This I Believe

David - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Entered on January 31, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction

I believe that smoking is one of the world’s top killers and that if we eliminated tobacco we would see more people live past their eighties and more people would be healthier because there would be less smoke in the air. When I used to live in Las Vegas everyone in my outer family smoked, I even lost my grandmother and grandfather to this terrible addiction. I would see people coughing and see in their faces that they were aging more rapidly because of cigarettes. My grandma and grandpa would still be alive today if it wasn’t for the cancer that followed smoking.

My beliefs have been tested many times. I have played a lot of sports and after some of the games, some of the athletes would go to their cars and smoke. I was asked if I wanted to smoke, and I felt I would fit in more if I smoked. However, there was something inside of me that made me firmly say, “NO,” to these people. I then joined a group at my high school called DFY standing for Drug Free Youth. I worked my way up the ranks and eventually became president of the organization my senior year. I even sponsored my organization in a pageant/ contest at my school.

After the loss of other loved ones and seeing what smoking can do I was overcome with the desire to spread the word to the youth in my school district. Besides smoking I try to convince them to try and do the best you can do. I believe that doing your best will be inhibited if you smoke. For me to do my best I need to be able to get good grades, having fun, and play sports. If I am on the sidelines coughing after a long run or if I need to cut class in order to fill my addiction then I can’t compete with the rest of the world. Elementary schools and other secondary schools would ask our organization to show kids that smoking is costly in more than one way. I believe that if I can demonstrate my ability to not smoke then I can influence others to not smoke as well. I am so secure in my beliefs that I am not afraid to go to friends and family and tell them the harmful effects from smoking. I believe that my belief is necessary in order for me to live a long healthy life.