Friday, January 11, 2008

Smoking Kills?

• Why you're fucked (Brian Curtis):
"Brian Curtis started smoking at 13, never thinking that 20 years later it would kill him and leave a wife and children alone. In his last weeks, he set out with a message for young people." long have you been smoking?...

"While it seems unusual to the Curtis family, Dr. Jeffrey Paonessa, Bryan's oncologist, said he is seeing more lung cancer in young adults."

"After the graveside service June 8, this friend and a handful of relatives light up."

• Categories of Death (wiki):
- myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- diseases of the respiratory tract such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- asthma
- emphysema
- cancer, particularly lung cancer and cancers of the larynx and tongue

• Excuses (wiki):
"Some smokers argue that the depressant effect of smoking allows them to calm their nerves, often allowing for increased concentration. This, however, is only partly true. According to the Imperial College London, "Nicotine seems to provide both a stimulant and a depressant effect, and it is likely that the effect it has at any time is determined by the mood of the user, the environment and the circumstances of use. Studies have suggested that low doses have a depressant effect, whilst higher doses have stimulant effect."[23] However, it is impossible to differentiate a drug effect brought on by nicotine use, and the alleviation of nicotine withdrawal."

• Why you're fucking me (wiki):
"In a study released on February 12, 2006 warning signs for cardiovascular disease are higher in people exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, adding to the link between "passive smoke" and heart disease. "Our study provides further evidence to suggest low-level exposure to secondhand smoke has a clinically important effect on susceptibility to cardiovascular disease"

• Why you're fucking yourself more than you think (wiki):
Recent studies have linked smoking to anxiety disorders, suggesting the correlation (and possibly mechanism) may be related to the broad class of anxiety disorders, and not limited to just depression. Current ongoing research are attempting to explore the addiction-anxiety relationship.
Data from multiple studies suggest that anxiety disorders such as depression play a role in cigarette smoking. A history of regular smoking was observed more frequently among individuals who had experienced a major depressive disorder at some time in their lives than among individuals who had never experienced major depression or among individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. People with major depression are also much less likely to quit due to the increased risk of experiencing mild to severe states of depression, including a major depressive episode. Depressed smokers appear to experience more withdrawal symptoms on quitting, are less likely to be successful at quitting, and are more likely to relapse.

• Why its not something easy to do (Brian Curtis):
"I'm too skinny. I can't fight anymore," he whispered to his mother at 9 a.m. June 3. He died that day at 11:56 a.m., just nine weeks after the diagnosis. Bryan Lee Curtis Sr. was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in St. Petersburg on June 8, a rare cloudy day that threatened rain. At the funeral service at nearby Blount, Curry and Roel Funeral Home, Bryan's casket was open and 50 friends and relatives could see the devastating effects of the cancer. Addiction is more powerful. As the graveside ritual ended, a handful of relatives backed away from the gathering, pulled out packs of cigarettes and lit up."

• Personal (Ike):
Recently I met with my mother to get dinner in the city. She came in from my home outside boston. She's in the city to see opera and musicals etc. with her friend Linda. Linda's husband died of throat cancer. According to my mom he was one of the most wonderful human beings she and Linda had ever known. When she told me stories about him and Linda at the dinner table I thought she was going to cry because of the weight of each anecdote.

Linda used to take her husband Rob to the hospital for checkups and throat radiation. My mom explained that the radiation was so painful that he needed morphine just to get over the soar throats that resulted. Anyway, that's not the hard part. When Linda would drive him to the hospital he would see the sunrise and say how beautiful it was. This is when my mother stops the story to make sure I realize that he enjoyed every part of his life, even when cancer was climbing from the bottom of his throat to the back of his tongue. Anyway, that's not the hard part. On one occasion she was driving him to the hospital as the sun was coming up as clearly as ever. Linda knew her husband was dead when he said, "Its too cloud, can't see the sunrise today." Rob was actually going blind, as the cancer was infecting his eyes. Anyway, that's not the hard part. Three days before he died he had a stroke and was essentially in a coma. Linda believes—as she said to me the other day on the subject of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—that he could still hear her. Anyway, that's not the hard part. The day after he died my mother received an email from Rob that he had written before he died. "If you are reading this, then I have gone on to another dimension. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you and how my life was richer for having you in it."


Dave Willis said...

Yo Ike, I take this to mean that you have been successful in kicking that horrible habit to the curb, keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Heart attacks are less likely for non-smokers as compared to the smokers. According to WHO, individuals who quit smoking decrease their risk of CAD one year later by 50 %. If you have quit smoking, for 15 years, your risk of dying from CAD is almost as low as a life time non-smoker.