Junge Frau zerbricht eine Zigarette young woman breaks a cigaretIt’s too late to quit. Wrong.

I’m on a path to a shortened life that’s too late to reverse. Wrong.

There are no health benefits to quitting. Wrong

According to the American Cancer Society, on average, approximately fifteen years after quitting smoking, a smoker will have the same risk of developing coronary heart disease then a non-smoker. Fifteen years? What if I don’t look that far ahead in my life? After only one year, lungs regain their normal function and the excess risk of developing coronary heart disease is half of a continuing non-smoker. So while health professionals and the media may indicate that smoking has already “doomed” your life, the human body is adaptable and with time, can overcome much of the damage past decisions have made on your body.

That is why the third Thursday of November each year,  is marked as the Great American Smokeout to show the nearly one in five Americans who smoke cigarettes and use any sort of tobacco products, that quitting  is possible.

Tobacco use has and continues to be the single most preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. This post is not meant to scare you with facts such as, “Half of all those who continue to smoke will die from a smoking-related illness,” because we all have heard the dangers of smoking. This post is meant to help you realize your own potential to quit, and what you might be giving up in your future by smoking.

In addition to the health risks that can result from smoking, there are social and financial consequences that occur as consequence of smoking. How many moments are lost in a day by removing yourself from life to smoke a cigarette outside? They might not seem like much in the moment, but what about the several years you also cut off your life by smoking a pack of cigarettes a day? According to the American Lung Association, the average pack of cigarettes costs $5.51, meaning that a one-pack-per-day smoker spends over $2000 dollars on tobacco a year.

Smoking is just like every other addiction, just like every other dependence, and just like every other undesirable habit we have. By supporting ourselves with the right people, we can find and achieve healthier and more productive lives that keep us around in our own future even longer. As someone who has lost a significant amount of family due to smoking, parents who grew up smoking or around smoking, I don’t blame you for succumbing to tobacco use when culturally, socially, and societally it has been rooted in different facets of our life.

Now however, I challenge you to break away from this stronghold and make a commitment to quit.. Unlike decades ago when medical research was inconclusive, we have the most firm evidence available at our disposal that tobacco use is harmful for our bodies.. Nobody said quitting was easy. Smoking is just another issue like eating disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, physical harm, and many other unhealthy behaviors with deep rooted causes that make them difficult to recover from. But I believe in you. You can do this!

About the author:

photoBlake Strader is Walden’s Social Media Intern.  In this role, he is responsible for researching topics related to Walden’s business, writing blog posts, and keeping the public up-to-date on Walden’s doings via Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and LinkedIn. Currently, Blake is in pursuit of a Computer and Information Systems degree from Bentley University.