I don’t smoke. I don’t take recreational drugs. I don’t drink alcohol excessively. I don’t exercise nor do I try to eat lots of vegetables or fruits. I spend too long working on computers. I play video games too long. I would suggest that upon reflection, the good and the bad balance out fairly equally. What pisses me off is that no one is offering me the chance to win a car for not changing, not smoking, not gaining an addiction.
I appreciate that to kick an addiction, no matter what it is, has to be difficult, otherwise it wouldn’t be called an addiction. It has to be incredibly challenging, but who started the addiction? Who took the first step? Upon reflection, a bad decision. We all make bad decisions, be it personal, professional, or just in general. How many men and women are in jail because of the bad decision of driving home after drinking?
The Canadian Cancer Society (cancer.ca) is offering a car to someone who stops smoking. Incentive is good but is it fair? If I drink too much and then get on the wagon, will the Canadian Liver Foundation (www.liver.ca) give me a car, an iPad or even a greetings card? I start exercising, eating healthy and looking after my body, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (www.heartandstroke.ca) is not going to even notice. I seriously doubt if Mothers Against Drunk Driving (www.madd.ca) will congratulate me for not drinking and driving, so why should someone who chose to start smoking be rewarded for stopping?
I don’t begrudge someone’s right to change their life. According to the Canadian Cancer Society website these are the benefits of quitting:
Quit now and reduce your risk of cancer
- In Canada, it is estimated that smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths and is related to more than 85% of lung cancer cases.
- The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more you increase your risk of developing lung cancer. But within 10 years of quitting, an ex-smoker’s overall risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.
- If you quit, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, bladder and cervix decreases.
Quit now and breathe better
- Even relatively light smoking may cause lung damage because smoking is repetitive, and the effects of inhaling add up over time. If you’re a smoker, you may have noticed that you:
- feel out of breath when walking up a short flight of stairs
- cough a lot
- spit up mucus
- have repeat chest infections
- These are not signs of aging or being out of shape. They are signs that smoking is damaging your lungs.
Quit and feel better in so many other ways
- The single best thing you can do to improve your health is to quit smoking. And the improvements start almost right away. As soon as you stop smoking, your body begins to cleanse itself of tobacco poisons. Here’s how:
- Oxygen levels in your blood increase and carbon monoxide levels drop within 8 hours.
- Your sense of smell and taste begin to improve after 2 days.
- You’ll find it easier to breathe within 2 weeks to 3 months because your lungs are working better.
- Coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve within 6 months.
- Your risk of a smoking-related heart attack is reduced by half after 1 year.
Isn’t that reward enough?