My Cigarette, My Friend

My Cigarette, My Friend

FreedomNicotine
Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

10 Dec 2008, 20:23 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

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My Cigarette, My Friend





How do you feel about a friend who has to go everywhere with you? Not only does he tag along all the time, but since he is so offensive and vulgar, you become unwelcome when with him. He has a peculiar odor that sticks to you wherever you go. Others think both of you stink.

He controls you totally. When he says jump, you jump. Sometimes in the middle of a blizzard or storm, he wants you to come to the store and pick him up. You would give your spouse **** if he or she did that to you all the time, but you can't argue with your friend. Sometimes, when you are out at a movie or play he says he wants you to go stand in the lobby with him and miss important scenes. Since he calls all the shots in your life, you go.

Your friend doesn't like your choice of clothing either. Instead of politely telling you that you have lousy taste, he burns little holes in these items so you will want to throw them out. Sometimes, he tires of the furniture and gets rid of it too. Occasionally, he gets really nasty and decides the whole house must go.

He gets pretty expensive to support. Not only is his knack of property destruction costly, but you must pay to keep him with you. In fact, he will cost you thousands of dollars over your lifetime. And you can count on one thing, he will never pay you a penny in return.

Often at picnics you watch others playing vigorous activities and having lots of fun doing them. But your friend won't let you. He doesn't believe in physical activity. In his opinion, you are too old to have that kind of fun. So he kind of sits on your chest and makes it difficult for you to breathe. Now you don't want to go off and play with other people when you can't breathe, do you?

Your friend does not believe in being healthy. He is really repulsed by the thought of you living a long and productive life. So every chance he gets he makes you sick. He helps you catch colds and flu. Not just by running out in the middle of the lousy weather to pick him up at the store. He is more creative than that. He carries thousands of poisons with him which he constantly blows in your face. When you inhale some of them, they wipe out cilia in your lungs which would have helped you prevent these diseases.

But colds and flu are just his form of child's play. He especially likes diseases that slowly cripple you - like emphysema. He considers this disease great. Once he gets you to have this, you will give up all your other friends, family, career goals, activities - everything. You will just sit home and caress him, telling him what a great friend he is while you desperately gasp for air.

But eventually your friend tires of you. He decides he no longer wishes to have your company. Instead of letting you go your separate ways, he decides to kill you. He has a wonderful arsenal of weapons behind him. In fact, he has been plotting your death since the day you met him. He picked all the top killers in society and did everything in his power to ensure you would get one of them. He overworked your heart and lungs. He clogged up the arteries to your heart, brain, and every other part of your body. In case you were too strong to succumb to this, he constantly exposed you to cancer causing agents. He knew he would get you sooner or later.

Well, this is the story of your "friend," your cigarette. No real friend would do all this to you. Cigarettes are the worst possible enemies you ever had. They are expensive, addictive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. Consider all this and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Joel


© Joel Spitzer 1990, 2001
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003


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JohnPolito
Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

04 May 2011, 11:41 #2

"There are >5000 different chemical constituents in cigarette smoke which include free radicals, carcinogens, heavy metals, organic compounds, gaseous substances, such as carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide and other toxic substances which promote reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and pose a significant oxidant stress in vivo (Rodgman and Perfetti, 2009). Free radicals and other ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are continuously generated in the human body due to endogenous as well as exogenous factors. When the generation of ROS/RNS exceeds the ability of antioxidant defense systems to remove them, such an imbalance can cause oxidative/nitrosative damage to cellular constituents (DNA, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates), which is defined as oxidative/nitrosative stress (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1999). Thus, oxidative and nitrosative stress have been involved in the pathology of several human diseases as well as in the reduction of life span."

Source: Campos C, Guzmán R, López-Fernández E, Casado A., Urinary biomarkers of oxidative/nitrosative stress in healthy smokers, Inhalation Toxicology. 2011 Feb, Volume 23(3), Pates 148-156.
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JohnPolito
Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

24 Jan 2013, 15:15 #3

21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and
Benefits of Cessation in the United States
Prabhat Jha, M.D., Chinthanie Ramasundarahettige, M.Sc., Victoria Landsman, Ph.D., Brian Rostron, Ph.D., Michael Thun, M.D., Robert N. Anderson, Ph.D., Tim McAfee, M.D., and Richard Peto, F.R.S.

New England Journal of Medicine 2013; 368:341-350January 24, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMsa1211128

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Background Extrapolation from studies in the 1980s suggests that smoking causes 25% of deaths among women and men 35 to 69 years of age in the United States. Nationally representative measurements of the current risks of smoking and the benefits of cessation at various ages are unavailable.



Methods We obtained smoking and smoking-cessation histories from 113,752 women and 88,496 men 25 years of age or older who were interviewed between 1997 and 2004 in the U.S. National Health Interview Survey and related these data to the causes of deaths that occurred by December 31, 2006 (8236 deaths in women and 7479 in men). Hazard ratios for death among current smokers, as compared with those who had never smoked, were adjusted for age, educational level, adiposity, and alcohol consumption.



Results For participants who were 25 to 79 years of age, the rate of death from any cause among current smokers was about three times that among those who had never smoked (hazard ratio for women, 3.0; 99% confidence interval [CI], 2.7 to 3.3; hazard ratio for men, 2.8; 99% CI, 2.4 to 3.1). Most of the excess mortality among smokers was due to neoplastic, vascular, respiratory, and other diseases that can be caused by smoking. The probability of surviving from 25 to 79 years of age was about twice as great in those who had never smoked as in current smokers (70% vs. 38% among women and 61% vs. 26% among men). Life expectancy was shortened by more than 10 years among the current smokers, as compared with those who had never smoked. Adults who had quit smoking at 25 to 34, 35 to 44, or 45 to 54 years of age gained about 10, 9, and 6 years of life, respectively, as compared with those who continued to smoke.



Conclusions Smokers lose at least one decade of life expectancy, as compared with those who have never smoked. Cessation before the age of 40 years reduces the risk of death associated with continued smoking by about 90%.
Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.
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