On Smoking Cigarettes

I do not smoke and I am not interested in smoking, yet I do not mind if other people smoke. I grew up around second-hand smoke so I have grown accustomed to it. However, there is no justification for weakening your health and the health of those around you. I am writing this post because I’ve noticed an alarming amount of empty cigarette packs littered along the street outside my work. I have seen Marlboro, Parliament, Turkish Golds (I cannot believe Armenians smoke these), and one odd pack that caught my eye. I do not stop and look these trashed packs, but this one pack caught my eye; it was covered in simple text, “Smoking Kills.” That statement is no lie, and it is as straight-forward as you can get.

Let me get personal for a moment.I work in Glendale but I live about one hour way. I face traffic every day, extending my commute by another thirty minutes. I hate to complain, but I am very tall, and sitting in a car for 3 hours a day is not ideal. I was sitting in Downtown LA traffic a few days ago and caught myself thinking, “I should start smoking cigarettes while I am just sitting around in traffic.” I have smoked cigarettes before, but I do not care for it. However, I can see how the temptation to keep smoking arises. I was bored and stressed out, not going anywhere in my car, and the idea of doing something that would bring me a relaxing sensation seemed appealing. Then I got frustrated, blaming my boss and society for making me go to work and drive through traffic.  I suddenly realized the foolishness of that thought and squashed the idea. Even if I was to blame my job for making me drive in stressful traffic every day, why would I let anything or anyone push me to a point where I begin harming myself?

There is a plethora of literature on the harmful effects of cigarette smoking (or smoking any substance). The effects are very drastic in the long run. Frequent smokers are playing a lottery; except there is no $140 million jackpot. Keep smoking and if you are lucky enough, you will not get lung and throat cancer. If you quit smoking, not only are saving a bit of money, but you are also greatly reducing the risks of heart attack, stroke, throat cancer, and lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis.  Sure, smoking may be gratifying, but the the truth about its dangers are terrifying.  Smokers who continue chain smoking after the age of 50 have a 50% higher chance of dying in 15 years than those who quit at the age of 50.  You can avoid an untimely death if you stop smoking.  You will be healthier, and your friends and family around you will be healthier (because second-hand smoke is heavier in carbon dioxide and more harmful).  The best way to quit is to find an alternative, so I recommend next time you have the urge to smoke, do 5, 10, or 20 pushups.  If you want more legitimate help, check out this website http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/index.

If any smokers happen to read this, please, do not smoke anymore.  We Armenians need to stay alive and healthy.

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