There was a time, when Humphrey Bogart appeared on the wide screen with a cigar in his hand and threw his masculine glance over Ingrid Bergman… the public went crazy. Today the time has changed; Bogart is replaced by some other face, but the legacy continuous even today. People still go gaga over an image of a carelessly smoking hero and picture him in their own selves. The one time experience turns into fun, fun turns into habit, habit turns into a passion, and a smoker doesn’t even understand when smoking kills him.
It is a mediocre practice of burning tobacco, inhaling the smoke into the lungs, and then throwing it out. A non-smoker might wonder what kind of gratification would someone get by burning their own lungs; but the smokers have their own reasons. May be their reasons are real, but are they justified? The answer is a definite no.
Smoking can be perceived to be macho, sophisticated, sinful, vulgar, at times even holy (?) … but the “real life” always perceives it to a deadly health hazard, and this is the most real perception, because one may look macho or sophisticated, or he may get a momentary satisfaction, but the ultimate fact doesn’t (and will never) change… Smoking kills!
The man, who changed the human life with his invention of subconscious and unconscious mind, and who came to be known as the father of modern psychology, Dr. Sigmund Freud suffered an oral cancer as a result of his incessant smoking of cigars and in his final days pitifully tried to persuade his doctor to help him commit suicide, since he could not bear the painful trauma of cancer. And this is just one of many examples that marked the waste of great lives due to smoking.
If the statistics are to be believed, tobacco associated diseases are considered the biggest killers in the world. Smoking is said to cause the most premature deaths in industrialized nations. Smoking kills 500,000 people in USA every year. China is said to have 1/3 of its total male population that is most likely to shorten their life-spans because of smoking. A study shows that males & females who smoke lose an average of 13.2 & 14.5 years of their lives, respectively. At least half of ardent smokers are reported to die earlier than their “could be” normal life span.
Despite knowing that smoking kills, why do people still fall prey to this lethal habit? The reason lies in their psyche. Smoking is attributed to factors like dashing-careless behavior, risk-taking, and rebellion. These are the characteristics that appeal to the young generation. This is why we find why most of the smokers have begun their foray into smoking, when they were adolescents. Furthermore, during teenage peer-pressure is higher than parent-pressure, which contributes to this habit even more.
“It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it thousands of times.” This quote by Mark Twain is quite self-explanatory about the trickiness of trying to quit smoking. Unfortunately it is found that attempts by parents, schools, and health professionals at preventing people from smoking are often unsuccessful.
Therefore, the best way to live a healthy and wholesome life is to stay away from this habit, than trying to fight for quitting it before smoking kills you.