Monday, May 12, 2014

Have your kids ever asked you to stop smoking?

I have neighbors with kids, and the adults in the house smoke. I saw one of them sitting on a chair out back, smoking in the cool 40+ temps, alone. I wondered to myself, is life really that bad that you have to smoke?

Smoking is one of the slowest forms of suicide that I have ever seen. Smoking increases the probability for a multitude of diseases: heart disease, lung cancer, obesity, etc. Smoking creates more stress on the body than the stress smokers think they're relieving. Unfortunately, smoking is one of the very hardest addictions to kick. Numerous studies dotting the internet have shown that smoking is harder to kick than heroin.

Smoking has to be the most perverse response to stress that I have ever seen. Smoking makes absolutely no sense in response to stress. Oh, yes, you'll get your oral gratification if you're still looking for the nipple. But as far as I know, humans are the only animal on the planet that will draw air loaded with carbon monoxide, and a host of other carcinogens through a small burning straw and call it...relaxing.

As we get into the summer months here, we start to leave the bathroom windows open for some fresh air and to keep the house cool. When someone is smoking in back of our neighbor's house, I can smell it. I don't know how the smoke manages to get into my house through tiny little windows unless they're puffing up a storm. That has been a source of irritation for me as I want the fresh air, but don't need the smell of their smoke filling my hallway.

I also see some of the guys at work smoking. Some of them take frequent smoking breaks during the day to step outside to smoke, even when it's 28 degrees outside and snowing. I have never seen such determination to do something as I do with smokers. They will brave the elements just to stand outside and smoke.

But the house next door, the kids. I think of the kids. They are powerless to stop their parents from smoking. I've wanted to ask the parents, "Have your kids ever asked you to stop smoking?", as if that would make the light in their heads turn on. But that determination to smoke is so strong, that I'm almost certain that the question would seem offensive. No, this question needs to go on a billboard on a busy street.

It is sad for me to see kids having to deal with parents who smoke. They have no recourse, no escape, they simply have to put up with a really big kid who pays all the bills, who might punish them for asking that innocent request, "Please stop smoking". What kind of a world does a smoker live in where subjecting kids to cigarette smoke is OK?

A world where it is KOOL to smoke. A world where a Marlboro Man smokes to prove that he is a man. A world where women believe that they have to smoke to keep the weight off. A world where compassion for children is the last consideration of the smoker while he is looking for his lighter and cigarettes.
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