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.

8 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Smoking

  1. Very well said Carmen! I’m proud of you my friend for being an ex smoker. I see it as very gross, dirty habit. I hate the way my clothes smell after I hang around a friend that smokes…yuck! I think it is a crutch that people use to help them get through life. It’s how some people deal with life’s tough situations and problems. Hopefully, some day, people will smarten up and see that they don’t need cigarettes to help them get through the day.

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  2. Carmen – your insight on this disgusting (on so many levels) habit is right on! I, too was a smoker for over 25 years. I grew up in the day where smoking was considered cool and just about every teenager I knew tried it. I remember when I could sit in my office and smoke and in later years standing out in the rain – umbrella in one hand – cigarette in the other. One of my other “fond” memories is when I would go outside for a cig and someone would ask me if I had been smoking. I would look them straight in the eye and say no – not realizing how the repugnant smell permeated my clothing and hair. Now I can smell cigarette smoke yards away and when I see the young women lighting up I only pray that they will see a different light and stop before their health is compromised. It’s not cute or cool, nor does it relieve any type of stress. It just yellows your teeth, leaves a horrid smell and like you said, shows you’re an idiot for ignoring the health warnings.

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    • Susan! I agree completely! And, can I add: You made me laugh out loud! Yes, it just yellows your teeth and leaves a horrid smell — Uggghh..and I am exactly like you — I can smell it yards away too! I actually find that amazing! Must be a wierd side affect of quitting. And I remember being in the SNOW, freezing with a scarf and hat and gloves and still standing out there smoking like an idiot! So stupid! Yeah, congrats on quitting Susan – I’m so glad we’re both part of a really cool club now! 😉

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  3. I am not so sure about one being able to ‘control’ the addiction to smoke.
    Maybe it helps to think of it along the lines of recovery programs – admitting that I can’t control it – that’s the problem. On my own, I have no defense against that first inhale – which, when I was smoking, felt as good as the first sip, the first bite of a bacon cheesburger, and first site of a Dunkin’ Donuts. I am fortunate that I have not smoked in over 25 years. Yet, I am not arrogant enough to think that I could not pick it up again. It is that thought that keeps me a tad bit humble.
    Alice

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    • Good point Alice — except, I can’t think of it along the lines of a recovery program because most people who still smoke, want to quit and know it’s bad for them. They know it’s a bad thing and want to stop. I see smoking as more of a bad habit than a disease — more like biting your nails, chewing on a pen, etc. I’m not saying the nicotine isn’t addictive — the good Lord knows I KNOW that, but I think there are major differences.

      In the end, I admit to maybe being a little arrogant about it — but maybe I’m just so frustrated that I’ve moved into the “tough love” stage of this addiction — especially with those I love.

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  4. I read recently that the rate of teens picking up the habit has risen again after it had declined for some time. I find that surprising and sad.

    Cigarette companies are currently suing to prevent enforcement of new graphic warning labels on their harmful product.

    Yesterday I was in the car at the grocery store waiting for my wife. I watched a car drive up, park, then two people get out. The both stood there and lit up. Then they walked directly to the front door of the grocery store and put their cigarettes out and went inside.

    “Wow,” I thought. “Now THAT is addiction!” The trip from the car to the door took, at most, about 15 seconds.

    I feel very grateful I have no forces like that at work upon me. (At least none that I know of.)

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    • I am right there with you Tom! Grateful and also, quite stunned at that report — I read the same thing. So sad!

      So nice to “see” you — it’s been a while. I will “catch up” with you (blog) soon!

      Hugs.

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