“Boy, do not ever start smoking – look at what happened to me”, the woman sitting in a wheel chair said to my son during a visit to her home. 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 at it and perhaps buy it. The moment the screened door to the house opened we could make out the smell of cold smoke. It did not prepare us what awaited us inside: the three 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 original color of the item had been when it was new. 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.
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 was to lose the other leg soon. The wound of the first amputation had to heal prior to moving on to the other leg. The heavy smoking had taken an expensive toll on her health; her blood circulation had all but stopped to the lower extremities.
That was 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 prior to these sad events. She ultimately ignored all these warnings and now is paying a terrible price. But why on Earth was she not stopping now while she could? Why was no one else in the house stopping with the smokes? What happened to her sense of self-preservation? Was she and any other person who smokes aware of the ultimate irony telling my young man to never smoke, but they themselves smoked like 19th Century factory smoke stacks? Did they really have no choice?
I guess that I am fortunate that I have not ever picked up the habit of smoking. If you read this post and you are a smoker I can only beg you to quit that as soon as you can. Besides of the unbelievable cost that rack up over time, you are needlessly risking your life and limbs. Quit smoking while you can. Your family and friends are counting on you to be around for a long time.
Here is a link to a very recent video that shows kids asking adult smokers for a light, watch what happens here (click here for the video link).