Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seriously, Just Don't Start

I saw some disappointing news tonight on Keloland.  It seems that smoking in youth has stopped going down as a trend.  It appears that South Dakota isn't just leading the nation in providing a good business climate.

Out of the 44 states surveyed in 2011, South Dakota was found to have the second highest percentage of teen smokers. As far as smokeless tobacco, the state ranked the third highest.

This is not a stat to be proud of.  My father smoked a lot as a youngster in the 60's and no matter what he did, he just couldn't quit.  It was a habit to fall back on when life was stressful.  He decreased the amount he smoked.  He tried the patch, hypnosis, acupuncture, acupressure, and whatever was out there.  He knew it wasn't good for his health or the health of his children, but he could never stop until the day he died at the age of 45.

I know we don't think it will happen to us.  I know we think, "Hey, I can quit anytime."  You have heard the economic impact it has, the health impact that it has, and have been told about the social impact it will have on you.  I also understand none of that matters when you are hanging with your friends and they wanna smoke.  I have been there too.  You are right about one thing, you can quit anytime, if that time is now.  My father's death was a wake up call.  I dabbled with a cigarette or too before it, but I didn't want death to be the only thing that stops me from smoking.  

Just don't start.  If you do, quit it as soon as you can.  The choice is only yours to make.  Your parents can't tell you to not do it, teachers can't tell you to not do it, commercials can't tell you to not do it.  Only you have the real power to start or stop smoking; that is until it is too late and you are hooked and the nicotine will make the decision for you.  

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