Category Archives: Cigarette smoke kills 555 people a day
This will be short. I’ve already had a heart transplant and now because of 37 years of smoking I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I can’t breathe very well, especially if I move around. Do you have any idea what that’s like? Do you know what its like to be exhausted and gasping for air after putting on your shoes? Do you know what it’s like to have to drive a little electric cart around the supermarket because you can’t tolerate the walk? Well, if you keep on smoking you are in for that and a hell of a lot more. My case is mild compared to others, I don’t have to do breathing exercises every morning just to get my day started like Cystic Fibrosis patients do. I don’t have to use oxygen yet, I’m not in a wheelchair or confined to a bed or recliner at home but that could easily be my future and yours, too.
When you bend over to pick something off the floor you probably feel nothing. Here’s what happens, though. When you bend you compress your diaphragm which affects your breathing. As your lung condition worsens that one simple move can leave you feeling as though you’ve run a mile at top speed. I cannot bend over to pick up anything without having to sit down immediately to catch my breath. That means I can’t pick up my shoes, I can’t check the air in my tires, I can’t even bend over to pet my dogs.
My transplant docs tell me I’m doing very well, that with the exception of my lungs I am in pretty darn good condition. I know my mind is ok because I am more intellectually curious than I’ve ever been and I love to learn and write (some who have read my writing may think I’m a little loony but it’s a healthy loony :)). When I am sitting down and at my computer I feel better than I have in 25 or 30 years but that bubble bursts as soon as I get up and walk across the room.
Smoking is killing me even after having quit two decades ago. Smoking may also share some of the responsibility for my needing a heart transplant. There isn’t one damn good thing about smoking. People say, “It relaxes me.” Sure it does, it relaxes you because you are addicted to nicotine and you were going into withdrawal. Having a cigarette is a lot like the alcoholic (yes, I’m one of those too 30 years sober now) who has a drink to cure a hangover. There isn’t any difference. There isn’t one excuse (there are no reasons) you can give me for smoking that I cannot destroy in a second.
I have COPD, I lost my father to Chronic Bronchitis and a wife to lung cancer. I know first hand what smoking does and it isn’t as though you are only hurting yourself. Smoking not only will kill you it is killing those around you, your friends, your loved ones, your kids, even your pets. All of them will suffer because of your selfish desire to satisfy a craving. I smoked up to four packs a day for 37 years and quit. It took a lot of tries but with the help of nicotine gum I quit in 1991. If I could do it you can, too. I’m not tolerant like a lot of smoking cessation counselors are, I won’t accept the BS that you can’t quit. You can! You are just to much of a wimp to experience some temporary discomfort.
Get some guts, sure it’s hard to quit smoking but to give up by saying, “I can’t quit.” BS! Do you remember the story about the man who was caught alone in the wilderness with his arm pinned by some debris? He cut off his own arm to avoid death and walked a great distance to get medical attention. That’s experiencing real discomfort and showing a will to live. Allowing yourself to die because of a simple “craving” is wimpish, gutless and suicidal.
If you don’t like my harsh comments that’s too damn bad. I cannot sympathize with anyone who has the power to save their life and the lives around them but refuses to do so because its not “comfortable.” Shame of you!
Oh yeah…one more thing. Don’t count on getting a lung transplant to solve your problem. There’s a long line ahead of you waiting for a new lung or lungs and they won’t all get them. The best way to solve the organ shortage is to take care of yourself so you never need one.
Please view our brand new video “Thank You From the Bottom of my Donor’s heart” on You
Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifyRsh4qKF4 This video was produced to promote organ donation so it is free and no permission is needed for it’s use.
Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues.
We would love to have you join our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.
Please comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at email@example.com. And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
The Airbus A380-800, is the biggest airplane in the sky. It can carry 555 people, maybe more depending on how the seats are configured. What would you think — how would you react if two of these monstrous planes crashed every day for evermore? I imagine the public outrage would be monumental. “But wait,” as the commercial says, “There’s more.” What if these disasters were totally preventable? What if the planes were crashing because of a faulty switch that everyone knew about but ignored — and the planes just kept on crashing killing 438,000 Americans a year — year after year. Would there be outrage? Would congress act? Would there be demonstrations in the streets? Count on it!
