Written by Rob Stimpson
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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Government ministers have today announced that the act of smoking cigarettes is to be classified as an extreme sport. The continued popularity of the lethal hobby in the face of overwhelming, some might say 'blasé', scientific evidence that it causes death has left many critics mystified; so the new official stance adopted by Parliament is - "just let them get on with it".

The statement released by the government claims that "smokers have been told repeatedly that their actions are highly likely to cause a life threatening disease at some point in their life, yet they just do not listen, so we are washing our hands of them - they can do as they please, they just better not come bleating back to us when things go wrong". In order to make this decision appear less heartless, the government officially granted smoking the status of an extreme sport, so as to appear to offer a gift to the smokers before shunning them. The reasoning for such a move is that like those who partake in bungee jumping, sky-diving or hang-gliding, smokers knowingly partake in an activity with the explicit knowledge that they are heightening the odds of an early death. So when this death does occur, the family and friends of the deceased can now say that at least they died doing what they loved.

A spokesperson for Smokers Have Intelligent Traits has welcomed the news. In a short statement it was claimed that "smokers of the world can now be proud of their bravery in the face of the negative barbs of society - we are mavericks who look death in the eye and laugh in his face". Continuing along similar lines, the spokesperson said that "we could all die tomorrow, a car could run us down in the street and it would all be over - so why not just live life to the maximum and enjoy yourself?"

The spokesperson did acknowledge that hacking up black phlegm first thing every morning was not particularly pleasant, yet "nothing could beat the sensation of breathing in smoke all day". Furthermore, the spokesperson went on to claim that smokers should be held in as high regard as fireman in regards to bravery/stupidity, by saying that "when they [firemen] enter a burning building, they have oxygen masks on, yet we smokers inhale smoke regularly everyday, and we just do it because we're so f*cking awesome".

The anti-smoking group Please Don't Kill Me As Well has offered a mixed reaction to the government's decision. According to their spokesperson, the extreme sport tag will "lessen the concern of non-smokers for the lives of those that do smoke, because now there is truly no excuse if illness sets in", yet, the tag could also act as a 'James Dean effect' by luring in young children desperate for the need to be cool. The spokesperson claimed that "there are many children out there with no personality or social abilities whatsoever, so the chance to dice with death and take up an extreme sport like smoking in order to impress their peers is a very real dilemma". When asked if members of the group would still sympathise with an ailing smoker whose extreme, daredevil lifestyle had caught up with them, the spokesperson claimed that "nobody wants to see a fellow human being in pain or on deaths door, but if you do not help yourself, then you cannot expect others to help you either".

The spokesperson also responded to his counterpart's remarks about living life to the maximum. After acknowledging that life can be taken away at any moment, the spokesperson claimed that "the fragility of life is precisely why I choose not to smoke. While I have the gift of life in my hands I don't want to do something that will make my teeth and hair go yellow, that will drastically age my skin and make me smell foul and hideous. I don't much like the thought of people wincing after they kiss me either. I'm trying to preserve whatever youth and beauty I might have".

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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