Cigarette – Messenger Of Death

Cigarette   Messenger Of Death long poem

Photo by Diamond Farah


It comes in a small cylinder
of white rolled cover,
which becomes very active
from slow and low combustion
sustained by heat.

Call it cigarette-
maybe cigar-spit tobacco,
perhaps, hookahs, menthol,
bidis, clove or kreteks,
probably, shisha or hubby bubby,
dry or moist snuff, chew tobacco, and
there are siblings of
same parents, tobacco leaves,
they look alike,
they do almost same job
in the body,
more so, cause nearly
same effect on their users.

A killer agent-
world acclaimed
messenger of death;
when burned,
a tenth-a carcinogen agent-
third leading killer machine
around the globe.

Origin of Cigarette:

Tell me where thou came from,
tell mankind, who created you,
tell the world-why so popular;
with Pandora box of evil-
still, a hunger-after and
a darling among the
sons of mankind-
you have become.

Mayas! Aztec!! Uaxactun!!!
How did it begin?
Indians-why did your
prized briar-from Tree of Health-
now turned- a curse or malediction?

Africans-after centuries-
why have your suck,
dry, and moist snuffs-
remained symbolic swords
that lick blood unceasingly?
Chinese, why did the pipe,
which at a time gave
joy and happiness to man
now turns man’s airways to
both furnace and chimney?

Christopher Columbus-
why did you accept:
“Certain Dried Leaves”
from San Salvador natives
on your arrival at Bahamas?

Roderigo de Jerez-
why becoming the-
first European cigarette smoker?
With your-seven-year-jail-term,
it served no deterrent-
rather, your habit spread like gangrene-
a habit-now-turned-global-culture.

Oh! Sixteen-century sailors-
on New-World-Europe bound
why every time- “The Mighty Leaf”
cargoes of death
always found on board en-route

France, Portugal, Spain, and Britain-
why on tobacco bandwagon?
Oh! Europe and her people-
Why did you accept?
Why did you adopt?
Why did you promote, and
spread the culture of
cigarette smoking ?

Today, humankind is haunted
by the five-century-gift to
Christopher Columbus
on Samana Cay, Bahamas;
rather than be an alba of
croon song produced
by serenade,
the gift turned albatross,
encumbrance to man’s
immediate and future happiness.

Roderigo-why did you become
a ready human laboratory
to test-run smoke through
your respiratory track?

The Stark Reality of Tobacco:

Yes, it looks very attractive-
do not be deceived-
it is ugly within,
it looks like
statue symbol object,
never-it adds no value to life;
regardless of proximity-
somehow, it may look very harmless-
Caveat emptor-
it is a body of poison,

In a stick of cigarette
is nicotine,
a psychoactive stimulant-
prolonged usage turns user
to substance dependent individual.

In a shaft of cigarette
are nitrosamines and
destructive agents of
deoxyribonucleic acid DNA;
in rod of cigarette-
is hydrogen cyanide-
a damaging agent of:
heart and blood vessels.

In a stalk of cigarette is-
carbon monoxide-
the damaging tool of red cells;
in a stick of cigarette is ammonia-
it helps make nicotine more
that man in perpetuity be

In a stick of cigarette is-
Tar-brown residual that stains
in a stick of cigarette is-
cadmium- a damaging tool
of kidney;
in the stem of cigarette is-
formaldehyde- known to
causing nasopharyngeal-
the back nose leukemia.

Cigarette-a home to
Radio-active element,
which destroys the skin.

Chromium and butadiene
reside in you-
both are lung cancer agents;
Arsenic and Benzene are
tenants in your courtyard-
giving mankind cancer,
destroying heart, and
darkening blood vessels.

Acrolein and nitrogen oxide
have residency in you-
causing irritation through

No thanks to
more than twenty million deaths-
in the past five decades,
from trillions sticks of
cigarettes consumed during
this period;
an accomplishment by
nearly a billion individuals
on the planet.

No job, no profession
no trade, no group,
no society, no club,
not even a good cause
has a large following like-

A commander that
commands with the
spark of fire,
a stealer, mankind graciously
invites home to rob,
then compensated.

More Smoke to inhale,
More money to burn:

As conveyor belts-
roll out trillions cigarette sticks
it means more flame to burn,
more smoke to inhale, and
more bank notes to incinerate.

As modern Bonsack-
roll out more messengers of
it means more money-
to spend on cigarette-caused-
more loss in productive hours,
more deaths to harvest, and
more cigarette-caused-child-

More troubles for society-
more fire incidents,
more pollution, more sickness,
more addiction-and
health trouble for tomorrow.

Merchants of death
When shall we hear-
it is enough-messenger of
which travel in packs?

Poet’s Note –
The poem provides an insight into both health and economic effects of Cigarette. Even, as most people know what cigarette smoking cause humankind, the monetary gains by Merchants of Death and their political cronies and allies have made cigarette developed all forms of socio-cultural and political resistance. As it kills in millions, causing deformities, resulting in more fire incidents, with billions of loss productive hours-right thinking individuals keep asking: “When shall cigarette be done away with?” As the mankind celebrates “World No Tobacco Day”; this poetic piece is a reminder that mankind has a great enemy yet to be confronted as it should be.

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Silas O. Abayomi

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Communication expert, education researcher, pollster, gender/physically challenged advocacy, linguist, poet, and a writer.
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1 Comment on "Cigarette – Messenger Of Death"

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The ill-effects of these vicious things called cigarettes-do they even need be mentioned? Thanks for the thoughtful poem!


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