How To Cure Smoking
I know almost everyone is tired of seeing the commercials on TV regarding the “truth” about tobacco use. I am tired of seeing the same commercial where they stand out in front of a Tobacco company building asking them “why they put toxic chemicals in their products?.” The commercials never tell you how those chemicals affect your body, they just ask you to go to their website and do the research yourself at the end of each one. The truth is most Americans aren’t going to be intrigued enough to set down the bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and start doing research on their own time.
That’s why I believe that knowledge is the only thing that will help people quit smoking. If we started posting little detailed facts about smoking everywhere instead of just the generic no smoking signs we see in buildings, then people would have more motivation to stop.
Here are a few facts that I found interesting, and would like to see posted in public places. “Tobacco kills around 430,000 people a year in the U.S. alone, this is equivalent to having the 9/11 terrorist attack on the world trade center occur every other day.” I would also like to hear how “One out of five people die in the U.S. due to tobacco use. This means tobacco kills more Americans then cocaine, heroin, alcohol, fire, automobile accidents, homicides, suicides and AIDS combined.”
If the public was educated about tobacco use, then they would actually have a reason to turn down a cigarette instead of just remembering what mom told them before they left the house. For example, when you were a kid and your parents told you not to jump on the bed, you would always ask why and their response was always “because I said so”, or “because you could get hurt”. This was never a good enough reason for us, so we waited until they left the room and then we would run back to the bed and start jumping even higher. Now let’s say you were with your brother, and then all of a sudden he falls off and breaks his arm on the bed-side table. After seeing this you start to scream for mom and dad, asking them what is the white thing sticking out of your brother’s arm, and you also experienced the dangers of jumping on the bed. It’s the same way with tobacco use; the public needs to know what could actually happen to them instead of hearing the sugar coated “you could get hurt” version of the story.
People pay more attention to things that can directly affect them, instead of just hearing what could happen to other people they have never heard of. I believe that people have a better chance of making the right decision when they’re informed, whether it’s the choice to not break your arm or the choice to save your life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.