Challenge #4: To smoke or to live?

Do your best to convince someone to quit smoking cigarettes.

If you’re a smoker, convincing yourself to stop smoking will also count as completing the challenge. 🙂

Cigarettes kill

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

-Nelson Mandela

We know the title of this week’s challenge is a bit drastic, but we have to get your attention somehow, right? Please, don’t take it to literally, of course, you can live a great life even if you’re a heavy smoker, there is no doubt about that.

But if you’ll stick with us throughout the entire post, we promise you that at the end you’ll see, there is more truth to the title then you might think now. Read this article and use the information herein to convince or at least try convincing someone to stop smoking.

And please, if you’re a smoker, don’t take this the wrong way. We have nothing against smokers in general, many of our friends and family smoke cigarettes. We just want to help you improve your health if you’re interested of course. So we urge you to read this article, it might change your way of thinking.

Plus side: the number of smokers is dropping

Good job!There’s basically a stop-smoking campaign around every corner these days. A lot has been done in this area over the past 50 years. The trend in cigarette smoking among all demographic groups has significantly decreased. In the US there were over 42 % of adults smoking back in 1965, but in 2014 this number dropped down to 17 %. Good job Earthlings!

Besides all the horrifying things he did, there was one positive: Hitler led the first public anti-smoking campaign in modern history.

We believe we can do even better. What we’ve done so far is great, but simply not enough. Join this week’s challenge and do your part.

Facts about smoking cigarettes

Sometimes reading some mind-Cigarette - the killerblowing and extremely concerning facts can be the most powerful tool to change our opinion. That’s why we’ve decided to lay down some scientifically proven facts about smoking cigarettes. Let us first go through those of a self-concern nature from the smoker’s point of view, of course:

  • There are over 4800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer in a single cigarette.
  • Smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the US every year.
  • On average smoker’s lifespan is reduced by 11 minutes with every cigarette he/she smokes.
  • There are 8.6 million people in the US living with a serious illness caused by smoking.
  • On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking.
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) deaths are a result of smoking. Currently, there is no cure for COPD.
  • Smoking increases your risk of getting lung diseases like pneumonia, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the US, and 80-90% of lung cancer deaths are due to smoking.
  • Smoking increases a person’s risk of getting tuberculosis and dying from it.
  • Smoking makes the risk of a heart attack 200% to 400% greater than that of nonsmokers.
  • Smoking causes many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Smokers are 30% to 40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.
  • Men with prostate cancer who smoke may be more likely to die from the disease than nonsmokers.

Smoker's lungs

Financial aspect:

Times are tough, and most of us can really appreciate every $ we can save. Here are some numbers:

  • Smoking costs the US $333 billion per year in health-care expenses and lost productivity to boot.
  • The average smoker in the US spends $1,500 to $3,300 on cigarettes a year.
  • If the average NYC smoker gave up smoking and instead invested the money in the SandP500, in 10 years, he/she would have $52,000.

For those whom money is more important than health, the latter must really make them quit smoking.

Additional reasons, why smoking is bad for your:

Most of us care a lot about our looks. Guess what, smoking is bad for it too.

  • Females! Smoking makes breasts sag faster than normal.
  • Smoking makes your skin look older.
  • Smoking makes your teeth yellow.
  • Smoking makes your hair turn gray faster.

It can also affect your confidence:

  • Smoking causes bad breath.
  • Smoking makes your fingers and hair smell bad.
  • Men! Smoking is also a cause of erectile dysfunction.

Smoking away your money

“Want to stop smoking, just learn to love yourself.”

-Clyde Lofton Hunter III

Facts about other tobacco products:
  • Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of cancer; it causes oral and pancreatic cancer.
  • Smokeless tobacco is associated with recession of the gums, gum disease, and tooth decay.
  • Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine and using it leads to nicotine addiction and dependence.
  • Smokeless tobacco use by men causes reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm cells.
  • Cigar and pipe smoking is every bit as dangerous as cigarette smoking, possibly even more.
Also to keep in mind:
  • Youth who smoke are more likely to develop asthma.
  • Smoking slows down lung growth in children and teens.
  • 1 child out of every 13 alive in the US today will ultimately die early from smoking if we won’t change our ways even more.
  • Over 30% of cancer could be prevented by avoiding tobacco and alcohol, having a healthy diet and physical activity.
  • Study after study has found that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.
  • The first European who learned to smoke from the natives was arrested back home because people thought he was possessed by the devil.
And for many of you out there, maybe the most important fact (LOL):
  • Smoking near Apple computers voids the warranty.
One more thing …

We don’t know about you, but there’s one thing, that really annoys us: seeing a cigarette butt on the ground.

