I am not a smoker - never have been - so I'm not going to put a beat-down upon those who do. However, what I'd like to say is this - if you do know someone who is a smoker, please encourage them (in a positive and constructive way) to cut back, or better yet, quit. Be there for them and support them in any way you can. Let them know you are concerned and willing to be their crutch if necessary. They are FAMILY and we want to keep them around for as long as we can.

I'd like to hear of any success stories where you or someone you know beat the habit. My hope is this discussion will encourage or help others in a way they never thought of before.



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Great point!!! Another cartoon, for another day:)
Paul,
Thanks for posting this.
I have never EVER even tried smoking. I always tried to avoid being around people who are smoking, and while it is certainly getting easier, that was not always the case. It seemed to be accepted everywhere. Restaurants, public transportation, sporting events... EVERYWHERE. I still tried to avoid it as best I could.
I am presently waiting for a double lung transplant. When I look at how delicate our organs (lungs, heart etc) really are, I am confused, hurt, and angry all at the same time. Confused because I can't understand why people would continue smoking KNOWING it was going to cause cancer and all sorts of other illnesses. Hurt, because of all the OTHER people who will be effected by it, such as the families of the person who is now too sick, but rather has to be supported by them, usually their own children, who are now just getting started with their own families, and having to step back and take care of their ailing parent because he/she would not even TRY to quit. And anger, because of all those lungs and other organs that are being wasted. When one considers that, of all the lungs donated for transplant, 85% (approx) of these organs are rejected for a myriad of reasons.This number could most certainly be improved. Think how many people would have a second chance at life.
I have spent many months and years in the hospital, and have seem many many people coming in suffering from smoking related illnesses. There was a tv commercial here in Canada not too long ago, with the simple message: If you are NOT planning to quit smoking.. then WHAT ARE you planning?

I can't imagine how difficult it must be, to be addicted to smoking and not being able to quit. I DO however, know how difficult it is to breathe without healthy lungs.
My hopes are that people will reply to your posting, and will inspire other smokers to really quit this nasty habit once and for all, not only for their own health, but for their families. Its not JUST about the smoker.
Thanks Paul.
I will follow this one closely.
Wow! Thanks for the posting, Brian! I'm humbled and inspired by your courage and message - I, too, hope folks are listening...
I quit smoking a little over eight years ago. I was a heavy smoker and drinker throughout my school years, and I fianlly decided to do something about it my senior year. I quit cold turkey which is really hard, especially when living with roomates that smoke. I would recommend using any and all aids available to people to quit, from the patch to pills or just having someone kick you in the balls everytime you feel like lighting up, whatever works for you.

Quiting smoking and drinking was one of the best decisions of my life, I now lead a healthy and active lifestyle that I never could have if I had continued to smoke. I know it is hard but anyone that makes the choice will eventually see that they are much better off without it.

TCSS


WHY DO FIREFIGHTERS, WHO PRESUMABLY DO KNOW BETTER, STILL SMOKE OR CHEW TOBACCO?

I too have seen the effects of what smoking cigarettes can do to people. I have spent a considerable amount of time researching this and discovered some interesting facts about smoking that tobacco companies don't talk about. In fact no one does, which is really one of those WTF type of things. How can something so obvious be so ignored?


Facts from a Fire Captain / Hazmat WMD Specialist:

- tobacco, in order to grow needs fertilizer(s)
- one key fertilizer used is potassium, it helps make things grow
- the tobacco plant has little hairlike structures on the outside of the stems and leaves called trichomes
- the trichomes collect microscopic traces of the potassium, some eventually drop off the plant and go into the soil where the plant uptakes the potassium through the root system
- here's the problem... some of the potassium does not come off the leaves, and stems...

So what happens when a cigarette is lit, the tobacco is burned, and you either inhale or allow the smoke to go where it goes?

The potassium discussed has a couple of things that folks don't know... Potassium contains both (Lead) Pb-210 and (pollonium) Po-210. Both of these materials are radioactive alpha emiters...

CIGARETTE SMOKE IS RADIOACTIVE, SPECIFICALLY AN ALPHA EMITER...

DON'T BELIEVE ME? TAKE A RADIATION DETECTOR FOR ALPHA PARTICLES AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!


On my profile a couple of years ago, I had researched this and found that there was more about citarettes that waw being shared.


Here's an excerpt from my blog post: Hairs or trichomes may be formed on all parts of the plant as outgrowths from an epidermal cell. The development of hairs may involve cell division (as in these leaf hairs) where the long outgrowth is unicellular but the base is multicellular.
Levels of Po-210 were measured in cigarette smoke by Radford and Hunt (2) and in the bronchial epithelium of smokers and nonsmokers by Little et al. (3) After inhalation, ciliary action causes the insoluble radioactive particles to accumulate at the bifurcation of segmental bronchi, a common site of origin of bronchogenic carcinomas.

In a person smoking 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes per day, the radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium in areas of bifurcation is 8000 mrem per year -- the equivalent of the dose to the skin from 300 x-ray films of the chest per year. This figure is comparable to total-body exposure to natural background radiation containing 80 mrem per year in someone living in the Boston area.

If this interests you, please take the time to read my blog post at:

http://www.firefighternation.com/profiles/blogs/the-dirty-little-se...

PS: For those who think that chewing tobacco is a safer option... I don't think so...


TCSS, and don't smoke or chew...
CBz
Well, if this info doesn't open your eyes, nothing will!
Or your lungs
Actually... technically, the lungs get slowly closed off due to chronic damage from both the heat, toxic smoke (cyanide's part of the products of combustion) and of course as mentioned, alpha particles that love the left main stem bronchus, or at least they do statistically, causing tissue cancer from the deposited alpha particles (Pb-210, Po-210 and Radon), which causes various cancers, causing the airway and air passages to close, not open. You only get opened during the autopsy...


Also, smoking can also cause really annoying snoring...

CBz
This is ALL exceptional information, but do we have any success stories out there? If so, please share.
I am a non smoker, never did, but I have a friend who successfully quit over 20 years ago. He did it gradually by taking one cigarette out of the pack and throwing it away. Day 2, he tossed 2 out of the pack. He did this each day, tossing 3 on day 3, 4 on day 4, etc.

This method worked for him.
Great idea, I am going to share this 1 of my friends, I been nicely trying to get him to quit for 4 years. Thats when we became friends going thru MFR and FF1/2 together. Now where on the same dept.
There are departments that hand you a contract to sign. When you are hired, you must state that you are a non-smoker, sign the contract and never smoke while you are an employee of that city/municipality.
In Ontario, it is in your own best interest, and the best interest of your family to be a non smoker. Presumptive legislation leaves you without the onus to prove certain cancers are job related, UNLESS you are a smoker. If you are a smoker, and you get cancer, good luck getting benefits and good luck to your family getting LODD benefits if you pass away.
I was a smoker for almost 15 years. One January 1st, I put the pack down, joined the gym, changed my eating habits and a year later decided to become a firefighter (and 7 short years later I actually became one). I just don't see those two lives colliding. Either live well and be a firefighter, or don't.

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