"That'll be 4 dollars and 60 cents for your 28 carcinogens young fella," said the tobacconist.
"Huh?" said Brad.
"Carcinogens... what cause cancer, they come from the effects of smokeless tobacco."
"And there's no extra charge for the real dangerous ones, like nitrosamines—there's lots of 'em in this tabaccy tin. The manufacturers just love to breed 'em when they cure, ferment and age baccy leaves. They reckon tobacco ends up with about 3000 odd chemicals in it."
Brad blinked hard and reached for his money whilst shifting the snuff pouch in his mouth. "Ouch" yelled his cheek. "Help" cried his gums, lips, tongue and roof of his mouth.
"Stop complaining, said his lungs, at least your effects of smokeless tobacco aren't like the hot smoke and tar residues I had when Brad used to smoke."
"But, continued his lungs sneeringly, ha ha, you've still got those nasty N-nitrosaminoacids, volatile N-nitrosamines, volatile aldehydes, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde, DDT, hydrazine, nickel, cadmium, benzopyrene, polonium-210, ammonia, acetone, methanol, and arsenic like I had," And with that the lungs ended sadly, and went back to a gently wheezing.
Brad smacked himself in the face to stop the noise.
"Don't do that, it aggravates my Leukoplakia—can't you see I've got these white leathery sores," screamed his mouth.
"What about me, whined his gums, I'm worried, I'm beginning to develop gum disease, and that's going to lead to loose teeth, inflamed and sore gums and generally make life uncomfortable for Brad. In fact, my diseased gums will probably take the rap for any heart disease Brad is more prone to now."
"Aw, interjected a pasty looking blood vessel, "gimmee some credit, the effects of smokeless tobacco on the heart are often caused by a raised pulse and blood pressure too."
As Brad staggered away from the tin of snuff on the counter, a deep rumbling came from his innards—his pancreas no less, "Chew on this, me hearties, I've got twice as much chance of pancreatic cancer than a non-smokeless tobacco user, so there!"
"And anyway, piped up the shopkeeper's wife who had just appeared, "you look disgusting. Bet you can't get a decent girlfriend with your stained teeth and bad breath? And I read last week that early cataracts are one of the common effects of smokeless tobacco."
This stopped Brad in his tracks.
Wiping the brown dribble off his chin, he reflected on how scared he was of kissing, in fact of even breathing or talking near a girl. Not only that, he was finding it hard to save money for the future... the effects of smokeless tobacco on his pocket didn't make him a good prospect for a partner.
A ray of sunlight caught Brad in the shop entrance. It was like a fresh breeze blowing the craziness from his brain.
"I didn't realize there were side effects from smokeless tobacco, he said, I know it's much safer than smoking, but doggammitt, I hate the indigestion and heartburn from the stuff that drains down the back of my throat into my stomach."
Squaring his shoulders and standing tall, Brad continued, "And most of all I hate being addicted to something that controls me, and has the potential to harm me. I'm in control from now on, I value myself and I'm outta here...I've got a lot of living to do... my way!"
Dream it. Dare it.