There. I've said it. I've said it before, to many people, but am just going to put it out there here - I just don't "get" the appeal of smoking. I don't understand why people start. I don't understand why they continue. And I mostly don't understand why they don't give up when their health has been jeopardised.
The reason I am now making these statements on a public forum is because my dear old Dad is still sitting up in a hospital ward, waiting for approval to have a triple bypass. He has been smoking for over 55 years. He had a stroke about ten years ago, which obviously wasn't a big enough scare for him to quit - but this week's health problems have him throwing away his tobacco and plastering himself in nicotine patches. But really, isn't it just too late now?
Not only is his heart in dire straights from all the smoking, his kidneys are up shit creek too - which he seems to think is against him being a good candidate for the surgery. Now, obviously I am not in Queensland with him, so getting a clear picture of how things are going is not an easy task. There's only so much the nursing staff can explain over the phone, but the general picture is that they have done all their assessments and sent them to the specialist hospital in the city to await their answer. What happens if they say no?
I was talking to my sister the other day, giving her the run down on where things were at with Dad's condition, when we nearly got in to another philosophical conversation. Only nearly because I was at work, and really couldn't spare the three hours the conversation could have taken! We do like a chat. But basically, the crux of my argument always leads me back to:
Why would you willingly do something to your body that you know will more than likely kill you?
Why? I need people to explain this to me. Yes, I understand it's an addiction. Yes, I understand that kicking a habit is hard work. But why? Why not kick it to the curb?
My sister has been living with half her lung capacity for years now. And I have no doubt that the sorry state of those said lungs will be what takes her from this world. And I don't get it. I hate knowing that she, my brother and my Dad's health has been shot just because of a choice to take up something they KNEW was dangerous. Well, Ok, I'll give my Dad a semi-leave pass because the 50's loved glamorising smoking!
It's not too late. This is my mantra. My Mum gave up smoking years ago and her health has been so much better. My late Nanna gave up at age 80!!!! NEVER. TOO. LATE.
Soooooo......wait a tick whilst I climb down off my soap box.......
Now feel free to bombard me. Tell me WHY? Why do you smoke? Why don't you give up? And if you have given up - what was the catalyst? I really would like to understand!
**** Disclaimer - Ok, so I'm not perfect. I have been known over the years to get wildly drunk and shove a cigarette in my mouth. But I have certainly regretted it every. single. time. Lucky I don't get wildly drunk any more!!