Smoking Kills!


My youngest daughter has finally succeeded in stoping smoking. She has smoked since she was 14. Not with my permission, of course! But kids will be kids and she and my oldest daughter and my step-daughter, thought it was a hoot to stand on the stairwell and smoke. The thrill of doing something prohibited and with their friends….Now, decades later she finally is well on the way to beating the addiction.

Since she has quit, everywhere I see women her age smoking. Twice in the last two days I have felt compelled to say something to them. I share what my daughter went through and how much better it is without the cigarettes constantly burning. She used the electronic cigarette, and although she is still depending on them for the nicotine need, the chemicals that the tobacco companies put in the filters of cigarettes are no longer being breathed into her lungs, and the lungs of those around her.

The photo above was taken in Turkey years ago on my first tour with the Whirling Dervishes. The law requires a huge “SMOKING KILLS” note on the front of the package. People in Turkey still smoke like fiends, as do people in Greece. One night, while visiting the Island of Patmos, we were eating dinner in one of those half inside, half out on the sidewalk restaurants so popular there, and I watched the people eating at a table across the way, at least 20 people packed around this small space. People were eating and smoking at the same time. Maybe due to the longer time Greeks take to eat a meal they couldn’t wait, I don’t know.

Every once in a while I drag this photo out and use it to stand on my soapbox. Disclaimer: I am not a smoker and never have been. I will tell you the story of why.

When I was in the first grade, my older cousin who lived in the house just down the road, sidelined me one day getting off the bus. She had stolen her brother’s pack of Lucky Strikes, no filters, and she and I smoked the whole pack. Well, that I don’t remember for sure, the whole pack thing, but it was a lot of cigarette smoking for a six year old! For three days I was so sick, green comes to mind. Growing up, my friends would try to entice me to slip behind the school for a smoke. Horrified, I would warn them of what would happen. Never was able to convince anyone of the horrible experience they were going to have.

I hope that this reminder will catch the attention of someone that has been thinking about quitting but just hasn’t gotten up the nerve to try it yet. According to my daughter, the worst part is the chemicals in the filters detoxing out of your system over the first few days. She felt like her skin had things crawling under it and she felt crappy and was very, very irritable. But we all got through it and now she is extremely happy she isn’t shelling out cash every day for sticks of killing smoke.

Good luck, and there are many of my friends and relatives that I hope read this and make a decision to stop smoking today.


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