Some people don't really enjoy the taste of their food. They like cleaning their curtains and clothing more than other people do. Some people even enjoy the little holes that the ash burns on their trousers. Perhaps you don't mind if someone flicks their ashes into the wind and they get into your eye. Maybe you even enjoy going into a smoke filled room or having that first puff of the day because it enables you to breathe better, but only after a few coughs. Or you enjoy going outside the restaurant to grab a puff in the middle of dinner. Maybe you smoke because you think it makes you look more mature, I did when I was young. Or because it "relaxes" you. Watch the next smoker you see, do they look relaxed or twitchy? Maybe you think it keeps your weight down (so how come just as many overweight people smoke as skinny people?). Or maybe you smoke because you think it is classy. Perhaps you really do want early plastic surgery because smoking ages your skin so quickly, or cataract surgery, smoking accelerates that too. And although smoking also causes heart disease and cancer, you have to die of something anyway, don't you?
Or perhaps you just like the feeling of ash in your pocket or pocket book. It can't be that you are a cleanliness fanatic. You even like buying special toothpaste just to clean those nicotine stains. Or don't you realize that when you go to the beach, that more than 50% of the trash picked up in beach cleaning is not from plastic bags, bottles, or medical waste, but rather from products related to smoking (butts, packaging, matches and lighters). And aside from the extra cleaning bills a pack per day habit does cost only 1,500 dollars per year. After all, what other pleasures could you buy so cheaply?
Smoking harms the smoker, family members, coworkers and others who breathe secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is associated with 300,000 cases of asthma, middle ear infectin, bronchitis and pneumonia each year among infants up to 18 months of age. More than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year are from smoking-related illnesses (heart and respiratory disease, blood clots and numerous forms of cancer).
Some facts that you may not know no about smoking:
- If you continue smoking the week prior to any surgery, you will have a three to seven-fold chance of having a respiratory complication compared to someone who stopped smoking for a week (not compared to non smokers)
- If you had a heart attack this year, and continued to smoke, you would have triple the chances of being dead next year, compared to someone who stopped smoking after their heart attack
- If you were the only smoker in your group of friends taking birth control pills, guess which one of your friends would be most likely to have a blood clot?
- If you were the only smoker among your friends, guess who would be most likely to have an undersized or sickly baby?
- If you continue to smoke, your children are more likely to start smoking, if they already smoke and you quit, they are more likely to quit
- It is estimated that if all pregnant mothers in the US quit smoking when they became pregnant, there would be 4,000 less baby deaths in the United States per year.
- Ex-smokers have better health than current smokers. Ex-smokers have fewer days of illness, fewer health complaints, and less bronchitis and pneumonia than current smokers.
- If you quit smoking, you can expect the damage to your lungs to stop, and your sense of smell and taste to gradually return. Your chance of a blood clot goes down fairly rapidly, and as the lungs are no longer being exposed to toxins they will gradually improve and the morning cough that is so often present will go away.
But, you really enjoy smoking don't you? Or are you just afraid that it will be difficult to quit? It is true that many people fail the first few times that they try to quit, but many succeed. If you don't try to quit, you have no chance of succeeding. Try joining those who have quit, set a date, and stop. If you are having difficulty stopping, talk to your health care provider. There are millions of others like you, actually 45 million Americans, who are tackling the same issue, or have done so (I have). Make the change for yourself and your family, it will be worth it.
Published On: January 07, 2008