Do People Really Still Smoke?

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I know this post may offend some, but honestly I’m not sure that I care right now. It’s something that has been on my mind for awhile now and I just have to know. Do people really still smoke?

Honestly, I didn’t really think that many people smoked anymore, or at least not as much as they once did. And then we went to NYC in October and everywhere we were I felt like there was smoke in my face. I even commented to Jim about how many smokers there were in NYC and he agreed and had been thinking the same thing.

I don’t know if it’s because there are more people in general in NYC or that there are more people walking to and from and just outside versus in cars. But since then I seem to be more aware of smokers in general.

Again, I ask, do people really still smoke?

If so, then why? Why do you ignore all the warnings and the cancer that is out there? Have you not lost someone to this horrible disease? I’m not saying cancer only targets smokers, but why increase your chances of being diagnosed?

Cancer is all too familiar in my life. I lost my father to cancer when I was 13. He was a long time smoker and he was diagnosed with lung cancer (from smoking) that spread to his brain and a year after diagnosis we lost him. It is the single most awful thing that has ever happened to me. I vowed I would never, ever marry a smoker. I couldn’t do it. I could not go through that again.

Again, cancer doesn’t only strike smokers and I’m not saying I’m immune to it in my life because I didn’t marry a smoker. I do know that while Jim did smoke for a short period in his life, he quit (years and years and years ago) and hasn’t looked back. He knows the health risks and how that decision to smoke would impact his family. I have never even tried a cigarette. I couldn’t even think of it after watching what my dad went through. It was awful; horrible; no good.

Cancer in my life doesn’t stop there. Fairly recently my (step) father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer and is still undergoing treatments.

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And even more recently someone very dear to me from my past was diagnosed with a rare cancer. He is active, healthy and fit and has never smoked. He was given this horrible news around the holidays and is married with two small children. He’s an amazing person. I cried when I found out this news. Even though I don’t talk to him often and we’re not a part of each others daily lives I couldn’t help it; I cried. He’s my age. He has little kids like me. He is such an important part of my past and helped to form who I am today. The news made me want to puke. The good news is that since his surgery he has been given the “all clear” sign, but still.

The other day I received a CaringBridge update from a friend who underwent treatment for cancer over a year ago and has been in remission now for about 11 months. It appears that via a CT scan that her cancer has returned. Heartbreaking. It made my stomach turn to hear the news. She is an amazingly strong woman though and I pray she kicks cancers butt again this time around!

Cancer sees no age either. My cousin’s son was diagnosed with cancer when he was only about 7 months old and not only had surgery to remove his tumor, but also had chemo for about 18 months or so following his diagnosis. The good news is he is 3.5 years old now and doing great!

And then there is Sweet Bea who I wrote about a few weeks ago. Again, cancer sees no age. These children are sweet and innocent and should never have to go through such a horrible disease.

So why, with all the warnings out there, do people still smoke and greatly increase their odds of developing cancer?

I know it is addictive and I know it’s hard to quit. But come on people. Think about those around you that love you. Think about how your bad decision impacts them and the rest of their lives. I grew up without a father for the majority of my life and that just plain ol’ sucked. Don’t do it to your children. To your friends. To your family. Just don’t.

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Comments

  1. A-men.
    I too, have never done it. Even as a kid, I thought it was disgusting.
    –You look stupid–literally, the action of, and contorted facial expression doing it–makes you LOOK stupid.
    –IT stinks, makes YOU stink, and it’s unpleasant to have to be around. And more unfair to force others to endure YOUR bad habit. It ranks (pun intended) higher than people who don’t bathe or use deodorant.
    –Plus–how RICH are you that you can AFFORD it? How MUCH are you denying your family by selfishly BURNING UP all that money?
    –And how selfish to make everyone pay more in health coverage to COVER YOUR EXTRA HEALTH CARE COSTS.
    Sure, maybe it’s really hard to quit, but YOU chose to do it–you can choose to NOT do it too.

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