Cauldron

I like books.

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I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

When Smoking Isn't Groovy

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of people smoking, I guess, since living in a smoke free town, smoke free as in no smoking inside of stores, restaurants, bars that serve food, and all other enclosed areas, has brought smokers out in groves to their designated smoking areas. Even our townhouse community is smoke free. How cool is that? But, in spite of all the votes that are speaking for the majority that they don’t want smokers in their direct areas and the information from the American Cancer and the American Heart Associations, people are still smoking.

That brings me to question what is the reason? I mean a fifty something man or woman can not possibly still be smoking to look cool, nor can a thirty something still be smoking to defy their parents. So, I wonder what the cause is: the chemicals inside the cigarettes are addictive but many have quit, many have kicked the addiction to testify later that their lungs feel so much better, they sleep better, they breathe better, they can walk again, talk again, and some even get their clear voices back, instead of that hoarse old-worn-out woman or man voice. I wonder why they don’t quit.

My brother, the only one of eight remaining of my siblings who smokes, has emphysema and he smokes two packs a day. When I go to visit him, I can not go in his house because of my lungs being so sensitive to the smoke so he comes to my hotel room and his breathing is horrible, his smell is horrible, and his color and voice and all of those things that were so cool when he was young, now all gone. He looks 80 instead of 68 and he knows he is going to die soon. The last time I saw him, I begged him to quit smoking, but he said he can’t and that he doesn’t believe the cigarettes hurt but help his breathing. I wonder what is so bad about living that he is slowly killing himself.

Which brings me to another point, why do educated people smoke? We all know better, we are believers in the scientific community and are able to read the studies, but for the most part we, not me but others, still smoke. I know that pork is not good for me, so I gave up pork. Good for me!! I didn’t give it up for me, I gave it up for my grandsons, I have to be there when they are grown, when they get married or fall in love or find a life mate, when they bring their own families into being. I want to be old and still be teaching and reading and going to the desert to look for petrified wood, to climb the mountains to find that one perfect water fall. I want to live. I want my friends and family to live too, and I want those educated people who are still smoking to just one more time read the literature on smoking. Study the studies, and look at the medical evidence, then decide if they are ready to battle diseases that cannot be won. I want those people who I don't know, to quit smoking and live long and healthy lives. Is that too much to ask?

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