Laurianne's Hope

Monday, October 27, 2008

Graphic Cigarette Warnings

A few months ago, I came across some graphic cigarette warnings out of Canada. It really made me think for a moment. Why don't we have something like this?

If you are a smoker, or know a smoker, and you live in the United States, you have seen the plain jane warning on cigarette packages. It's something like this:

When I came across the graphic ads from Canada, I wondered if other countries did this as well. I found that there are 12 countries that have graphic cigarette warnings, including the UK, Brazil, New Zealand, and most recently Egypt. These ads show the various disadvantages to smoking. One warning, aimed at men, shows that cigarettes can cause impotence. Another shows young women that cigarettes will affect there unborn children. A third will tell you that that smoking can increase your chance of lung cancer by 80%.

Having watched someone I love go through lung cancer, even though it wasn't caused by cigarettes, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. The pain of not being able to breathe, the insidiousness of the cancer as it spreads through your body. Smoking increases your risk factor in getting lung cancer. Quitting smoking is such a preventable way lowering your risk in getting this disease. When you quit smoking, the benefits to you happen almost immediately. When you quit, your body will start to cleanse itself of the toxins. I have heard quitters say food starts to taste better after just a few days.

The American Cancer Society says this about quitting:

Immediate rewards of quitting
Kicking the tobacco habit offers some benefits that you'll notice right away and some that will develop over time. These rewards can improve your day-to-day life a great deal.

  • your breath smells better
  • stained teeth get whiter
  • bad smelling clothes and hair go away
  • your yellow fingers and fingernails disappear
  • food tastes better
  • your sense of smell returns to normal
  • everyday activities no longer leave you out of breath (such as climbing stairs or light housework)

Quitting benefits not only the smoker, but the people around them who smoke. If we had graphic packaging in the United States, I wonder how many people would stop and think about what they are doing to there bodies. As I sit in the coffee shop, writing this article, I wonder if the two men sitting outside, smoking their cigarettes near the No Smoking by ordinance of the City of Santa Rosa sign would consider if smoking was worth the impotence risk, if the woman who bummed a cigarette from them would consider that smoking could increase the risk of SIDS to her future children, if the guy waiting smoking and waiting for the light to change would stop would lower his chance of having his family watch him suffer through some smoking disease or cancer.

Because right now, that little inconsipicious text box is pretty easy to ignore.

*This post is dedicated to my friend. Good luck on your journey! You will only be better for it.*

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Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda :: 3:50 PM :: 0 people are more aware

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It is 3 years today that Laurianne left us. Sometimes it seems far away and other times not. We celebrated her life today with taking Calem to the pumpkin patch. It dulled the pain of this sad day to hear him sing the children song with the car radio and his big smiles of content at the patch. After that we walked a little in downtown Healdsburg. Overall I think we had a quiet and enjoyable day.
Tonight we are burning candles in her memory. I realize every day how lucky we are to be able to raise Calem . He is such a loving kid with a lot of smiles and singing. I realize that sometimes we are better of then other parents who lost a child nevertheless it won't take the pain away. If you read this blog in time please if you can burn a candle in memory of all the people who are battling or have lost the battle to this dreaded disease.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Henry (Calem's Opa) :: 8:56 PM :: 0 people are more aware