Father’s Day is right around the corner. Kids are shopping for that special gift, making homemade cards that you will read and put away to treasure in the years to come. If you are a smoker, the greatest gift you can give your family is quitting. You are their daddy, their superhero, the man they look up to for love and guidance. Don’t let them see you put a cigarette in your mouth and light it. Do you really get pleasure out of paying for something that is making your kids sick and is shortening your life? If my words don’t mean anything, perhaps these facts will.
Tobacco use is our nation’s number one cause of preventable death and smokers lose an average of 15 years of life. The average male smoker will die before reaching 62. This leaves a lot less time to enjoy your kids and grandchildren. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, over 40 are cancer-causing agents, and 200 known poisons. If you are lucky enough to live longer, those end-of-life years will not be healthy as smoking is the major cause of emphysema, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and stroke. It also causes 30% of all cancer deaths. As you age, your family gets to watch you die a slow, painful death.
And if you smoked around your loved ones, you’ve exposed them to your secondhand smoke. It contains 3x as much cancer-causing benzpyrene, 5x as much carbon monoxide and 50x as much ammonia. Ammonia is added to cigarettes to act as a freebase for the nicotine so it gets into your body faster. Never-smoking women who live with a smoker have a 91% greater risk of heart disease, and have twice the risk of dying from lung cancer.
Think about what smoking is doing to your family. Give your family the greatest gift this Father’s Day, quit smoking.