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Reasons Not To Stop Smoking

May 14, 2008
All smokers will know what it's like once that little white stick has a hold on you. The world and his wife will be against you, telling you to stop smoking, complaining about the smell, pointing out the health risks. But what do they know? Why would you want to miss out on your social cigarette outside the pub with your mates? After all, it hasn't hurt any of them.

The fact that eighty per cent of lung cancer cases come from smoking cigarettes still leaves you with a twenty per cent chance of not getting it. Are you willing to take that chance? Maybe you think you could recognise the early symptoms and get it treated. Until then, you're willing to risk it? Or give up as a new year's resolution? On your birthday? At Christmas? Maybe never?

I watched my grandmother die a slow, painful death from lung cancer. Unable to breath properly for quite some time, we had constantly pressured her to stop smoking but she liked it. She said she didn't want to give up, that the inevitable would never happen to her. The fact that she regularly coughed up blood she put down to old age and firmly stuck her head in the sand when it came to the thought of lung cancer.

However, if you are one of the lucky twenty per cent who smoke their way through life without getting ill then this won't affect you, will it? It may bring about the death of a loved one through their passive smoking around you but surely it's still your choice to smoke?

If you don't mind the difficulty of not being able to breathe, if you don't mind coughing up blood, if you think the loss of appetite will just make you slimmer then don't stop smoking. The general fatigue will creep up on you slowly and you'll get used to it - until it's too late to do anything about.

If you don't mind the thick gunk that collects in your lungs, breeding tumours, then don't stop smoking. If you don't mind that these tumours may spread to your liver, bones or brain then continue your habit.

If you don't mind your family watch you go through the immense pain that accompanies lung, liver, bone and brain cancers then don't stop smoking. If you can live with the fact that if lung cancer from smoking travels to your brain, you will go through periods where you don't recognise your own children then don't stop smoking.

If you don't mind the fact that brain cancer will bring about personality changes that can bring immeasurable emotional pain for all your loved ones, then why quit? If you think a couple of paracetemol will rid you of the gnawing, continuous pain of bone cancer, persist in you habit.

If your partner is happy to see you through a bronchoscopy, PET scan, CT scan and bone scans while they diagnose how far your cancer has spread, then there is no need to stop smoking. Of course, they will be there when you come round from surgery to remove tumours and they will be there if you ever wish to tell them about your awake craniotomy surgery to remove the brain tumours. If you think they can sustain that sort of emotional turmoil, then why stop smoking?

It's a known fact that lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers you can possibly get, that it is rarely diagnosed until the advanced stages. It is also one that easily spreads to other organs through the lymph system, lodging in other organs and bones. These cancers will bring sickness, extreme pain, confusion, depression - and that's just in your friends and family. But hey, there's only a twenty per cent chance of that happening if you don't stop smoking so why carry on?
About the Author
Health expert Catherine Harvey looks at the arguments to stop smoking or to carry on.
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