Why I Don't Smoke Anymore

This Thursday, April 22nd, is Earth Day, and it's actually the 40th Earth Day in the history of our beloved Earth. To me, it does not feel that we've come anywhere in those forty years—everything that we're saying now, we've been saying for years, and any "improvements" that have been coming out lately have been out for a very long time. I used to not give a damn—in fact, I never really gave a damn about much of anything. But in the past few years, these issues of our planet have made themselves apparent, and action needs to be taken now to help it.

I was a smoker for a couple of years. When I say a couple, I mean three plus, which is not much in comparison to most. I understand their struggle to quit. But because of what's been happening, people must urge the adults of tomorrow, children of today, to never pick up a cigarette, to never break under the pressure of others, and to never, ever become addicted to something that will kill them.

Cigarettes are not only detrimental to the person smoking them. They hurt everyone, and everything, around their fumes—I have friends whose families encourage them to smoke, and I have friends whose "friends" think that it's fine. Smoking is not fine. There are hundreds of toxins in every cigarette, toxins that if those children who pick up those cigarettes knew what they were, would be disgusted at the fact that they even inhaled that. These poor children, trying to be "cool," trying to "fit in," trying to do everything that they can just so that someone will look at them, smoke cigarettes as a means for who knows what. I wish that I knew, so that I could reach out and take the cigarette, twist my shoe over it and tell them, "You are better than that."

I had stopped, back in 2008, after my partner at the time had threatened me with the end of our relationship if I had not stopped. She was worried for me, and had reason to be—I had not been doing so well, and my sicknesses were coming out more frequently. After stopping, I realized how much in my life I needed to change—everything completely changed at that point, it was not just my smoking habits. It was how I looked at life, how I looked at people, and more importantly, how I looked at myself.

Not surprisingly, the girl who I stopped because of picked up smoking a few years later and still is, for no reason at all other than because her friends also smoke.

Earth Day means a lot more than just attending events, giving money to useless organizations, and wearing shirts made of 100% cotton. It's a complete lifestyle change, like people say about losing weight—it's not a diet that you should be on, it should be a lifestyle change, one that will work. To me, Earth Day means recycling everything that possibly can be recycled, using as little as you can, walking to places if close enough, making sure that lights are off when the room is not being used, keeping showers to a minimum, buying from local markets as opposed to huge supermarkets, and so many more that I cannot even list them.

Earth Day is everything—people think that "the Earth has gone through so much, it will be fine," and that "the Earth is fine, it's not a big deal like everyone's making it out to be." But it is a big deal. People in many countries all over the world are dying of starvation, and in places where there is the most money, there is the least amount being done to better the planet. Why cause harm to something because it can "take the beating" when you can avoid beating it all together? Why not just take a few seconds out of the day, seconds that would otherwise be wasted, to put papers in the recycling bin, to turn off the faucet when done washing your hands, or to buy groceries that you know that you'll use as opposed to wasting them?

Why not celebrate Earth Day, for what it's worth, and start changing things today?

2 comments:

Sasha said...

Good for you, Sir! I made my man stop too. Nasty stinky habit.

Gardenvy said...

Hey Sir, I'm glad to hear that your a nonsmoker! Good for you :D
My maternal side of the family were heavy smokers. They blame it on their ethnicity, but I blame it on themselves and culture. I've lost a few family members to cancer related to smoking. I on the other hand have never smoked a cigarette. Probably because, I remember having to sit in the smoking section of restaurants when all the ladies in the family had our weekend brunches together, and I'd just choke through my meal waiting for some fresh air. What's funny is, Those days are precious memories of when all my family was together. Cigarettes unfortunately play a huge part in everyone's life even if they don't choose to "light it up" themselves.
Something really neat - My city is working on placing a huge tax on cigarettes, because of the litter that they cause.
Cigarettes to me, are a no-win situation.. you smoke, you litter, you die, the earth dies. Total bummer.

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