Yesterday I was driving back from the shops when I saw a teenager, probably no more than 19 years of age, light a cigarette.
Seeing him took me back to my own childhood and the candy cigarettes we used to buy as a kid with pocket money. I had no idea back then, what the connotations behind buying candy cigarettes meant. Although I never went on to smoke, my father smoked one cigarette a day, usually at night. He always maintained it was because it relaxed him from a hard day at work, but after about 4 years he just quit.
I was never encouraged to smoke and am glad that I’ve never tried, but it’s a shame that more and more people were encouraged to smoke through the RAF (Royal Air Force) advertising campaigns; billboards; media; movies and the UK National Service.
Health effects of smoking
Some of the diseases outlined below give us many reasons as to why we should give up:
- Lung cancer;
- Oral Cancer;
- Lung disease;
- Pancreatic cancer
Smoking not only affects the person smoking, but also through passive smoking. It can also affect the unborn child.
My mother died of Lung Cancer and although she was a non-smoker; she was a passive smoker to some extent when she was a child. We know that around 10% of all Lung Cancer patients haven’t smoked a cigarette, but that leaves 90% of those patients who have Lung Cancer who do. That’s a very high percentage.
For something that was considered to be cool all those years ago, I don’t consider cool. Perhaps the cool tag should be on those who choose not to smoke cigarettes. It certainly isn’t cool dealing with illness, which in most cases becomes fatal.