Stub it out, now |

Stub it out, now

Dear Editor:

I would like to see fewer smokers in the community and fewer students that smoke. I have experienced the death of two grandparents because of on and off smoking throughout their lives. This was a devastating experience. My family really loved them. This could happen to anyone, and you or your loved ones can prevent it.

Every day I see high school kids smoking on the bridge over to the ARC. They do this because they see older people who they think are cool smoking all over town. Keep in mind, adults, when you smoke you are a bad role model to kids. I write because I care, and want to see fewer people taking years off their lives. Don’t let smoking rule your life. Make the choice not to smoke and tell children about the dangers of smoking.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of toxic chemicals that hurt the human body. These include carbon monoxide, acrolien, ammonia and tar. The chemicals in cigarette smoke cause terrible diseases such as lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart disease. Emphysema is a deadly condition that gradually increases in severity and is caused primarily by cigarette smoke. In its severe stages it can causes you to be short of breath after only a few steps around a room. This severely disabling disease can take away pleasures like running and breathing well while also causing severe pain.

Bronchitis is another condition primarily caused by smoking that causes severe pain and disables breathing. In fact, 82 percent of all deaths caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema are because of smoking. Eighty-seven percent of all lung cancer deaths are caused by smoking.

In all, 30 percent of all cancer deaths are caused by smoking as well as all deaths arising from cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and strokes, are the result of cigarette use. When someone dies from cigarette use they become just another number on a sheet of statistics of the people who died from smoking.

When people smoke they don’t just hurt themselves, they hurt everyone around them. By inhaling the smoke from cigarettes they are at risk for the same health conditions as smokers themselves. Individuals who smoke when they are pregnant can put their unborn baby at risk. The toxins in the smoke can lessen a baby’s growth and brain development in the womb. You wouldn’t want to do this to your friends or loved ones.

The tobacco industry uses clever advertising to convince people to smoke. They paint the picture that smoking is cool, macho or sexy. A terrible fact is that the tobacco industry actively targets young people to get them smoking for life. In fact the average age for a starting smoker is 14.

Smoking can be a terrible blight upon someone’s life. According to one study, smoking for 40 years will reduce a human life span by 16 years. The cost of smoking also can have consequences. Buying two packs of cheap cigarettes a day for 40 years costs about $450,000. If you think a child you know might start to smoke try to tell them why they shouldn’t.

Smoking has so many awful consequences. The reality is that there is no good reason to smoke. If you or someone you know is smoking, help them or yourself to quit. I also do thank those who do something to prevent smoking in the community.

Cyrus Poteat

Woody Creek