Sunday, February 20, 2005

Smoke In My Eyes

I just walked back inside from having a cigarette. The guilt and shame of smoking hangs over me even more than the stench of the cigarette I just put out. I have quit smoking many times in the past but have always found some lame excuse for picking back up the habit and continuing just as if I had never stopped.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying,

“Quitting smoking is easy… I’ve done it hundreds of times.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so damn true and so tragic of an assessment of my own experiences with quitting.

Here I am struggling with the emotions and fears of my younger brother fighting to live through his experience with throat cancer that most assuredly was caused by his life-long habit of smoking (mixed with alcohol) and I myself am exposing my body to the cancer causing agents of his disease. What stupidity and ignorance… what a fool I am when I know the risks and dangers of something I should be able to control. How weak I am and what a poor “witness” to him in a time when he needs my utmost support and considerations. God forgive me. God help me.

I picked up a flyer at the hospital yesterday on one of my breaks from my bedside vigil. It was a positive piece on the benefits of quitting smoking and how your body heals itself beginning as soon as you snub out that last cigarette butt. Maybe contemplating it here in my blog will be an encouragement to me and others who are battling the demon of tobacco. (I don’t use “demon” here as a spiritualization or personification of tobacco but only as literary license to personalize my own struggle with this nasty habit)

When you stop smoking, your body begins to heal itself immediately. If you are thinking about quitting, you should know:

20 Minutes After Your Last Cigarette
Blood pressure drops to normal
Pulse rate drops to normal
Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal

8 Hours After Your Last Cigarette
Carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal
Oxygen level in blood increases to normal

24 Hours After Your Last Cigarette
Chance of heart attack decreases

48 Hours After Your Last Cigarette
Nerve endings start to regrow
Ability to smell and taste is enhanced

72 Hours After Your Last Cigarette
Breathing becomes easier
Lung capacity increases

2 Weeks to 3 Months After Your Last Cigarette
Blood circulation improves
Walking becomes easier
Lung function increases up to 30 percent

1 to 9 Months After Your Last Cigarette
Coughing, sinus congestion and shortness of breath decreases
Your body’s energy level increases
Your lungs are better able to fight infection

5 Years After Your Last Cigarette
Lung cancer death risk decreases

10 Years After Your Last Cigarette
Lung cancer death risk drops
Risk of other cancers drops


Anonymous said...

As a smoker, I find this post something to think about (the times).

by the way, I found this site searching for ways to get high by smoking banana peels! =)

Anonymous said...

Awww...! Hoax.