Don't throw cigarette butts on the ground.

Dear smoker, in case you won’t decide to quit smoking, please put your cigarette butts into the public ashtrays – those are everywhere and were put there for you to use them. Thank you.

Facts about secondhand smoking

Dear cigarette users, if you don’t care enough about yourself, that’s something we have to respect, OK. But please, read what your smoking is doing to the people around you.

It’s simply not fair that someone who doesn’t even smoke has to deal with your bad habit. Don’t you agree? You might not know that, but basically, you’re killing people around you. We’d understand if you’d go and smoke around people you hate, but in most cases, your family and friends are the ones who get the shaft.

Here are some pretty shocking facts about the secondhand smoke:

  • There are around 50,000 deaths each year in the US alone due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 70 cancer-causing chemicals.
  • There were approximately 2.5 million deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke since 1964 in the US alone.
  • An estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, including 54% of children aged 3–11 years, are exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • An estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer each year due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.
  • Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.
  • Because of the exposure to secondhand smoke, more than 33,000 nonsmokers die in the US from coronary heart disease every year.
  • Babies who breathe secondhand smoke are sick more often with bronchitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.
  • In babies aged 18 months and younger in the US, secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually.
  • In children, secondhand smoke causes ear infections, more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory issues and respiratory infections.
  • Secondhand smoke increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in pregnant women.

Dear smokers, now you know what your smoking is doing to the people around you, so we really hope you’ll do better in the future.

Besides, smelling cigarette smoke can be extremely unpleasant while drinking, let alone eating. Since most of the countries have banned smoking inside of the bars and restaurants, the latter is the main problem when enjoying our meal out on a terrace. Please, take other’s well-being into consideration, when thinking about lighting a cigarette next to other guests.

The best ways to quit smoking cigarettes

A fact: Statistics show that about 69% of smokers want to quit completely.

Say no to cigarettes!

There are many smokers wanting to, but not knowing how to stop smoking cigarettes. We think that just hearing those facts we went through should be enough of a reason to do it. But since smoking is an extremely highly addicting we prepared a list of top 10 ways to quit smoking (additional reading), which you can use as an additional approach to putting an end to this bad habit. Most of the following are even scientifically proven.  

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

  1. Set an exact quit date – be determined. 
  2. Writing down all the reasons for quitting – there is a whole bunch of those inside this article.
  3. Know your triggers and avoid them – Keep a list of when you smoke or what made you think of smoking for a week before quitting to determine your triggers. Most of the smokers have situations where they smoke most often (while on the phone, while drinking coffee, in the car, etc.). Those trigger situations should be avoided if possible or a way to cause a distraction during the latter should be used. (e.g.: If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, you could occupy yourself with doodling rather than smoking.)
  4. List of distractions – prepare a list of things to do when a craving hits. Have it or its copy with you at all times (e.g.: light a candle, play a game, have sex, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, do squats, do push-ups, … ).
  5. Try nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – many are available over-the-counter: patches, gums, and lozenges. If those don’t work, you should talk with your doctor – the nicotine nasal spray and the nicotine inhaler are available by prescription.
  6. Don’t have ‘just one’ – it’s never just one. You shouldn’t smoke at all. Of course, it’s OK, to smoke less and less every day before the actual quit date.
  7. Have something to chew on it – make sure to choose something healthy, since we usually don’t like putting on weight (any kind of nuts are usually the best choice). It can be merged with point 5.
  8. Practice relaxation techniques – if smoking was your way of dealing with stress.
  9. Help from other people – can be used for moral support or just as another distraction. Make sure they don’t smoke! There are also many support groups out there.
  10. Make a bet over quitting smoking – it can serve as an additional encouragement.

“I’m more proud of quitting smoking than of anything else I’ve done in my life, including winning an Oscar.”

-Christine Lahti

As you can see, we really give our best to list down as many things as possible which you can use to convince someone to stop smoking. We’re sure you can do it.

Alternative to quitting

Unfortunately, we know, there will be at least a few who won’t be able to quit or might not even be willing to think about quitting. For those, we have one additional option. It’s not a perfect solution, but much better than cigarette smoking – E-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes

There are a lot of mixed opinions concerning e-cigarettes out there. But general conclusion is that they’re less harmful than ordinary cigarettes. Moreover, it’s been suggested that replacing regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes often leads to quitting smoking eventually.

