If you knew that a poisonous spider lay hidden in your sheets, would you simply shrug and get into bed? Or, what if you knew that the bus you were about to board was destined to crash, would you get on anyway? If you’re like most people, your answer is probably no, of course not. But what if I asked you to smoke something that has been proven to cause cancer, to negatively affect your mood and appearance, and to cost you thousands of dollars per year? Would you do it? Despite what science tells us about the danger of cigarettes, millions of people continue to answer yes every time they light another one. This irrational behavior suggests that people who smoke cigarettes do not truly value their own lives.
First of all, it is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health and can lead to serious diseases, or even death. Shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, and jitters are some of the early effects of smoking on your body. These symptoms make it difficult to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Even more concerning is the link between smoking and the two leading causes of death: cancer and heart disease. In fact, the government has made sure that smokers are aware of these risks by advertising the dangers of smoking on tobacco cartons. However, even the dark reality of charred lungs, throat cancer, and gum disease is not enough to persuade many. The truth is smokers know they are at a higher risk of dying younger than non-smokers, yet they choose to ignore it.
In addition to ruining one’s health, smoking is well known to negatively affect your appearance and mood. Over time, the addictive chemical nicotine can permanently stain fingernails and teeth, causing a yellow appearance and bad breath. That’s not all; the chemicals in tobacco smoke break down the collagen under your skin, which leads to wrinkles and premature aging. These physical effects can have a negative impact on your self-esteem and prevent you from looking and feeling your best. On top of everything, smoking is highly addictive, which means your mood is highly dependent upon having that next cigarette. Without a steady supply of nicotine, many smokers become anxious, cranky, or irritable. It is therefore hard to believe that an individual who cares about their body and emotions could subject themselves
to these harsh side effects.
Furthermore, it is no secret that smokers spend a lot of money to maintain their habit. Cigarettes are expensive and prices continue to rise. The cost for a pack-a-day smoker is almost $5500 per year; over a decade that number increases to a staggering $55000. If smokers invested that money, they’d be able to retire comfortably, pay off a mortgage on a home, or even just save money for their children’s education. There are many ways they could use that money to improve their lives. Unfortunately, like most addictions, smoking is a powerful habit that steals money from individuals and families. So, not only does smoking hurt your body, it also hurts your bank account. If smokers valued their future security, they would kick the habit.
It is argued that many people start smoking when they’re teenagers because it seems cool at the time, yet they continue the habit as adults because they’re addicted. There is no doubt that nicotine addiction is a very real problem. However, it is also true that a part of being an adult involves being responsible for ourselves and our decisions. Is it responsible to continue destroying the body you live in? Are we as adults not responsible to find ways to overcome whatever terrible habits we learned along the way? Fortunately, today, there are many programs and support groups available to help people break this deadly habit. Whether you choose to use the patch, nicotine gum, prescribed medication, or just quit cold-turkey, there are ways to break free. However, without the motivation that arises from wanting the best out of your life, it may not be possible.
In conclusion, smoking is a slavish and self-destructive habit that offers nothing but temporary relief from one’s craving. There are no good reasons to start or continue smoking. Cigarettes are expensive, hard on your body, and can cause life threatening diseases that steal years from your life. If actions speak louder than words, than killing yourself slowly surely means you do not truly value the life you were given. Smokers need to wake up, look in the mirror, and realize the value of their lives before it is too late.