Addicted to the ‘stompie’

Keith Blake, Ottery

Cigarette smokers are legal drug addicts. Let me put it in plain English: they are addicted to the stompie, they must have it, it is as vital as breathing.

So despite the compulsory “smoking kills” signage on each packet, the addicted smoker will still smoke.

If there are no cigarettes left in a packet, they will make a plan, no matter what, to get another cigarette.

The lockdown ban on the sale of tobacco caused psychological, mental and financial trauma in the lives and homes of almost every smoker.

When something becomes scarce, the price goes up, so smokers now endure a financial burden to buy their cigarettes on the black market that has sprung up to meet the need.

Prices doubled or quadrupled as usually law-abiding smokers became almost criminal in their effort to put a cigarette between their lips.

Home budgets for food and other essentials were cut to the bone to accommodate the now expensive addiction.

I would not be surprised – as I hear all the schemes and plans made to get cigarettes come hell or high water – if long-term loans were made to buy cigarettes.

I overheard a conversation where a person was busy with a supplier to pay R900 for ten packets of cigarettes. The brand mentioned was unknown to me. This transaction was considered a bargain by this person whose main income is a pension. How much food can you buy for R900?

What happens when those ten packets are smoked up in ten or even five days and the craving is back, yes, back like a gorilla never mind a monkey on the smoker’s back?

Can the smokers in our society still dare to criticise drug addicts or have their views now changed?

Given the economic situation, smokers can ill afford to spend the kind of money they are spending for cigarettes.