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Young woman smoking a cigarette. Monochrome portrait

Smoking: Quit making excuses!

Controversial, well, quite possibly.

Ok, I’m going to shout it. I HATE SMOKING!!! I hate the smell, the taste in the air, overall feeling of being in a smokey atmosphere, the fact the smell and the feeling of smoke is on me… and I’m not even the one that’s smoking. GRR!

When I was at school and college, like most kids my age, we had the odd cigarette. When I started going to nightclubs I found that for a year or two it became the ‘norm’ to have a cigarette when we were drinking (back in the old days when it was acceptable to smoke in clubs and bars). Things changed, I matured, I got to around 19 and realised how bad for me it was and that it made me smell like an ashtray. SO, my question is simple. Why do smokers make excuses for their actions constantly for why they can’t (actually scrap that), why they don’t quit!

My parents smoke. They have always smoked. As a child I had no idea that all my friends could smell me coming a mile away, why would I?, I hadn’t known anything else. At 13 (which is now over 20 years ago), I was taken into hospital after being unwell and told I had a shadow over one of my lungs. The doctor told my parents that this combined with my asthma was most likely caused by passive smoking. They advised my parents to stop. I remember that we got home and for a couple of weeks they smoked only outside. Then they smoked outside with the door open… within a month everything was back as it was. Thanks for that!

Now I’m a parent myself and I know that I would never do anything to harm my children. I struggle to understand even now why they didn’t stop. I’ve asked and they can’t tell me or they give me some half-arsed excuse for why they ‘can’t’! Ha, can’t! Anyone can do anything they put their mind to. There is no can’t! I can’t help but feel that my parents are, quite frankly, selfish!

I understand that 50 years ago no one realised the true dangers of nicotine, tar and the other horrendous ingredients, but for at least the past 20-25 years we HAVE known. With each cigarette containing over 4,000 ingredients other than the tobacco, you are killing yourselves in thousands of different ways. Here are a just a few of those lovely ingredients:

Ammonia: Household cleaner
Angelica root extract: Known to cause cancer in animals
Arsenic: Used in rat poisons
Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber
Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid
Carbon monoxide: A poisonous gas
Cadmium: Used in batteries
Cyanide: A deadly poison
DDT: A banned insecticide
Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals
Lead: Poisonous in high doses
Formaldehiyde: Used to preserve dead specimens
Methoprene: Insecticide
Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics
Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs
Methyl isocyanate: An accidental release of this killed 2000 people in India in 1984
Polonium: A cancer-causing radioactive element

I am very protective of my children. I don’t allow anyone to smoke around them, I don’t take them to my parents home and anything that comes from my parents home must be scrubbed or washed before my children can have it. This annoys the hell out of me. Because of their silly choices my kids will never have the joy of sleeping over at ‘Grandma and Grandad’s house’, not have the opportunity to play with things on Christmas morning unless they are completely packaged and therefore the smoke has been unable to penetrate. I am not risking the health of my children!

It’s not just that though. When I visit my parent’s home, which I do on occasion, I have to throw all my clothes into the washing machine and take a shower once I get home. As well as being disgusting, it’s bloody inconvenient. I can smell the smoke on my skin, on my hair, on my clothes… it clings to everything. They’ve both watched friends pass away from smoking related cancers, mostly Emphysema, which is very common in smokers. The lives of these people towards the end was pitiful and horrendous to watch. It has made zero difference.

I’ve heard all the excuses, “We’ve smoked for so long now that it’s a habit.” “It’s the only thing that keeps me sane.” “If we didn’t smoke we would just spend the money we saved on something else.” My all time favourites are “Well, you’ve got to die of something” and “It’s like me telling you not to be a vegetarian.” Erm no, actually that is different, I am saving lives by being vegetarian and my vegetarianism doesn’t affect you one iota, your smoking on the other-hand…

I’ve explain to my parents that when the time comes and they are suffering from the effects of smoking there is NO WAY I am putting my children through watching them die slowly and painfully. Depressingly, they simply shrug it off, obviously believing I am joking. I guess they’ll only realise I mean it when the time comes.

Cigarettes were taken out of bars, clubs and public places and are now banned from cars with children in. This is due to how dangerous they are, not for the hell of it. That’s the thing that annoys me most out of every horrible thing that smoking does. It annoys me that my health could be affected, or the health of my children because some selfish idiot has chosen to smoke. According to the British Lung Foundation: In the UK alone, it is estimated that more than 10,000
die from diseases caused by passive smoking every year.

Stop poisoning the air I’m breathing. If you want to kill yourselves slowly and painfully, find a way that doesn’t take others, primarily the people you love with you!

In short, quit making excuses!

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