This I Believe

Brent - Flowery Branch, Georgia
Entered on December 6, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: illness
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Non-Smoking Section

Lung cancer, emphysema, skin aging. These are just a few effects that smoking has on the body. With smoking-related diseases taking over 430,000 American lives each year, I often wonder what makes this such a popular trend. Having personal experience and hardships from smoking, I believe smoking is not an acceptable action in anyway.

Second-hand smoke has been identified as a leading cause in lung cancer. As a child living with my mother and grandparents, my family was often exposed to smoke due to my grandparents smoking all the time. With second-hand smoke being especially harmful to children, at the age of nine I noticed myself having trouble breathing at times and was told I had an early stage of asthma. Developing asthma was one of the leading reasons why we left my grandparent’s house to pursue a home of our own.

Living at my grandparents’ house for so long, I grew extremely close to them. So finding out that my grandmother had developed emphysema was a great shock. Emphysema is a disease developed from smoking that causes a loss of elasticity in the walls of the lungs, making it extremely difficult for a person to breath. My grandmother, of course, quit smoking after finding out about her disease, but smoking had already taken its toll on her body.

From stained teeth to death, smoking is a trend that has different effects on everyone. Although the number of smokers is steadily declining, smoking is still taking the lives of many. In my opinion, people take up smoking because it makes them look cool, but I believe nothing that can take my life is considered cool.