Fact about e-cigarettes you should know:
  • They use liquefied nicotine and produce less harmful water vapor instead of harmful smoke.
  • Manufacturers claim that the smoke generated by Electronic Cigarettes is nothing but harmless water vapor which does not cause any real effect on the consumer’s health.
  • Major plus side: By smoking e-cigarettes, you’re not imposing annoying smoke on people around you.
  • By switching over to e-cigarettes you’ll save up to 75% of the money you spend on regular cigarettes.
  • E-cigarettes have not been around long enough to determine if they are harmful to users in the long run.
  • FDA studies show that e-cigarettes contain some of the same toxic chemicals as regular cigarettes, even though they don’t have tobacco.
  • E-cigarettes’ health-safety or their effectiveness in helping people quit smoking regular cigarettes hasn’t yet been proven by FDA.
  • Many think FDA is unjustifiably delaying their approval and are urging people to fight the FDA deeming regulations.

We leave it to you to decide. If nothing else, you’ll be doing folks around you a favor they are entitled to in the first place.

In case you decide to go for e-cigarettes, our top suggestions are VaporFi and V2 Cigs – they both offer a variety of models, colors, and a custom-build option to personalize your vaporizer. They have top rated state of the art starter kits, they also offer top of the line e-liquids, which are 100% made in the USA and registered with FDA. Moreover, they allow you to customize flavors blends to please your taste.

Take-home points:
  • smoking causes many life-threatening or even deadly diseases;
  • smoking leads to premature death;
  • secondhand smoke is also extremely dangerous for people around you;
  • you can save over $3,000 per year by quitting smoking;
  • there are ways to help you quit smoking or convince others to do so;
  • nicotine replacement therapy can be very effective;
  • not willing to quit: switch to e-cigarettes.

If you’re reading this, it means you already know why you should really give this challenge a go. By convincing someone to quit smoking, you’ll potentially save more than one life. So, do your best.

“You’re always better off if you quit smoking; it’s never too late.”

-Loni Anderson

If you have any comments or maybe you just want to share your thoughts with us, we invite you to do so via the comment form below.

Do good! Stay healthy! Enjoy!

Love,

Good Earthlings

8 comments

  1. Jason says:

    What a neat idea for a site! I am always trying to convince my smoker pals to put them down. These facts are pretty neat especially the one about Hitler starting the first stop smoking campaign.
    Thanks for the good read

    • Good Earthling says:

      You’re more than welcome, Jason. We hope you’ll join in on our other challenges.
      All best!

    • wagreatstuff says:

      I must admit I am one of those social smokers…I smoke other people’s brand 🙁 and these usually happened at dinners or at big functions. Otherwise, I don’t smoke.
      A friend reminded me that social smokers have a higher tendency to be affected by all the health related issues, compared to regular smokers. Not sure if this is true, but it is a good reminder for me to stop smoking. Yes, I will take up your challenge!

      • Good Earthling says:

        Great! We are really proud of you for taking up our challenge. We can imagine that it won’t be easy, but we are sure you’ll be able to quit by the help of or tips. 😉

        Good luck!

        Love, Good Earthlings

      • Deedee says:

        Wow…just wow! You know, we hear so often about how smoking is bad for us, but I’ve never seen or heard many of the various consequences that you shared! Definitely never laid out like this either. The pictures alone are enough to make you think twice before picking up a cigarette. It seems like schools and parents should really be pointing kids to this post to help deter them from smoking, instead of showing vague ads on TV! Thanks for sharing this important info!

        • Good Earthling says:

          You’re more than welcome, Deedee.

          Have a lovely week.

          Warm regards,

          Good Earthlings

        • Jon says:

          Wow what a great informative article!

          I knew cigarettes were dangerous but I didnt know there was this much knowledge to gain!

          What really stuck with me was the fact that every cigarette takes 11 minutes from your life and that you can spend 3000 a year on them!

          This article really makes me want to help my friend quit, i would hate to lose time with him because of a nasty habit.

          I definitely learned alot and I really enjoy your website.

          Thanks,
          Jon

          • Good Earthling says:

            Hi, Jon!
            We are pleased to hear that we’ve provided you with some useful info and inspired you to help your friend quit smoking. We hope you’ll be successful.
            All best,
            Good Earthlings

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