health benefits that smoking brings. Sure, doctors these days bang on about ‘lungs filling up with tar’ and ‘cancer’ and ‘permanent organ damage’ but who cares about any of that when you can achieve the following:-
Prevent Heart Disease and Strokes
Smoke contains carbon monoxide. It has been shown that carbon monoxide inhibits blood clotting, thereby dissolving harmful clots in the arteries.
“A statistically significant inverse association between smoking and Alzheimer’s disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption” (International Journal of Epidemiology, 1991).
Lowering Blood Pressure
Smoking is shown to reduce stress and increase endorphins. It calms you down and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
However, let’s be honest, as nice as these benefits are they do not outweigh the detriment list. The thing about smoking is that it’s not like being an alcoholic, or a crack addict. With those things you wake up half-dead in a bush in Scotland with a missing kidney and it’s no-one’s problem but your own. But with smoking, the people around you can’t choose not to smoke if you choose to do it near them. It’s just not cool to force your vices on other people.
The drug Thalidomide also has many health benefits. It reduces nausea, suppresses symptoms of common colds and flu, combats insomnia and other sleeping disorders, and is a gentle sedative. But unborn babies can’t choose not to take it, and we’ve seen what happens there. I don’t think anyone is campaigning for that one to come back and be socially acceptable again either.
I have come up with a solution that I think everyone will find acceptable.
There is a substance that can boast health benefits comparable to the ones above. It is all-natural and widely available.
It is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce blood pressure, increase cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of cancer.
It can help to reduce cholesterol as it contains monounsaturated fats.
It has a low GI (glycaemic index) so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar, and makes you feel fuller for longer.
It contains many vital minerals, such as iron (good for lots of things, especially healthy blood cells), copper (which helps us to absorb iron), and magnesium (which can reduce the risk of diabetes).
It contains theobromine, which as well as being a mild natural stimulant is fantastic at treating persistent coughing and a number of other nerve-related symptoms.
It releases endorphins which make you feel happy and less stressed.
What is this wonder food, I hear you ask?
Yep, plain old dark chocolate can provide you all of the same health benefits of smoking, except it’s cheaper, tastier and better for everyone.