Does anyone still smoke?

Share Button


You would think — with all the awareness campaigns, the mortality rates, the warnings on packagings even! — that people wouldn’t still be smoking.

But they are. Droves of them, actually.

According to Dr. Cynthia J. Goto, spokesperson for the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, smoking may have decreased dramatically over the past decade, but people are still picking up the habit — or sticking to it.

Believe it or not, there are still an estimated 24.8 million men and 21.1 million women in the United States who smoke, according to the American Heart Association.

In Hawaii alone, tobacco use is the state’s No. 1 cause of preventable death and it costs the state $104 million a year in health care costs to treat just female smokers suffering from tobacco-related illnesses. And that’s despite a statewide ban of smoking in all public places, enacted in November 2006.

So why do people still smoke?

Well, most times people start when they’re young — and dumb. Nearly 80 percent of all adult smokers became regular smokers by the age of 18, reported the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, with 90 percent doing so before exiting their teen years.

According to folks who responded to my callout on Facebook and Twitter, some said they smoke when they’re stressed, others when they’re bored and a lot — more than I had expected — when they’re drinking. (Something about a buzz.) I know one person who used to smoke when he drove home late a night just to keep him awake.

I’m curious — do any of you still smoke? And more importantly, why? Isn’t it time to heed the warnings and ditch the cancer sticks?

***

This week is National Women’s Health Week, a week-long health observance that empowers women to make their health a top priority and encourages them to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life.

And one of those things is to quit smoking. Here are some tips, courtesy of the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline:

• Throw out the cigarettes: Having them around is a temptation you just don’t need.
• Know your smoking triggers: Your mind is conditioned to want a cigarette in certain places, at specific events, when you’re with particular people, or when you’re feeling a certain emotion. As you’re in the process of quitting, take the time to recondition your mind to deal with these people, places and things without a puff.
• Drink lots of water: Cigarettes contain thousands of toxins. While you’re quitting, take the opportunity to flush some of the poisons out with water,

For more resources or for help, contact the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, (800) QUIT-NOW or (800) 784-8669.

16 comments
LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELCHAIRS
LIGHTWEIGHT WHEELCHAIRS

Smoking is a nasty habit, I don't want to smoke I'v tried quite in lots of times and failed I didn't start smoking again by choice i felt like I had to, cant think state without a smoke, its amazing the hold nicotine has on us the tobacco companies are having a laugh at our expense.. ~ELLISA:)

MaxMaxMax
MaxMaxMax

I wonder if these smokers who woke up every morning to their mother coughing their lungs out would smoke as adults? That was enough for me to never pick up the habit. Of course, having. A parent die from cigarette smoking related health issues is also a strong deterrent. I can't believe how many of my younger family members smoke when I go home for visits...

tyfferz
tyfferz

Everything that you wrote is true. I used to smoke but quit about 5 years ago? I can't remember but my reasons was to overall be healthy and not smell of cigarettes anymore. I was young...very young when I first tried smoking because I watched, "The Outsiders". So, that alone tells everyone...I was young and dumb. After high school, I started smoking especially because cigarettes were really cheap compared to the cost of cigarettes now!

However, after the birth of my twins...and then my kids as they were in intermediate and high school...led a subtle campaign of encouraging me to quit with leaving slips of paper in my cigarette box "what would Jesus do". What could I do but quit.

I smoked for all the reasons listed as well as smoking while I would be socializing or after eating.

I am so glad that I don't smoke anymore especially because the brand I smoke is about $10 a pack? Yikes

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

we had a guest for dinner two nights ago, a very nice Turkish woman, about 20 years old. she's in the US to learn English for her job as a buyer of women's wear for a big department store in Istanbul. when dessert arrived, she produced; on the table, one cigarette and a Bic lighter. there were six of us. i thought i heard the deafening crash of a pin drop on the floor. you would have thought it was a pink condom with ticklers on it.

fortunately, she never intended to light it at the table. it was a prelude to excusing herself to go outside for a few mins.

in SoCA people can get damn near riled enough to open a can of whipass on you if you light up.

johnleblanc
johnleblanc

It's not the 1970s and it's no longer cool. Life is too short to spend our last days suffering needlessly. There's already plenty of other fatal threats to our health, like time. The last time I bought a carton it was $15. What is that now? Two packs? You probably can't afford it anyway and your health insurance probably sucks. Use your cigarette money to feed someone starving, or save for your kids education, or your parents elderly comfort already, will ya?

chant808
chant808

I started smoking when I was 15 (it still draws gasps of amazement from my friends, apparently I don't "look like" the kind of person who would smoke? What does a smoker "look like," anyway?) and continued until I started working the nightlife scene about 4 years ago. Come to think of it, that's when I stopped drinking for the most part too. Now I only smoke when I drink, which is rarely, but I can see that the habit is far less accepted in public than it used to be. My smoker friends gripe about being discriminated against, but maybe that's a good sign that the social stigma will prove to be far more powerful than any law.

PedroHaro
PedroHaro

The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline website is www.clearthesmoke.org

EdW
EdW

I still smoke my cigars, even tho wife is finally quitting. I have cut down consideralby tho.

Cat
Cat

"There's plenty of other fatal threats to our health" — I love that. Totally true. Apparently, texting and walking is one.

Cat
Cat

@chant808 You smoked?!? I didn't konw that. I can't imagine you smoking. Now drinking wine, that's another story!

docrock
docrock

@EdW Cigar are slightly different. I don't smoke cigarettes at all however the occasional celebratory Cigar is a treat I may enjoy 4 to 5 times a year. I think it's a bit different because I don't inhale a cigar like cig smokers. The funny thing is most of the younger people i see smoking are poser smoking too, no real inhaling.it's just a waste of $$$

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

@chant808 well, it looked like a camel. i guess that's close. they used to contain turkish tobacco if my memory for 1950s TV ads is accurate.(god, shoot me now while i can still remember why i appreciate women).

johnleblanc
johnleblanc

@Cat Another classic i see constantly: mobile phone while biking.

MaxMaxMax
MaxMaxMax

@docrock @EdW you can still get gum disease/cancer from not inhaling. Of course it's more prevalent for constant cigar smokers, but the not inhaling concept isn't without its dangers.