Health Benefits of Smoking

Did I miss the latest new breakthrough studies on the health benefits of smoking? I must have.  Because nothing else could explain why so many people are picking up the brilliant little addictive cancer sticks again, except for the mere fact that they now provide a cure to cancer or Vitamin D or something good, right?

I went on a short 3 mile run this morning.  And on my way I passed by at least four people who were smoking. Two outside at a coffee shop, one at a bus stop, another…wait for it…leaning up against his bike fully dressed in gear to work out – I guess it was his before-the-work-out cigarette.

Absolutely disgusting. And make no mistake about it, I admit fully to being an Ex-Smoker.  Yup. Seventeen years.  So, I’m a current smokers worst nightmare because I get it. I so get it.  And I still see no excuse for it.

Look, besides the health hoopla over cigarettes which everyone knows at this point, the fact of the matter is:   it’s just gross!  You also can’t smoke anywhere nowadays; a pack of cigarettes cost an arm and a leg and let’s face it – it just isn’t even cool anymore.  People look at you in complete dismay and yes, I judge you.  I think, “What a complete idiot to still be smoking knowing what we know!”  Actually, I don’t really think all that.  I just think “Loser”.

And please, I can’t listen to all the drama about how smoking’s legal and how you should have the right to smoke and all the lame comparisons to alcohol.  Blah, blah, blah! Boring!  Most people who have a glass of wine at dinner, only have one glass of wine.  Not everyone drinks to oblivion and gets behind a car drunk.  And hey, here’s a thought: it’s actually not legal to drink on the street in public.  So, at the very least, you’re analogy doesn’t work on so many levels.  Don’t smoke in public and maybe I won’t give a damn whether or not you kill yourself.  How’s that?

And while we’re on the subject of drinking, there have been some studies that say a glass or two of red wine a week can be good for you.  I’m not sure how much I believe it, but I’m very clear I haven’t heard of any studies that says one or two cigarettes a week has any health benefits at all.   And even if they’re out there, I’m thinking I wouldn’t believe them either – the cons to smoking will outweigh any possible benefits.  On that I’m pretty sure.

Smoking sucks.  But what sucks more is the excuses behind why people still smoke.  The economy is tough, Washington is in turmoil, maybe you’ve lost a job or you’re having family issues.  Whatever.  But stress is the culprit in most cases.  The last thing you should be doing is picking up a cigarette because you think it calms you — you’re just adding gas to an already embering flame.  Soon enough, things will get worse and you’ll be adding yet another negative to your life – your health.  The smarter thing to do when things are tough and feel so out of control, is to control the things you can.  And smoking or not smoking is something you personally can control.

Now, I know it’s not easy.  I had to quit too – and I haven’t forgotten how difficult that was.  But you can do it.  You should do it.  And goodness gracious I pray that you do.