I just saw a great TV commercial. The commercial displays a grieving widower. His wife smoked and died at the age of 46 from lung disease. The power packed punch line was delivered perfectly: “I guess I never thought of middle age as 23!” (1-866-QUIT YES)
Smoking maims and then kills you. Smokers don’t believe it! Young smokers are the worst. After all, 23 can’t be middle age! What baffles me is how many people can fool themselves into believing they know more than their docs, the American Thoracic Society, The National Institute of Health, and the Surgeon General, just to name a few groups that believe smoking is bad for you.
I’m always amazed when a coughing, wheezing smoker tells me it’s his allergies that are making him sick. I’m not surprised when a two-pack-a-day smoker tells me he can’t afford his medication. Fourteen dollars a day for smokes on a minimal wage salary doesn’t leave money for medication.
I’m amazed when a father, reeking of smoke, is upset that his teenage son is smoking. “Doc, I’ve told him a thousand times that smoking is bad for him. I’ve told him that he will get hooked just like me if he doesn’t quit now.” Remember the article I wrote on setting an example? I followed my father’s example, not his advice. It took me ten years to break that nasty habit and I may yet have to pay a price for ten years of poor health habits.
I’m amazed that the government still allows the sale of cigarettes and then supports the smoker when he/she gets emphysema and goes on Medicare and Medicaid because he/she smoked up his life’s savings. I shouldn’t be amazed. Our government loves those taxes collected on each pack. They must figure they make more than they spend.
I’m amazed that cigarettes are sold by pharmacies that profess to be an integral member of your healthcare team. Or by the national pharmacies who have installed “Quick Care” in and out the door paramedical services who position the cigarette counter (like a gauntlet) by the front door so that the sick smoker cannot leave the store without facing his nemesis.
I’m amazed that 23 years old can be middle age. I know people die. I know none of us know what tomorrow holds, but I’m amazed that anyone would knowingly do anything to hasten his own demise. Life and health is a gift to be cherished. What would drive anyone to do something as harmful as smoke?
Carefully developed, purposefully addictive, and cleverly marketed, toxic sticks of tobacco can and do harm and kill. Our government sanctions smoking while warning about its negative effects. Are you amazed?
Give yourself the gift of life. Quit smoking now! Do whatever it takes for your own sake as well as your families. Follow in the footsteps of your husband. You can do it!