SOME Filipino smokers like me are as dumb as their counterparts in the United States, so says a Reader's Digest magazine survey to be published in February.
We're dumb because we took up the habit; dumber because now, like me, I can't seem to break it.
The dumbest part is that some of us who make tobacco czars wealthy think the vice can make them slim, as the survey reveals.
According to a press release about the survey, "smoking to suppress appetite is recognized as a foolish trade-off throughout the world, but the habit persists anyway, particularly in the Philippines, China, Mexico, and, strikingly, Russia."
The survey revealed that 23 percent of Russian men and 18 percent of women admit to smoking cigarettes in order to lose weight.
They may have thought: why not puff away the fat?
There's a slim chance that would happen as I haven't read any research that scientifically proves smoking leads to voluptousness.
But I may agree that fat may be the first thing we lose six feet under the ground; bones, hair, and teeth being the last, according to a friend who owns a funeral home and a certified embalmer.
While the survey isn't about smoking and is more about dieting, the results for the Philippines reveal the key factor on why I and some of us can't kick the habit despite the health warnings.
Willpower, that's the key.
Reader's Digest commends us for the honesty of Filipinos, or at least the respondents of the survey.
"A full 95 percent of Filipinos say they enjoy good food, and 82 percent admit to simply not having the willpower to resist it. Indeed, only 38 percent have even tried to lose weight."
While there's such a thing as excessive eating, or gluttony as some would call it, there's no such thing as too much smoking. Nicotine addiction is still addiction; smoking is excessive in itself.
I didn't take up smoking because I wanted to lose weight. I got hooked, nay, addicted to nicotine when I took my first puff at 16, while still at secondary school.
I admit I was afraid to stop because some literature says I will gain weight. And I don't think I'd like myself looking old and fat.
And according to the survey, the Philippines and Germany share the pervasive "notion that excess pounds can leave you wedged into a dead end in the office."
It is in India, however, were the notion of being "overweight can "seriously interfere" with career advancement."
The survey said that "41 percent of dieters there say they were motivated by a desire to be promotable."
"And this is one of the few instances where men (52 percent) feel greater pressure to trim down than women (31 percent)."
This is not a diatribe to justify what I consider a costly and deadly habit that I have long been planning to stop, especially for the sake of my daughters.
Hopefully, after this post, I can go cold turkey.
I think my daughters will like better a fat but healthy and strong-willed father than a sexy ashtray-breath and lung cancer-riddled one better.