Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Tobacco Day

Today is No Tobacco Day. As per Wikipedia,
World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to 5.4 million deaths worldwide annually. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) in 1987. In the past twenty years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance across the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.
My husband and I quit smoking about 27 years ago. No, I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember how easy it was once I made the decision that I was going to quit. I had tried several times before and had quit for about a year at a time and then something would come up and I would start up again. Usually that something was a boyfriend who smoked and got me back on the habit. I supposed I was really motivated the last time and that helped.

I am surprised I haven’t heard anything about it today on the news or radio, but I think that it should be mentioned somewhere. Smoking is a horrible habit and can cause diseases that are totally preventable. For example lung cancer. We just found out that one of our neighbors is dying of lung cancer. She smoked like a chimney and the inside of her house smells awful and she has a gravelly voice that got worse and worse over the years we have known her. I wondered if it was going to happen. She is a few years older than I, has two grown children and some grandchildren and if she had not smoked maybe she would be around to see those kids grow up.

My son smokes, much to my distain. I have asked him over and over again to quit, but all his friends smoke and at the age of 20 I guess I can’t tell him anything. I have pointed out our neighbor as an example, but I suppose at 20 he still feels invincible. It is so foolish. But when all the people you hang around with do something it’s hard to quit. I think not only the decision to quit helped but also the fact that my husband, who I had just started dating at the time, had also recently quit, we were able to lean on each other.

Not only was the fact that cigarettes were getting on my nerves, but when my husband added up the amount of money he would save, it was a very strong incentive. Today, the amount of savings is quite significant. I think the cost of a pack is up to $6. So at that price, if you smoke a pack a day and quit, you can save $2190 in a year! Putting $6 in a jar every day can not only visually remind you of the money you are saving, but also remind you of the health benefits you are giving yourself. The cost to your medical insurance later on down the road will also be reduced.

So do yourself a favor if you smoke…quit.

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