Wednesday, November 08, 2006
A smoking rant
Okay, now look....I used to smoke.......before I gave my heart to the Lord and He gave me the strength and desire to quit. I mean, I wasn't one of those fortunate people who was totally delivered from smoking the night I was born again. My husband was, as was many other people I know. And it wasn't because I wasn't sincere in my committment to the Lord either. I received the Holy Ghost the first night I went to the altar. Other areas of my life came under His influence and control almost immediately. I struggled with smoking for about six months after receiving the Holy Ghost. Now I never just sat around and smoked liberally after that time but I did have overwhelming cravings for them. I remember times when I would leave an awesome service at church and "just know" that I was never going to smoke another cigarette, only to find myself stopping on the way home to buy a pack and then smoking maybe half a cigarette and tossing the whole pack out the window, so disgusted with myself. Also, I lived with my parents at the time (I was 22) and they were both smokers, which made it even more difficult for me to quit. But approximately six months later, still growing in the Lord and endeavoring to live for Him, I found that I was no longer smoking and I rejoiced and thanked the Lord for helping me. That was 32 years ago. Still, I will be honest and tell you that when our family gets together for a big dinner and we've finished eating and everyone is sitting around talking, some of the family will go outside and smoke and have a cup of coffee.....I remember what a good feeling that was.....to just relax and have a cigarette, sip on a cup of coffee, what a nice combination, though I know you will only understand if you've been there......it is soothing and relaxing and a good feeling. BUT......I don't and won't do it. The Lord so graciously helped me to quit and I will be forever grateful and I am much healthier for it.
My mother passed away in 1999 and most of her health problems were because she was a lifelong smoker. She loved to smoke. She said it was the one vice she had and no one was going to tell her she couldn't. She carried a full pack of cigarettes in her purse till the day she died, though she could no longer smoke during the last few years of her life because of breathing problems. But, in the end, it was the effects from smoking for so many years that brought about my mother's death.
My sister Debbie is following in my mother's footsteps. She is on oxygen all of the time, except when she shuts it off to smoke. She smokes about 10 cigarettes a day. I don't understand allowing your health and life to be compromised like that for the love of a cigarette but it happens all the time and is a choice they make. Cigarettes have been said to more addictive than cocaine.
Having said all of that, I would like to say that I just don't agree with the smoking ban that has been passed. I believe that we should be allowed to have choices. So what is next? I know it was given to the people for a vote. I know that smoking is bad for you. But so is alcohol. I don't like the fact the it is sold everywhere.....in grocery stores, etc. It used to be that you had to go to a carry-out....not the most reputable of places in years past......to get alcohol. It used to be that you had to go to a bar or bar and grill to get alcohol. Now there is hardly a restaurant that doesn't serve booze, except for the fastfood places. I am not particularly fond of having to walk past a bar everytime I go into a nice restaurant. That offends me but I guess I make allowances, you know? So people can sit next to me and sip on their booze but people can no longer smoke in a designated smoking area?
I grew up in a family where both of my parents smoked. I remember all of us riding in the car. Five kids and my mom and dad. If it was cold outside, there we'd be, mom and dad puffing away with the windows all rolled up, a blue haze enveloping all of us. It's just the way it was and none of us have suffered any ill health because of "second-hand" smoke. But only one of five of us kids smokes today.
ANDDDDDD......I remember sitting around with friends in bars, bowling alleys, restaurants and other places smoking and having a good time. It was a choice that we made. If you didn't want to be around it you could go sit somewhere else. I even had people occasionally ask me not to smoke and I abided by their wishes.
I've said all of that to say this: We had better be careful about giving away our right to make choices. I just don't understand what was wrong with designated smoking areas.
Oh, and I'd venture to say that booze and alcohol has broken up more marriages and torn up more lives than cigarettes ever did.
I'm not promoting smoking. It's about our freedom and our freedom to make choices.