Far-fetched as it may seem the equivalent of two fully loaded Airbus A390-800’s are crashing every day. 438,000, that’s the number of Americans who die as a result of cigarette smoke each year. And — these deaths are almost totally preventable, like fixing the switches on the airplanes. This disgraceful situation is a national tragedy, a crisis that cannot be allowed to continue.
I’m writing this because there is a clear and present danger to every one of us, even the unborn and those not yet conceived. There is also a direct relationship between smoking and organ transplantation. Simply put, if fewer people smoked, the need for organs and tissue would be greatly diminished and there would probably be a corresponding increase in the availability of tissue and organs. Wow!
Cigarettes are like bullets only far more deadly. Bullets generally harm or kill only the people they strike. Cigarettes not only affect anyone who inhales the smoke, they kill you slowly and painfully. I started smoking in 1954 at the age of 15. There were no warnings then and almost everyone smoked. Cigarette advertising even alluded to the beneficial health effects of smoking, “XXX brand cigarettes relieve scratchy throat…etc. “
I’ve seen the effects of smoking up close and personal. My father died of emphysema and I lost a wife to lung cancer. Both were smokers. Now I am suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is progressive and cannot be cured. Four months ago I had a heart transplant, probably necessitated in part because of 37 years of smoking three or more packs a day. My heart is working exceptionally well but my lungs are in a weakened condition. Even though I quite smoking 18 years ago the effects may slowly be killing me. But — had I not quit I would probably have died long ago.
Smoking affects every part of you. According to “The Scoop on Smoking” (http://thescooponsmoking.org/), smoking has a negative effect on the following: Respiratory system (lungs), Skeletal system (bones), Muscular system (muscles, joints), Circulatory system (heart, arteries), Urinary system (kidneys, bladder), Digestive system (stomach, intestines) Nervous system (brain, nerves), Endocrine system (thyroid, hormones), Female reproductive system (uterus, ovaries), Male reproductive system (penis, testes), Immune system (t-cells, anti-bodies), Skin, The senses (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat) and mental health.
While the number of deaths caused by cigarette smoke is appalling, the cost in dollars is also extremely disturbing. Smoking costs taxpayers nearly $200 billion a year in health-care alone. Can you imagine the good that would come from properly spending that $200 billion on medical research and education?
I have but three messages. 1) I know it is hard to quit, it took a dozen tries for me to do so but you can do it!. You owe it to yourself, your family and all the people affected by your second hand smoke. 2) Don’t start, it’s not cool and it likely will kill you and maybe some of your family and friends. 3) Spread the word. Out of love, encourage and help friends and loved ones to quit so none of them are in my position and feel compelled to write a blog on how smoking may be killing them.
Bob Aronson of Bob’s Newheart is a 2007 heart transplant recipient, the founder of Facebook’s nearly 2,500 member Organ Transplant Initiative and the author of most of these donation/transplantation blogs.
You may comment in the space provided or email your thoughts to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And – please spread the word about the immediate need for more organ donors. There is nothing you can do that is of greater importance. If you convince one person to be an organ and tissue donor you may save or positively affect over 60 lives. Some of those lives may be people you know and love.
Please view our video “Thank You From the Bottom of my Donor’s heart” on http://www.organti.org This video was produced to promote organ donation so it is free and no permission is needed for its use.
If you want to spread the word personally about organ donation, we have another PowerPoint slide show for your use free and without permission. Just go to http://www.organti.org and click on “Life Pass It On” on the left side of the screen and then just follow the directions. This is NOT a stand-alone show; it needs a presenter but is professionally produced and factually sound. If you decide to use the show I will send you a free copy of my e-book, “How to Get a Standing “O” that will help you with presentation skills. Just write to email@example.com and usually you will get a copy the same day.
Also…there is more information on this blog site about other donation/transplantation issues. Additionally we would love to have you join our Facebook group, Organ Transplant Initiative The more members we get the greater our clout with decision makers.