It is important to remember that smokers have either
come to the false conclusion that smoking isn't that bad for them (or other
people) or they are unable to control their addiction to nicotine. Either
way, they generally do not understand the discomfort, irritation and health
problems that their tobacco addiction brings to others.
While many nonsmokers become impatient and angry with smokers, we must
realize that most smokers are victims. The tobacco companies, together forming
a billion dollar indsutry, hires top market researchers, scientists and
other professionals to influence the buying habits of potential consumers.
Further, they pick on the weakest members of our society. Remember that
that most smokers began smoking around 13-14 years of age. Many of these
naive individuals have lower self-esteem, suffer social problems or come
from less-stable home environments.
Therefore, be firm but understanding with smokers. Due to their addiction,
they have lost track of reality. They wheeze, cough and spit up phlem as
they are slowly killing themselves. Shortly after finishing their last cigarette
their body begins demanding another. They no longer taste food as they used
to; they cannot run or be athletic as they once could; and in general, they
are a slave to this nasty habit.
How Smoking Affects You
Nonsmokers who live with smokers are more likely to develop cancer than other nonsmoking
If you have asthma, second-hand smoke can make your breathing problmes
Young children are especially sensitive to second-hand smoke. A baby
who lives in a home or rides in a car where one or both parents smoke is
more likely to have lung disease serious enough to need treatment in a hospital
dunging the first two years of life.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home or car are more likely
to cough and wheeze and to have middle ear problems.
What You Can Do
Be consistent. Don't allow smoking at anytime either in your home or your car. Ask smokers
to step outside your home to smoke. If they must smoke indoors, make sure
they use a separately ventilated room (a garage works well most of the time).
If they must smoke when you are traveling, take a break and let them stand
outside the car.
Be an educator. Help the smoker quit. While it may seem like you are
nagging, you are fighting for their life. Would you let someone throw themself
off a bridge?
Be active. Place "Thank You for Not Smoking" signs around your
home and in your car.
Be professional. Do not allow visitors such as baby-sitters or others
who work in your home to smoke inside.
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