WASHINGTON - A five-year study concludes that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of everything, from motorcycle accidents to catastrophic natural disasters and failed romances to mental disorders.
The Food and Drug Administration said in a news release the study was the result of five years of close examination of smokers and the trouble they cause.
"We all know smoking is bad for you," said Jim Trueblood, a spokesman for the anti-tobacco campaign Truth. "And we were pretty sure that smoking is the cause of everything. This study just backs up what we've been saying."
The FDA found links to cheating on homework assignments, links to pets gone bad and links to simple things like power outages.
"Smoking has not only caused countless cancer deaths, it has caused deaths from accidental falls, deaths due to hangings and even deaths due to capital punishment," the study said.
How can smoking be linked to things such as failed romances? "It just is," said FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach. "Smoking erodes our fabric of society. It kills and it can kill more than just people. It kills lifestyles, it strains interpersonal relations and can even make milk sour."
Some of the more unusual things caused by smoking are as follows:
- Drought both home and abroad.
- Airport delays.
- Rain delays at sporting events
- Getting bad Christmas and birthday gifts.
- Ill-fitting shoes.
- Both the Miami Dolphins undefeated season and their thus-far winless season.
- Check engine light alerts.
- Bad potato salad.
Von Eschenbach confirmed this latest study on the dangers of tobacco will probably signal the start of legislation to outlaw its use.
"If it can cause something as severe as boll weevils and root rot in crops, then something is truly wrong here and legislation needs to be enacted that will ban its use for good," the commissioner said.
The big tobacco lobby is still studying the report and offered no immediate comment.
R.J. Reynolds did issue a press release. "We have read the study and disagree with its findings. Smoking cigarettes is no more dangerous than sitting at home spending time playing Scrabble with friends. Everyone knows the FDA is a hack agency. They never read our reports years ago about how Camel soothes the throat and goes down milder with more pure tobacco satisfaction than all other major brands."