Now is the Time to Quit Smoking

by Dr. S. Russell Vester, MD 7. June 2013 11:03

If you are thinking about quitting smoking, let me give you some thoughts to help strengthen and maintain your resolve. Think about smoking this way. Think of it as premature aging. I operated on a guy today for his second coronary bypass procedure. He is 58. His coronary arteries, the blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart muscle itself, looked like they belonged to an 80 year old. He used to be a two pack a day smoker but quit after his first coronary bypass operation. Good for him. Too bad the damage had already been done. He thinks about this now. He didn’t when he was thirty and thought it could never happen to him. All the regret in the world won’t buy back the years of life he sacrificed to feed his habit.

There’s a great tool on the home page of this web site. Look along the left-hand side. It’s a link to “How does smoking affect your lifespan?” Plug in some numbers and see comes up. It’s scary.

One of the biggest ironies regarding smoking relates to young women who use smoking as a weight control tool. They want to stay thin to look good. Smoking helps them curb their appetite. So their smoking is motivated by vanity. The irony is that with the passage of fewer years than they realize, they will look older much more quickly than their non-smoking friends. They will show facial wrinkles earlier and more severely. Their voice will slowly but surely lower and become raspier as the vocal cords thicken from the constant irritation of smoke passing over them. Their skin will dry out and sag prematurely. That cute little tattoo they got one night after too much partying will slowly but deliberately move to another zip code on their body. And through all this their color will be paler and after a while ashen because of the lower amount of oxygen their bodies get while smoking.

The sad truth is: Smoking makes you ugly. Maybe not today, but give it time. It’s a battle it never loses.

Every smoker I have ever met will tell you a story about a relative or someone they knew that smoked all their lives and lived to be ninety without ever having a health problem. Every one. They all lean on a story like this to shield themselves from the unfortunate truths of the health threat smoking provides. What I want to know is why those of us that don’t smoke have never met these same ninety year olds?

I’d be curious to know what rationale spins inside the head of our current President as he continues to smoke. The irony here is almost more than I can stand.

 

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