My wife and I were exiting a restaurant this past weekend. As we opened the doors we entered into a cloud of 2nd hand cigarette smoke. First of all, it reminded me of one of my biggest pet peeves, which is; why do companies have their smoking areas right by the door where people enter? As a non-smoker do I really want to walk through a cloud of smoke to get into the non-smoking building? Anyway, I also tried to understand what causes people to smoke in the first place.
I grew up in a smoking household. My parents, and then my brother, were heavy smokers. I think both my parents went through about 2 packs a day, EACH. I understand why my parents may have started. The health issues were not as well known and understood back then, and it was also the "cool" thing to do. Plus, the cost was not as outrageous then. Even when my brother started about 20 years ago it is somewhat understandable. However, given what is known now, and how much this habit costs, why would someone not do everything in their power to quit?
I always try to break things down to the absolute basic level whenever possible. I look back at my parents house. They spent thousands and thousands of dollars to renovate an older house, which obviously includes new carpet, new furniture, etc... One year they spent about $15,000 to do the kitchen. Within 6 months the wallpaper border around the ceiling began to fall a bit and you could see how yellow the wall paper had turned just in six months. They had numerous burn spots in their furniture, carpets, and car interiors.
When I finally moved out of that house into my own place my clothes stunk of stale smoke for weeks. Every time I passed my closet I could smell it, even if they had already been washed. Smoking is a filthy habit that costs a lot of money to maintain. Let's take a look at all the costs:
Cost of the cigarettes (obvious)- In the area where I live a pack goes for roughly $5 each now. For my parents to keep up their 4 pack a day habit they spend roughly $1000 a year. Add to that the cost of teeth cleanings, damages to property, additional medical costs that are bound to come from smoking. The biggest cost of all is the cost of your health and probably an early death.
My grandmother smoked her whole life. For the last thirteen years of her life she lived on an oxygen machine. At first she was able to get around and still do things but as time went on she was able to do less and less. I would go visit her and she would struggle to take a breath, even with the oxygen. There is no guarantee how any of us will end up in life. I could very well end up like my grandmother, struggling for my next breath. But, I am going to do what I can to prevent that from happening. Most of all, I am certainly not going to spend thousands of dollars over the course of decades, on cigarettes, to increase my chances of it happening.
Most people would think that someone like myself, who has seen what smoking can do, would be against it. This is not the case. I am the only one of my siblings that does not smoke. As I said earlier, my brother has been for over 20 years and my sister recently started about 5 years ago. Some things in life make no sense to me and this is one of them. Would you pay someone a $1000 a year to beat you with a baseball bat? No! Then why pay a billion dollar company to kill yourself even slower by sucking on a stick of poison?