Thanks but no thanks, cigarettes.

Given my family’s… history of having smokers in it, some people are surprised by the fact that I’ve never touched a cigarette in my life, at least until they find out how severe my asthma is. Some of them are still surprised that I haven’t “managed to find a way to smoke”, as though nicotine is this powerful of a drug. Having no prior history with it, having never smoked in my life, I can’t say either way. And I never intend to have history with it, having seen my own grandmother and mother smoke to the point that they came down with lung cancer, then metastatic lung cancer, then die as a result of it. Some people may think that I’m being a bit blunt saying that, but it is what it is — my mother cared for her own mother, who died from lung cancer, did not stop smoking, came down with metastatic lung cancer herself, did not seem to mind that smoking had heavily contributed to this, and died not seeming to mind. I fully intend on breaking this cycle.

To be honest, I’ve never understood the allure behind something that is a known carcinogen and life shortener. With things like caffeine, there isn’t the drastically increased risk of cancer — there isn’t the surgeon general’s warning, the black box label. There’s only the admonishment that children shouldn’t be drinking it, and the advisement that you should only consume so much of it in a twenty-four hour period (as well as the fact that children should not be drinking energy drinks, which I wholeheartedly agree with, as well as guidance on the consumption of energy drinks within a twenty-four hour period… and as an adult who doesn’t mind the occasional energy drink due to their taste, that is also something else that I actually agree on). If something is a known carcinogen and will shorten my life by my repeated consumption of it, that’s not something that I am even willing to start putting in my body, especially when the risk of cancer drastically increases with use over time, as we’ve seen with cigarettes. And I have family history on my side.

And as I’ve mentioned in here, I’ve also got the “gift” of shoddy lung function, which would not help matters out at all. Knowing my luck, I would develop cancer even sooner, worsen my lung function even quicker, and be even worse the wear for it… and who would that effect? My children. Regardless of their ages, that would affect my children. And I know this now. Why would I even bother doing this to myself if I know all this now?

Maybe I’m a bit naïve (which I would rather happily be), but is nicotine really worth all of this?

Are cigarettes worth coming down with cancer and shortening one’s life by years, maybe even decades?

Are they really?

Quite frankly, I’m aghast that another popular way of delivering nicotine still hasn’t managed to be marketed given that lung cancer is a leading cause of death. The least we can do is find a safer way to imbibe nicotine.

And given what has been on the news about vaping, so far it’s not really the safest alternative.

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