Cigarettes: Is that Drag Really Worth it?

May 19, 2011
By daniellewaltz1 BRONZE, Destrehan, Louisiana
daniellewaltz1 BRONZE, Destrehan, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Why do you smoke? Is it to look cool? Is it to feel good? Is it to get rid of stress? Is that one little drag of nicotine really worth killing yourself and the people around you? Well, to me, it isn’t. Appearing to some as a cool stress reliever, cigarettes can take off minutes of one’s life. When you think about if smoking makes you look cool, think about what you will look like later on in life. Smoking makes you look older. At the age of 25, you might look 30. Who would want that? It makes your skin tough and wrinkly. It affects your hair, even the way you smell. Once you start smoking, you can never reverse the damage that it has done to your appearance. According to a study performed by the American Lung Association, “every year in the U.S. over 392,000 people die from tobacco-caused disease, making it the leading cause of preventable death” (“Stop Smoking”). Smoking is also a risk factor for many other diseases like “heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)” (“General Smoking Facts”). One of those statistics, my grandmother, understood what she was doing to herself, but it was all too late.

My grandmother was a smoker. She started smoking when she was just a young girl, right around 12 years old. Eventually, she became what you could call a chain smoker, used one cigarette to light another. I bet she smoked about two to three packs a day. Her voice, always so raspy, the voice that could distinguish a smoker from any other person. She would say that as a child, no one ever really told her how bad smoking was for her and cigarettes were sold to just about anyone who wanted to buy them no matter their age. Even women who were pregnant smoked, not knowing that it caused their child so much harm. Now they have warnings on the package, but back then they didn’t. Why didn’t anyone ever tell them about the harm they were doing to themselves? She would go on and on about how she could never quit, that it was just way too hard.

One day, at a normal check up, the doctor told her that she had lung cancer due to her smoking habits. That day, she quit smoking, just like that. So many products are now offered to smokers to help them quit. Nicotine gum, nicotine patches, smoking cessation classes are all available to people who smoke. She always said she could never quit, but how could she quit smoking this time, when she couldn’t do it any other time and without anything to help her? Yeah, it was probably because she never tried hard enough or never really wanted to. Why did she have to wait until it was too late? We told her all the time that it was bad for her, that eventually she was going to get sick, but that never made her stop. I mean you couldn’t force her; she was a grown woman who could make decisions for herself. Knowing the risks, no one ever thinks that it will happen to them. However, this kind of thing happens all the time. The cancer ended up getting worse, treatment after treatment, it never went away. Towards the end, you could see her become weaker and weaker, shriveled and lifeless. She ended up dying of lung cancer, lung cancer caused by her years of heavy smoking. Just like that, my Maw-Maw Barbara became another statistic to add to the cigarette murders.

Why would you want to kill yourself? Each cigarette you smoke is pushing you closer to that edge. Not only are you killing yourself, but you’re also killing those around you. The American Lung Association reports that “50,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke” (“Stop Smoking”). Secondhand smokers can die from the same diseases as regular smokers, except for that fact that they never smoked. Isn’t that awful? From your smoking habits, you can actually kill someone. Wouldn’t that be considered murder? I mean you are killing people. So think about it. Do you want to do that to your kids? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Parents? Does smoking seem all that “cool” now?

Works Cited

“Stop Smoking.” American Lung Association. Web. 23 Feb. 2011.
"General Smoking Facts." American Lung Association. Web. 23 Feb. 2011.

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