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Sunday, August 10, 2014


I was walking in to a store this morning and saw one of the workers outside smoking. This isn't a reflection on work-ethic or anything else, but I wondered why this (very) young man would be hooked on the nasty-sticks. 

I realize that everywhere you look, smoking is portrayed as sexy or  tough. Music videos invariably contain someone lighting up, usually a sexy woman or a thug-type fella. Movies seem to have cigs as a requirement for some characters. Why are we not smarter about this???

Everyone who knows me at all, and smokes, knows I let them in on a little secret -  that it's a good day to quit - which it IS for EVERYONE!

Few habits have so many negative sides as smoking does. The odor alone is reason enough for me to think no one would ever start. Yes I know I am wrong! Yet, you can't disguise it, cover it up for long, or pretend like it isn't there. The worker I mentioned earlier - he walked by me a few minutes later and it smelled like he rolled in an ashtray. He may be the nicest, most decent human being in all of Dauphin County, but what would be your reaction to him if this happened while you were shopping? Mine was, I wished for the super-power to allow people to quit.

The risks of developing cancers are PROVEN to be much higher, and in-turn, medical care in general is way more expensive for smokers compared to those who don't. Dental costs are higher, naturally, if you don't want to KEEP those yellow or rotten teeth.  Health costs and risks aside, there are more negatives.

The actual cost - holy crap! Who can afford this???? The affects MUST be mind-blowing because it seems a LOT of young folks are still doing it despite the health risks and negative information that surrounds everyone on a daily basis.

I know when we are young, we can't imagine anything bad happening to us, but with all the media that's out there showing the costs of smoking, I still am amazed more folks don't listen. There are estimates as high as $200,000 for a lifetime of smoking. I don't know about you, but how great must a drag from a Marlboro be to burn up almost a quarter-MILLION dollars????

I was reviewing an Australian Government website that measured progress of quitting after a day, two days, a week, a month, and a year. You can see that [here]. In essence according to the Aussies, there are benefits for stopping even for one day. They claim that most nicotine will be cleared out of the system, blood pressure and heart rates will drop towards normal, and finger tips will be warmer. All that plus you saved at least the cost of a pack of cigarettes (or two or three depending on your own usage).  

Obviously, all this information isn't new or scary enough to make the majority of those who partake, quit. There are millions who WANT to but something stops that goal and the habit continues. I've asked many people why they do it and the answers go right over my head.

“Boredom” was a common theme. At least they are DOING something! Ugh...I'd say take up masturbation and be a healthier, sweeter smelling you.

“It's an excuse for a break at work”. I've always HATED this one. Why should THEIR habit affect their work output???? It's tolerated much MUCH too MUCH!

I know “image” was a reason to start and I'm sure it's a reason to continue. Go to a bar and it's just like someone yawned and everyone around them yawns. Folow-the-leader-smoking is common and is closely tied to another reason – people feel a camaraderie and a common bond with other smokers. It makes talking to strangers easier and with friends it is something shared.

Everyone has heard about the calming affects. This is said by most smokers as a big reason to inhale. The downside is, the same chemical that soothes also is the one that is addictive. What a coincidence huh?

There are other, minor reasons given like “I like the fire and burning”, “watching smoke is calming”, “the habit” – doing it without even thinking about it, and there are many more. They have a common them, running the entire spectrum of emotions. From celebrating to consummating and rehabilitating and rejuvenating, the reasons to continue seem endless and begins to explain why so many lose the battle to stop.

It's quite clear that the affects on non-smokers is of little consequence. The second-hand smoke issue is like a battle-ground. The funny thing is, eliminating smoking from public areas hasn't been so bad to most folks, least of all, those that don't want to fumigate their clothes after they get home.

I wonder, if they looked at it differently, would they feel the same after.

For example, I know they could care less about their own health, but if their child or grandchild DIES from smoking themselves, how would they view their own habit? What if the child admitted it was YOUR smoking that made it seem OK? I know of one young lady (she was in her 80's at the time, living in a house that was yellow with decades of second-hand smoke), her daughter died from cancer and she stopped cold-turkey, after 65 years. If SHE can, anyone can. You just need the right motivation. I talked to her many times but she just laughed it off. It took losing her own flesh and blood to open her eyes. Too little too late to keep her family whole though....

What will it take for YOU to quit? You ARE worth keeping around!!! If you WANT to stop, keep looking for the inspiration and I promise you will find it.

Hopefully sooner rather than later....

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