Over my many years as a therapist, I've asked thousands of people why they continue to smoke and here are the top 4 reasons: "I like it," "It'll never happen to me," "I live in a house of smokers so it will be impossible for me to quit," and the stupidest one is denial: "My uncle smoked since he was 8 years old and he lived to be 103 and even his doctor said he had the lungs of a 16 year old."

Smoker's Lungs vs Healthy Lungs

The #1 reason health insurance in this country is so high is because of smokers who use their insurance to go to doctors, hospitals and require smoking related surgeries. You, as a smoker, are responsible as to why a non-smoker has to pay high insurance costs.

But let's forget about how others are affected by your choices in life. Let's look at the benefits of smoking:

1. You get to litter, even in front of a police officer and not get a ticket for it.

2. You get to throw your trash on the ground and let someone else clean up after you, just like your mommy did when you were a kid. 

3. By throwing your trash on the ground, you have given a homeless person or another addict the opportunity to share in your addiction by picking up your stepped on cigarette, putting it in their mouth and sucking down the last remaining fumes. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.

4. You are a member of a very special club, where you can walk up to complete strangers and ask them for a cigarette, thereby sharing with you in their addiction, just like you shared your addiction with the homeless trash picker uppers. 

5. You can now lie to people, telling them that the reason you're coughing is because you're coming down with a cold and not because the tar in your lungs have given you only 50% capacity to breathe and has coated your lungs to the point where you are literally choking every time you inhale deeply.

6. No one wants to live forever and everyone wants to go to heaven. Smoking is the perfect way to get to heaven faster than others. Congratulations. 

Let's now think about the benefits of quitting smoking. Aside from the fact that your children will live longer and healthier lives by sleeping in a house of non-smokers, you can also benefit from quitting.

  • 20 minutes: heart rate, blood pressure drops
  • 12 hours: carbon monoxide in the bloodstream drops to normal
  • 2 weeks–3 months: circulation, lung function improves; heart attack risk begins to drop
  • 1–9 months: cough less, breathe easier
  • 1 year: risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half
  • 2–5 years: risk of cancer of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder cut in half; stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker
  • 10 years: half as likely to die from lung cancer; risk of kidney or pancreatic cancer decreases
  • 15 years: risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s risk

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