Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways…
This is not the 1950s. Over 60 years has passed and we have evolved and grown as a society. So why are we still smoking cigarettes? This is not the 1950s, it is no longer considered “cool” to smoke. You gain no brownie points with anyone because you have a cigarette dangling from your mouth. All you gain is lung cancer. All you gain is an addiction to a deadly, uncontrollable substance. All you gain is the label, selfish.
It is a known and highly publicized fact that cigarettes lead to lung cancer. It is written on the box, posted on signs, and monopolizing commercials. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways. It is also well known that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in minimally, the nation. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways. It is also widely known that cigarettes contain nicotine and are extremely addictive. These are not secrets. No one is hiding this information from the general public. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways.
Millions of undeserving, decent people are dying of cancer right now. Every day, kids, mothers, fathers, grandparents, neighbors, and so on are being diagnosed with cancer. People who have never picked up a cigarette in their lives. People who eat healthy and run miles every week to avoid this infamous killer. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways, taking your life for granted. The life that millions are ruthlessly being deprived of. There are people sitting on ventilators, fighting each and every day for their lives. They are fighting for the opportunity to live a long and healthy life with their loved ones. Fighting for a chance to walk their dog and see their kids ride a bike, one last time. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways. These fighters are the ones that deserve to live, but their lives are being ripped from underneath them for no good reason. And every time one of them passes, hundreds and thousands of hearts break. Yet you pick up a cigarette anyways. So tell me, what am I missing?
I am not missing the broken families, the thousands of Oncology departments, the struggle and fight that millions of patients put up. I am not missing the children who never get a chance to live the life they were given. I am not missing the parents who never get to see their child graduate high school, walk down the aisle, or have their first child. I am not missing all the lives devoted to helping cancer patients struggle and fight to the next day. But you must be missing all this pain and hurt to pick up a cigarette anyways. You must be selfish.
Every time you pick up a cigarette, you are saying it is ok for cancer to kill millions. You are saying that it does not matter. You are being selfish. All of these innocent people are losing their lives, so why would you voluntarily give up yours? Why do you blatantly ignore all the people fighting? Why do you pick up a cigarette anyways? Next time you pick up a cigarette, keep in mind, someone is fighting to survive the curse you are casting on yourself.
In honor of Linda Grife.
Originally published at medium.com