Can Sportsmen Smoke and do they have an alternative means? Don’t Be Ridiculous! The very notion of athletes smoking seems ridiculous. Many people scoff at the idea, with sportsmen and women being held up as examples in schools during anti-smoking lessons from an early age. The sports, that some people don’t even classify as sports, such as darts and snooker, where smoking was glamorised, don’t allow their participants to do it “on stage" anymore, although it would be debatable if smoking effected performance in these disciplines. You do still see it often in golf, but again smoking wouldn’t necessarily impact negatively on golfers, I hear you say.
We are unlikely to see it this summer due to the Euro 2012 football championships, however for every summer I can remember over the past few years, Wayne Rooney is only one of the famous footballers to be pictured puffing on a cigarette during the summer. Ah yes, but England never win anything, which Rooney smoking explains. This of course is a moot point as Manchester United win everything, so smoking clearly doesn’t do him that much harm performance wise.
1998 And All That
Say 1998 to a sports fan and you will get “Beckham sent off and we should have won the World Cup" from many an Englishman. What many don’t know is that a large number of the French national football team were open smokers, the most notable being goalkeeper Fabien Barthez and midfielder Emmanuel Petit.
Both of these players won a haul of medals playing at Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, both while not giving up their habit and performing at world class levels for their sport.
Impacts And Alternatives
Obviously the extent to which smoking will impact on an athlete will differ depending on their sport. Perhaps a footballer, who exerts energy in short intervals with recovery time within matches themselves, can smoke to an extent and not see a drop off in performance. Would a marathon runner, or Tour de France cyclist, who operate close to their maximum lung capacity, be similarly able to do so? Probably not.
One alternative is to smoke electronic cigarettes. While it would be surreal to see a professional sportsman endorsing an electronic cigarettes company, it would perhaps be a powerful message to help push smoking cessation. At the same time, this would likely be outweighed by the role model glamorising smoking argument, which would most probably win the day.
Electronic cigarette companies will need increased exposure from notable places in the coming years. It will be interesting to see if sport can play a part in this.
Author: Jasper and Jasper are a leading UK electronic cigarette company who believe in providing safer smoking alternatives to help people beat their unhealthy habits.
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