The Smoking Gun

44

Back to “healthy tip” week because our bodies are not our own. They belong to the Lord, so we take care of ourselves for him.

Smokers who decide to take up healthy habits have come to a crossroads. They can take good care of their bodies, or they can smoke, but they can’t do both. I’m not saying that if you choose to smoke, you should also become a junk-food-eating couch potato, but the good of all your other efforts will be far outweighed by the havoc smoking wrecks on your body. Quitting is hard, and may take several tries, but if you want to stop smoking, don’t give up!

You are hurting the ones you love by smoking. Some of them are simply hurt to think that they may lose you early. Others are being physically injured by your own abuse. Second hand smoke contains at least 60 carcinogens and is associated with a long list of illnesses, including respiratory tract infections and heart disease.

Many smokers just can’t quit on their own. Nicotine is an addictive substance. Couple that with the psychological comfort that smoking may have become, and anyone trying to quit has a tough job ahead of them. Help is available, but there are always excuses.

Join a support group? That will take up so much time! (Yes, but you’ll get that back later, with interest! How much time do you spend every year recovering from ailments made far worse by your habit?)

Buy patches or a smoking cessation program? That will take up so much money! (Also no excuse. You’ll get that back later as well. Do the math and see how much you spend on cigarettes each month.)

For would-be quitters who succeed, the payoff can be unbelievable. They may live longer, as they decrease their odds of having cancer, a heart attack, or a stroke. They’ll probably live better, increasing their energy and loosing that nasty cough or shortness of breath that has haunted them for years. And the benefits begin almost immediately! If you are a smoker, look what can happen if you quit today:

  • In 20 Minutes: Your blood pressure and your pulse rate return to normal.
  • In 8 hours: Your blood’s carbon monoxide level drops while its oxygen level goes back to normal.
  • In 1 day: You have already lowered your chance of a heart attack
  • In 2 days: Your senses of smell and taste have already increased.
  • In less than a year: Your coughing and fatigue are exchanged for new energy.
    (From the US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, pp. 39, 202)

Need more information? Check out the American Cancer Society website: http://www.cancer.org
Convicted but addicted? Find a friend, talk to a doctor or join a support group. “Can’t never did anything,” and this is not a place where you should throw in the towel.

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