Smokers should bear responsibility for health risks of cigarette smoking. Even though people all over the world are better educated about the risks of smoking, many men and women still choose to smoke. Fortunately, smoking is banned in most restaurants, and in public places. However, when a person smokes, even outdoors, other people are exposed to second-hand smoke. Some restaurants in Florida, where I live, are located overlooking the ocean or bay. Although I prefer being seated outdoors on a cooler evening, I have been exposed too often to someone smoking at the next table. I have found that it is impossible for me to enjoy my food when I am breathing in second-hand smoke.
When I think about the effects of smoking, or write about it, I become very emotional. My mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and some very dear friends died of cancer-related illnesses. I don’t think it was mere coincidence that they were all smokers. Many years ago, I read two articles in the “Reader’s Digest” about the dangers caused by smoking. One article, entitled “Radioactivity: The New Found Danger In Cigarettes,” by Lowell Ponte, was enough to scare anyone who smokes into throwing down his or her cigarette and never lighting another one again. According to sources, a pack-and-a-half per day smoker gets a yearly dose of radiation in parts of his or her lungs equal to the skin exposure of 300 chest x-rays. One source, Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, believed that “radiation alone could account for about half of all lung cancers in smokers.” There is evidence that smoking can undermine the body’s ability to fight off poisons, cancer, and heart and lung disease.
In another article,’It’s Only A Cough”, by Dr. Robert Louden, a longtime researcher of the chronic cough, pointed out that “Cigarette smoking either causes or contributes to many of the most chronic lung diseases’. There was an encouraging point made in this article, saying that if you stop, even after smoking for twenty or thirty years, your risk of developing serious diseases can be greatly diminished.
I am appealing to all smokers who think they can’t quit. You are probably saying that it is hard to break a long-standing habit. Having never smoked, I can only imagine how difficult it can be to give up smoking. These are some things to think about that may help you to gain control over your body. Did you know that cigarette smoking depletes Vitamin C in your body? Are you smoking because you are afraid you will gain weight if you stop? If you cut down on cigarettes, and start exercising and eating healthy, you will be surprised that your weight can stay the same, or even decrease. Yes, it will take tremendous effort, but you will be rewarded with healthier lungs.
Start today! You will gain many benefits for your health and lifestyle.