29-Mar-2016.By: 'Machi Solomon
It seems unbelievable that Mike left without saying farewell. Pauline had just received a call from the hospital, informing her that Mike had passed away. How sad she felt about his sudden death. Although she knew he was very ill, but she didn’t expect to lose him so soon.
Pauline and Mike had been lovers since they were teens. As they grew older, they vowed to get married and love each other till the end of time. Unfortunately, the end of time came too early for Mike; earlier than they had ever imagined. Pauline knew that Mike had addiction in Cigarette smoking. All her efforts to stop him from smoking would meet a thick wall of resistance. The best she got from Mike was a fruitless and endless promise, “I will stop smoking very soon”.
At 15, he started smoking to impress his friends. It was the insignia of a Cool Dude amongst his peers at the time. But unlike others, he found it very difficult to quit smoking. Sometimes he tried to stop but couldn’t.
One day, Mike had a terrible cough which later became constant and eventually deteriorate to a terrible illness. The pain in his chest became so unbearable that he had to see the doctor. Mike was later diagnosed with Lung Cancer and every effort by the doctor to restore his health prove abortive as his condition worsened by the day.
He knew he was going to die because of his bad habit. He felt very sad that he was also going to lose his loved ones, Pauline and his siblings due to his unhealthy habit. He wished he could turn back the hand of time and change his lifestyle.
Mike decided to use his last few days to save at least one person from the same fate. His immediate younger brother came to mind. He sat down and spoke with Steve who was 23 and had already been caught smoking cigarettes on several occasions. But he wanted to do more, somehow he had to voice out the whole story.
Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general. Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women.
According to Center for Disease Prevention and control (CDC), Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking is estimated to increase the risk of coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times and of stroke by 2 to 4 times. It also increases the risk of men developing lung cancer by 25 times1 and of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times1.
Smokers are also at greater risk for diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease). Smoking causes stroke and coronary heart disease, which are among the leading causes of death. Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day are said to stand the risk of having early signs of cardiovascular disease.
Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower. This makes the heart beat faster and blood pressure go up. It can also cause Clots to form and a stroke occurs when a clot blocks the blood flow to part of your brain or when a blood vessel in or around your brain bursts. Blockages caused by smoking can also reduce blood flow to your legs and skin.
Smoking can also affect men's sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage. Smoking is also a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers.
Note that lungs cancer is not the only disease that affects smokers. Smoking can cause cancer of the nose, mouth, liver, kidney, stomach, bladder, esophagus, pancreas, and throat. Smoking can also affect your blood, vision, bones, and reproductive system.
Also, beware of secondhand smoking. It is also known as Passive smoking. Secondhand smoking is being around and inhaling tobacco smoke from the air, which is also bad for you, even if it's someone else's smoke. When someone smokes a cigarette, most of the smoke don't go into their lungs. It goes into the air, where anyone nearby can breathe it.
Avoid being around people who are smoking, and try to convince those around you who smoke to quit. Anyone who does smoke should do so outside, as far away from other people as possible.
Quit smoking today and live healthily.
Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM
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