I found out that today, and every May 31, is World No Tobacco Day. What a wonderful idea! My first thought was about how nice it would be to be able to go where I want and still breathe fresh air. It’s frustrating to have to hold my breath while walking into or out of a building because people are congregated there at the entrance to smoke. I read comments on an article once, and some smoker suggested just staying away from those places. The thing is, there are things I need to do – like buy food – and I shouldn’t have to avoid them just because some smokers feel the need to stand RIGHT OUTSIDE the doorway of a building to smoke. What about when it happens where I work? I need to breathe AND go to work.
There are so many other good reasons for No Tobacco Day I hadn’t even thought about, but found out when I did some reading. There are some articles that address the possibility of crime organizations smuggling tobacco because of the high profits in doing so. The information came from the World Health Organization.
In any case, it’s well known the health toll that smoking takes on both the smoker and anyone who is exposed to cigarette smoke. Even those who smoke outside still drag the smoke and chemicals indoors when they are finished. I’ve heard of people who refuse to smoke around babies, but then will hold those babies while they and their clothing are covered with all the harmful particles. This is known as third hand smoke, and it can be very dangerous: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/third-hand-smoke/faq-20057791
On the other hand, quitting smoking can have some very positive effects. I’ve seen this information, provided by the American Cancer Society, in several places:
What happens to your body when you quit smoking?
This is the timeline of what happens to your body after you stop smoking, according to the American Cancer Society:
- After 20 minutesyour heart rate and blood pressure drop
- After 12 hoursyour blood’s carbon monoxide levels returns to normal
- After two or three weeksyour circulation and lung function improves
- After one to nine monthscoughing and shortness of breath drops
- After one yearyour risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker
- After five yearsyour risk of developing mouth and throat cancer halves
- After 10 yearsthe risk of dying from lung cancer is around half that of a smoker
- After 15 yearsthe risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker
I am very excited about all of the moves in the right direction that I’ve seen regarding smoking. I remember having to deal with much more smoking in public than there is now. I even remember when smoking was allowed in doctors’ offices and hospitals! I look forward to having even fewer occasions where I have to deal with second hand smoke. Maybe someday, it will be nothing but a bad memory.