Amanda Foti, Contributing Writer
We all see it, smell it, walk by it, inhale it as we walk into the buildings and we all know it’s bad, so why are we still seeing this cancer stick everywhere? This paper wrapped stick is addictive, toxic and filled with… well we don’t really know. There are over 4800 chemicals in cigarettes, some of which have been identified as known human carcinogens (cancer causing) and known poisons. You may be shocked to know that a few of the chemicals placed in cigarettes have been used in prison Russian spy executions. Chemicals found in nail polish remover, hair dye, household cleaners, rat poison, lighter fluid, battery acids and mothballs are also present, and we are willingly paying to inhale this? Do you have any idea what this does for our body… not to mention our wallet?
Smoking is known to cause various diseases and increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer (of almost every part of your body, not just lung), heart attack, vascular disease and emphysema. In addition it increases the appearance of aging significantly. We think we’re young so we don’t have to worry about that quite yet, right? Think again! Research has recently found that fatty streaks in our veins and hearts (which are the first signs of plaque buildup causing heart disease) have been showing up as young as two years old, and smoking drastically increases fatty streaks on our veins and hearts. Heart disease is the number one preventable disease causing death. Yes, you read right: preventable! This disease is caused by factors that we control. We know we can decrease risk yet we choose not to. We don’t see the negative effects of heart disease until a later age, but the damage is done early on. What we do now may not show signs and symptoms until later in our lives, but at this point the damage is done. You’re probably thinking, “Well I only smoke once in awhile so it won’t affect me that much.” Well you might be surprised to know this isn’t true. Any level of smoking damages our systems significantly.
In addition to life threatening diseases, your daily habit is causing depletion of the contents of your wallets. Since prices continue to soar, we have either had to decrease in amount, change to a cheaper brand, or decrease other spending. If the health implications aren’t convincing enough to make you want to throw this habit out the window maybe these financial facts will…
If you smoke a pack a day at the price of $8 (which can be even higher depending on brand), that’s $56 dollars a week. Think of anything you can do with $56 extra a week? Let me put it into perspective. That’s $224 a month, which will pay for your groceries, gas, utility bill, etc. Are you constantly putting money into your car that’s breaking down? Giving up your smoking habit will put a $16,000 car in your driveway over a 72 month period. Anticipating the burden of paying back student loans? For giving up a pack a day over the 4 years of college that will put an additional $10,752 in your wallet (that’s an entire year’s tuition). Remember if you smoke more than a pack a day, or a brand that’s more expensive than eight dollars, the financial benefits increase.
So between the health implications and financial factors, there are plenty of reasons to kick this habit. Life is already short, don’t make it any shorter! In addition, help out with SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College Relay for Life event held in the spring. Last year about $45,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society.