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Are People Really Still Smoking?

Seriously - It's 2007, and it's getting to the point where smoking is just plain crazy.  It's killing you; it's totally disgusting; and it's not OK.

Yes, this is a post about relationships.  It's a post about relationships with smokers.

When I see a parent who's still smoking, it makes me so sad, so angry, so frustrated for their children.  Because even if you: 1. Never smoke in the house, 2. Never smoke in the car, 3. Never smoke around your children EVER - the fact of the matter is, you are still likely dooming them to a future that involves watching their parent die, before their time, of tobacco-related diseases, which include lung and oral cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

I saw my grandmother die of emphysema.  Trust me, it was *not* pretty.

And who's still dating smokers?  Think about all those things that *aren't* necessarily on the table over a first date drink - marriage, kids, STDs, credit debt, bad family relations, horrible break-ups.  Now add what *is* on the table the minute you light up:  Hey, if you end up with me, just think of the medical bills, disgusting illness, and premature death!

Attractive.

Put that in your online dating search engine.

Not to mention that if you're dating a smoker, the secondhand smoke is going to be hard to avoid.  So add your own horrible premature death to the pro/con sheet.  Check out the August 2006 American Lung Association Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet.  It's a chilling read that screams, You Are Inhaling Poison And Sharing It With The World Around You.

Come on, that is insane behavior at this point.  Not to mention, completely unkissable.

OK, so maybe smokers just date other smokers.  Given the facts about smoking, and the highly effective anti-smoking commercials out there, the problem with this (besides the fact that you're harming other people around you) is that eventually one of you is probably going to want to quit.  "Leaving Las Vegas" was a great movie, but how many people really want to poison themselves to death together?

So when one of you makes a commitment to stop smoking, here's hoping it's a team effort.  'Cause if not, it's going to be a major strain on the relationship.  It's like one of you left the cult.

I'm guessing that quitting is pretty damn difficult for many people, considering all the products out there to help you quit.  (Here's a list of online resources from the American Lung Association.)  But Seriously, It's Time.  Right Now.  Today.

It's passed "Do it because it's good for you," and moved way, WAY down to, "Do it because you are not a lower life form."  When you think about everything we know now about how smoking is slowly killing you and those around you, how can you not make quitting a priority?  No matter how difficult it is.

It's not impossible.  People quit smoking every day.

And honestly, there's *so* many better things you can do with your mouth.

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