Faye Harris: Tobacco Kills!

Cigarette smoking is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer (Time Health, Spring 2018).
Cancer and other smoking-related diseases kill about 40,000 Americans every year, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S., with a worldwide yearly death count of 7 million.
In early August my husband, Glen, had his routine cardiology checkup with the conclusion by the nurse practitioner, “I’ll see you in about three months. Say, why don’t we have you go in for a pulmonary exam?”
So we went to have this done.
Thus began a trip to the hospital for a biopsy that was supposed to take a half-hour, with an hour in recovery, then on to home…
ONLY someone never got the message because nine days later (with two more procedures being done), we made our trip home. Then we were scheduled for six weeks of a combination of daily radiation plus weekly three hours of chemotherapy.
According to the Time article smoking can lead to 12 kinds of cancer--plus heart and other illnesses.
Smoking is glorified in films, encouraging people to equate it with glamour. When young people see this tobacco use in movies, the more likely they are to follow this as an example, because we all want to be popular and beautiful.
Young people! Remember how invincible most of us felt at that age? Remember how we felt that, from the time we were 16 years old, we were “grown up”?
The truth is, tobacco kills and it will probably keep on killing because it’s a money-maker. Its taxes build roads and infra-structures. The misery it causes produces the money to build hospitals, pay specialists, employ hospital workers, not to mention the farmers, the entire tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical companies and research facilities that are involved in all this.
It just appears that tobacco is too entrenched in the lives of people all over the world to eradicate something that causes so much illness.
If you’re the member of a family watching a loved one struggle for breath or hear them cry out in pain, you know the feeling of helplessness that happens when all you can do is pray for their relief.
AND, as for second-hand smoke--even those who go outside to puff their life away--the smell that lingers in their clothing is shared once they come inside.
Remember Christopher Reeves’ wife who died about six months after he did--of lung cancer? She never smoked, but sang in many smoke-filled clubs. So one doesn’t have to even smoke to die from smoke-related illnesses. And that is why I believe TOBACCO KILLS and why any adult who smokes should carefully consider whether or not they are willing to pass this habit on to their very own children, for these treasured offspring could one day be suffering as my husband is . . .

(And yes, both of his parents smoked.)


See complete story in the Journal Record.
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