This is a public service announcement from the BIG Mike Health Foundation.
Be a Quitter
All you have to do is give up
My inspiration for this post comes out of concern for you, my readers. There is also a little bit of selfishness involved – each day that I live in this blogging community I make a new friend and I can’t afford to attend any funerals with airfares and my current income currently occupying opposite ends of the financial spectrum. nikared has taken the first step to enhancing his longevity. I’m sure he’d love a visit and a word of encouragement or advice.
Here we go
Quit smoking now. Before I start calling you names and telling stories about you behind your back. Reformed smokers are always the biggest zealots when preaching about quitting. I don’t know if I count as a reformed smoker because I quit around my 13th birthday after only 3 packets.
Lung Cancer kills (insert believable number here) percent of (insert nationality here) every year. If you can’t think up any feasible statistics, or haven’t got a clue, insert 5.4 percent of Americans and 4.1 percent of Australians (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003). My hat goes off to those who have survived the monster and also to those who are living through it right now.
This is not only about cancer, but also about maximising your chances of reaching retirement age in a condition conducive to enjoying said retirement. If you get smoke breaks where you work, keep taking them. Only don’t smoke. Go outside and spend the same 2 minutes taking in deep lung-fulls of fresh air. This may not work for residents of NY or LA – your “fresh” air will probably kill you faster than the cigarettes.
If you want sad stories to scare you into quitting, I am 38 years old and I have zero grandparents. Two of them were dead before I started school, the third died when I was about 11. The none-smoker died last year at 99 years old. My father gave up smoking in 1982 when he had a car accident and was in hospital for 2 weeks. But he lacked will power and despised waste, so when he was released from hospital instead of throwing away his half a pack of Camel non-filters he smoked them. And he was back on track. In November 1996 he was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his liver. He was given 4-6 weeks to live without treatment, or 6-12 months with chemotherapy. And in August 1997 he was gone at 62. Two of my sisters had given up when dad was diagnosed but the stress of the chemo and his death pushed them back.
That was all a bit depressing.
But you have come to expect me to be witty (in a sarcastic kind of way). I dropped a word of encouragement (kinda) on nikared recently and it was suggested that I reclaim it as my own and give it another run:
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I don’t condone any form of bigottry, but if the following 5 sentences help you give up, you’re welcome to borrow the mental image. In Australia cigarettes have many different slang names. Some of the more common are: durry (Murray with a D), regret, ciggie and fag. I call your particular attention to the final name… FAG. That alone should stop anyone with hair on their chest from smoking. What manly man in their right mind would voluntarily undertake the act of sucking on a FAG?
If aliens landed and we tried to explain smoking to them they would decide very quickly that there is no intelligent life on this planet.
Here is part of the conversation:
Alien: What is that thing burning in your mouth?
Human: A cigarette.
Alien: What is a cigarette?
Human: It is a collection of special leaves wrapped in paper. We set it on fire and inhale the smoke and noxious fumes.
Alien: Are the smoke or the fumes beneficial to you?
Human: No, it causes cancer.
Alien: This cancer, is it bad?
Human: Yes, it can kill you.
Alien: What purpose does smoking serve?
Human: It gives us something to do, rather than picking our noses.
Alien: Do you do this voluntarily?
Human: Yes, in fact we pay money for the cigarettes.
Alien: How much?
Human: Very expensive, more money than a gallon of gas.
Alien: I wish to confirm my understanding. This pastime is incredibly expensive, it makes you smell bad and it kills you.
Human: Ummmm, yup.
Alien (turns and whispers to his associate): We must get back to the mother ship and vaporise this planet immediately.
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So there you go, even the freaks from outerspace think it is a past-time with limited merit. Stop second guessing yourself by trying to find the easiest way to give up… there is no easy way. Just do it™. Although, endorphins help a lot. If you can’t find a dealer in your suburb, then go for a bike ride after you do the first half of your daily sit up.