Summary of the Article I'd Rather Smoke than Kiss by Florence King

Summary of Florence King’s “I’d Rather Smoke Than Kiss”

In “I’d Rather Smoke Than Kiss,” Florence King tries to portray her hatred of smokers in the essay because King is bold and not afraid to speak her mind. In the beginning of the essay (1.)King gives her readers a little bit of background information on how she started smoking. Then King goes on to incorporate her thesis of the essay which is “hatred of smokers is the most popular form of closet misanthropy in America today (128).”

(2)In the second part of the essay King attacks smokers by labeling them as “tinpot Torquemadas (130).” King’s meaning behind the tinpot Torquemadas is the smokers are cheap and don’t think that they are doing anything wrong even though they are torturing people. This point links this part of the essay with King describing how the government and Jeremiah O’Leary’s column show how much damage smokers have done. In the third part of the essay

(3)King goes on to examine how smokers have a hygiene insecurity. King uses an example “kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray (130).” This is incorporated in the essay when King gives examples of public service ads. Finally,

(4)King explains how smokers are looked upon as being scapegoats because everyone else is better than them. This is backed up in her effort to take an in depth look at every social class.

The Cancer Causer

Smoking is one the worst choices, risks, or mistakes a person could make with their life. Not only does smoking affect individuals personally, but can also harm everyone around them with second hand smoke. I understand that everyone has their own choice to smoke or not. Smoking is just something I don’t like and don’t comprehend why people in modern day society do it and continue to do it. Smoking is something that I plan on never doing in my life. (You could put the first part of your summary (1) about how King referenced her start to smoking, and how you plan to never start). With there being such a high amount of smokers in today’s society, I almost look at it as a goal to achieve. Keeping all of this in mind it is obvious to why I didn’t like Florence King’s essay, “I’d rather smoke than kiss.” Not only was the article hard to understand I also felt that it lacked major points about smoking. Florence King never stated any medical information behind smoking such as heart cancer, heart disease and dental problems nor does she touch on the financial implications of this habit. As a whole I would strongly recommend not to read Florence King’s essay because of the amount of damage smoking has caused to people in the world today with cancer and other diseases.

I think the biggest thing King left out of her essay was any medical documentation on the effects of smoking and its link to diseases. One of the most preventable causes of premature death in the United States is caused by cigarette smoking. According to Terry Martin who wrote “How Smoking Harms Us,” cigarette smoking serves for more than 440,000 of the 2.4 million annual deaths in the United States. Cigarette smokers have one of the highest risks of developing several chronic disorders. These include fatty buildups in arteries which can lead to many different kinds of cancers. Atherosclerosis is one of the main contributors to the high number of deaths from smoking. Many examinations can detail the evidence that can clearly show cigarette smoking is a huge cause of coronary heart disease, which can lead to heart attack. Cigarette smoking can also drastically increase blood pressure, as well as increase the tendency for blood to clot, and decrease exercise tolerance.

Terry Martin said that heart disease is one the most significant causes of death in the United States today, and the leading cause of death among smokers. But the fact is that tobacco use plays a huge multitude of diseases that can ultimately lead to disability or death. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds and over 200 which are known to be poisonous. There have also been over 60 carcinogens found. Some of the ingredients in cigarettes can affect everything in your body from the internal functioning of organs to the efficiency of the body’s immune system. There are also cancer causing agents in tobacco can damage genes that control the growth of cells, which can cause them to grow abnormally or to multiply too rapidly
The Info Vision Marketing states that the effects of smoking are that people who smoke a lot will certainly lose their teeth. Moreover, smoking initiates gums diseases. These gum diseases manifest swelling on the gum areas that finally lessen the strong teeth formation. It is in this stage that loss of tooth occurs. Well Some people argue that there is no relationship between the smoking and loss of teeth or gum problems. They further insist that actually inborn or innate in their genetic structures are responsible for these kind of dental problems. It has been already proven by the studies that smoking can cause dental problems. Many dental problems, especially gum problems are caused due to by smoking. This is because smoking triggers the accumulation of bacteria in plaque. Actually the gluey white material that builds up on our teeth whenever we don’t brush our teeth is the plaque, which is already a major factor in dental problems.

Moreover like a double jeopardy, the smoking helps in bacteria formation in plaque. So when bacteria already thrive within the gum area, which this will lead to inflamed gum. This will have an in turns effects on the jaw which will speed up the loss of teeth. It will soon be removed because at this stage the teeth will continually get worse. The gum diseases are known as silent killers of your teeth.

The cost of smoking is getting too out of hand. Some people who are parents and smokers also can't afford it on their budget. It hurts people in the long run when you invest in cigarettes and don’t put your money in the bank or other investments. not bank accounts or safe stocks. My own mother has been smoking a pack a day for 28 years. If she had not smoked we could have roughly $169,536 - and that's a lot of money. Children are also spending money on cigarettes and not learning to save for college or their futures because they are assuming their parents will for do the saving for them.


Florence King has not gone far enough in her essay on the perils of smoking because she did not give the reader a stronger argument on the physical and financial effects smoking has on the individual that chooses to take up this publicly unacceptable habit.