smoking kills cigarette packet warnings

WTF of the Week: Smoking

My Nan struggles to breathe every single day. She’s spent years in and out of hospital, most recently just this week, with respiratory problems. My Nan has COPD. She can’t walk more than a few paces without tiring and ultimately, her respiratory system will fail her altogether. It’s an awful thing to say, but an inevitable truth.

This was caused by years and years of heavy smoking. She knows this. We all know this. None know it more than her own children (my Mum, two Aunties and Uncle). Yet two of those people smoke. My Mum and my Auntie Angela (named and shamed ;-)) still smoke heavily.

They’ve watched my Nan’s health deteriorate, her breathing become more laboured and they’ve sat by her bedside in hospital during times when nobody really knew if she’d ever make it back out of there alive. And when someone comes to take over the hospital bedside talk, they step outside for a cigarette break and to discuss how terrible the whole situation is, seemingly unaware of the irony.

I’ve even been explicit and blunt in my requests to my Mum to quit in recent years. I’ve said things such as;

These hospital trips to see my Nan are good practice for me. I imagine I’ll be making the same visits to see you suffering the same ailments in a few years.

“Don’t say things like that!” she tells me as she scuttles out of the back door for a sly smoke.

I do not want to see my Mum and my Auntie suffer the same problems my Nan is suffering, something that, unless they quit now, is a very scary and very real possibility likelihood. But I can’t quit for them…

My point is… what does it take? What does it take to make someone put their cigarette out for the last time? Let me make some things clear:

  • I know smoking is both physically and psychologically addictive
  • I know quitting isn’t easy
  • I know there are plenty of other habits plenty of non-smokers have that are also bad for you (bad food, bad drink, sunbeds….)

This isn’t intended as a preachy post. I’m not suggesting there aren’t worse things people could be doing (like heroin or murdering people or something)! I just can’t comprehend the logic of not even trying to quit something with consequences as severe as that of smoking. It’s not like these consequences are a big state secret! They’re plastered all over billboards and even the cigarette packets themselves.

smoking kills cigarette packet warning

Image credit

In some cases, you get graphic images of those suffering the ailments associated with smoking. And yet it doesn’t put people off. Seeing it first hand doesn’t always put people off.

As well as the health issues…

  • It stinks!!!
  • It’s seriously expensive!
There’s two more reasons I just don’t get it!

The Good News

After years and years and years of harassing my Mum and Auntie, they’ve finally decided they’re going to quit in the New Year (along with my Step Dad). It’s less down to my harassment, of course, and more, I am sure, down to the recent deterioration of my Nan’s health. But if successful, they’ll both be quitting while they’re 10 years younger than my Nan was when she finally quit.

Best New Year’s Resolution ever?? I think so….


Anyone who is thinking of quitting does have a lot of help at hand…