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Do as I tell you, don’t do as I do. Ironic confessions of a smoker

Do as I tell you, don’t do as I do. Ironic confessions of a smoker no smoking

Picture credit: Microsoft clip art

“Boy, do not ever start smoking – look at what happened to me”, the woman sitting in a wheel said to my son the other night. Her one leg had been amputated a couple of weeks earlier due to the effects of long term heavy smoking. What’s ironic about this? I’ll get to that.

The reason for our visit to the woman’s home was that she had advertised an item that she wanted to sell and we wanted to take a look and potentially buy it. The moment the screened door opened we could make out the smell of cold smoke. It did not prepare us what awaited us inside: the adults in the small home were all chain smokers and we could have cut the air into thick slices – that’s how much smoke was in the air.

Buying the item we had showed up for took a back seat. It was not really what we wanted and the heavy smoke had totally covered the item. We could only guess as to the real color it. The woman had fallen on hard times and I decided to buy the item even if we could no longer salvage it. I was not going to argue about the amount of money either. But I digress.

One of the heavy smokers – you guessed it – was the woman. We spoke with her about her ordeal of losing her leg and my son was deeply moved by the whole experience. She will lose the other leg soon, she told us. The wound needs to heal on the first one before this can happen though.

That is when she gave my son the advice to never pick up smoking in the first place. Doctors had apparently foretold her fate and shared it with her at least ten years ago. She ultimately ignored all these warnings and now is paying a terrible price. But why on Earth is she not stopping now while she still can? Why is no one else in the house stopping with the smokes?  What happened to her sense of self-preservation? Is she and any other person who smokes aware of the ultimate irony telling young people to never smoke, but they themselves smoke like 19th Century factory smoke stacks? Do they really have no choice?

Here is a link to a very recent video that shows kids asking adult smokers for a light, watch what happens. It’s very unconventional (click here for the video link).

We left changed and sad. It caused me to reflect on whether or not I have any of such pieces of hippocratic advice in stow for folks. I promised myself to do better with any of those items. How about you? Please consider your health and wellness. Do something about it as soon as you can. If for nothing else share this post and any other like it with people who could use a nudge toward improving their habits.


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2 thoughts on “Do as I tell you, don’t do as I do. Ironic confessions of a smoker

  1. Wow, very moving story. It’s amazing what simply talking to a smoker who has gone through that much can do for anyone, never mind children. We definitely need more people like this woman to talk in schools. It would be much more effective than normal anti-smoking campaigns!


    • Hi Emily;
      Spot on! I am afraid that this woman would be liable lighting a cigarette while telling her story in schools. But maybe this would make it really effective? I am still puzzled by that.


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