New Anti-Smoking Public Service Announcements Get Straight To The Point – Are They Going Too Far?

Shocking Results of Smoking

Are the recent no-beating-around-the-bush public service announcements on smoking going too far? Paid for and presented by the Centers for Disease Control, the new video clips feature former smokers/cancer survivors giving smokers who may well find themselves in the same situations one day, hints on how to manage once they have had a tracheotomy, or no longer have a voice box, or jaw.

Some former smokers also show the results of their amputations – yes, amputations. I had never heard of this before myself, so I learned something new while researching this subject. Apparently some smokers experience something called “Buerger’s disease, a disorder linked to tobacco use that causes blood vessels in the hands and feet to become blocked, which can result in infection or gangrene.” Some people have lost not only fingers and toes as a result, but even hands, feet, and legs! Who would want to start smoking if they knew this could happen to them?

For a long time I have wondered why people, especially young people who have not yet started smoking, are not shown the reality of what smoking does to most people.

Smoking, in my opinion, is a smelly, dirty, expensive habit. Most of the smokers I have encountered are extremely inconsiderate. They are far more concerned with getting their drug than in making sure I, and other nonsmokers, do not have to inhale their drug with them. Smokers may be thoughtful and kind in so many ways, but when it comes to getting their drug fix, so many of them seem to care nothing about anyone else or any discomfort or future disease they may be causing other people around them. Often even their own children’s health is sacrificed to feed their smoking habit. That is caused by the addiction. Addiction makes people thoughtless and inconsiderate, one more reason not to let it become THE BOSS of your life.

This is a very controversial hub, and I worried that perhaps some people might be offended by it. Yet I think if even one person stops smoking, or convinces their child(ren) not to start smoking as a result of reading it, offending a few people is a small price, a worthwhile price.

Before cancer and after cancer photos.
Before cancer and after cancer photos. | Source
Lung diseased from smoking.
Lung diseased from smoking. | Source

Pay Now AND Pay Later

You have probably heard the expression, “You can pay now or you can pay later,” usually alluding to eating healthfully now, or paying the price for not eating healthfully when you are older, and suffering from disease as a result of poor eating habits. Well, smoking is one of those things that you pay for now, AND then you pay for it again later, too.

Currently smokers bear not only the cost of the tobacco product itself, but also the cost for more trips to the doctor for illnesses related to tobacco use, for everything that is ruined before its time by being covered with, or clogged up with tobacco tar, and by losing some relationships because some people do not want to be around smokers. Everything around smokers will stink from the tobacco, and it will take on a disgusting yellowish film (tobacco tar).

Unfortunately, smokers cannot see their own lungs. Smoker’s lungs collect tobacco tar and become gross and disgusting in appearance as well as becoming so diseased breathing may be barely possible for some of them.

Chewing gum will not get the stench out of a smoker’s clothes or their car, and if a person is a heavy smoker, chewing gum will just make the tobacco smell on their breath more nauseous to some nonsmokers. The mixture of tobacco and mouthwash can be pretty disgusting, too.

Fun Tests To Determine If You Have Lung Cancer

Later, after a person has been smoking for a while, come all the fun tests to verify if a person has lung cancer. Here is a description of tests from the Mayo Clinic that are often used to determine if it really is lung cancer, and if it is, what stage of lung cancer it is:

Tissue sample biopsy: A sample of abnormal cells may be removed in a procedure called a biopsy. Your doctor can perform a biopsy in a number of ways, including bronchoscopy, in which your doctor examines abnormal areas of your lungs using a lighted tube that's passed down your throat and into your lungs; mediastinoscopy, in which an incision is made at the base of your neck and surgical tools are inserted behind your breastbone to take tissue samples from lymph nodes; and needle biopsy, in which your doctor uses X-ray or CT images to guide a needle through your chest wall and into the lung tissue to collect suspicious cells. A biopsy sample may also be taken from lymph nodes or other areas where cancer has spread, such as your liver. (If it’s spread to your liver folks, you best get your affairs in order, and soon.)

Those tests sound like more fun than a barrel of monkeys, don’t you think? If a person tests positive for lung cancer, then come all the surgeries, needles, and intravenous catheters to treat it and keep a person alive as long as possible.

Something that is not widely publicized is that smoking contributes to many other types of cancer besides lung and throat cancer. Stomach cancer, bladder cancer, and other types of cancer, too. Yes, it requires fun tests to determine if a person has any of these types of cancer also.

If you have never experienced watching someone you love suffer and/or die from cancer, perhaps you do not understand just how agonizing both living and dying with cancer is. Cancer is one of those things you should not have to experience in order to determine you will not like it. Just like you should not need to jump from a 6-story building to discover that activity is not for you, not likely to become a favorite hobby even if you survive, so cancer is unlikely to become an enjoyable new experience either.

If You Smoke Your Second Hand Smoke Is Affecting Everyone Around You Including Children

Not only will smokers pay both now AND later for smoking, but if their children are forced to inhale their second hand smoke, their children will pay now, AND later, too. They will pay now because they will be more susceptible to colds and respiratory problems, and they will pay later with lung diseases and lung cancer due to inhaling second hand smoke.

According to the National Cancer Institute, “Secondhand smoke is responsible for an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000 deaths due to heart disease among non-smokers each year. Secondhand smoke is also responsible for lower respiratory tract infections in an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 children each year.”

Does This Information Sound Harsh and Scary? Would You Prefer A Candy Coating On This Information?

Does this all sound a little harsh? Scary? I hope it does sound scary. Cancer is one of the real monsters in our world, and unlike the make believe monster under some people’s beds, this one is very real and it CAN get you if you do something foolish – like smoke, or hang around other people who smoke.

Cancer is very harsh and unforgiving. Giving cancer a white wash or a candy coating to make it more palatable to talk about will not change its reality. Children especially, before they feel the pressure to conform, need to know the harsh truth about cancer and smoking.

When Should You Begin Teaching Your Children About The Realities of Smoking and Other Drug Abuse?

I started programming my daughter about smoking (and recreational drug use) when she was just three years old. We had a children’s book called, “No Way, Slippery Slick, No Way,” that we read several times a week. It covered the subject of drugs in general, not only smoking, and it was written especially for young children.

Your child’s brain is like a high quality sponge and the best time to program them, and yes, that is what you are doing, programming them, is before they enter prekindergarten. However, starting now, if that time has already passed, is better than not at all.

The information you put in your young child’s head about drugs, tobacco and alcohol, will stay in his/her subconscious mind, influencing him/her continually, but you will have to read this book together often. You will have to discuss the dangers and ramifications of smoking and other drug abuse often, if it is to stay uppermost in your children’s minds.

My daughter loved the book, “No Way, Slippery Slick, No Way,” because of the way the information was presented. The book is available used at both Amazon and eBay for as little as one penny plus shipping. From my perspective, it was an excellent investment, and the book I purchased over 20 years ago, cost more than a penny.

For older children, watching the new Public Service Announcements and even getting to know someone who is dealing with the aftermath of cancer surgery can be a pretty powerful message. Make sure they get that message so that their lives will be healthier and longer. Better to experience nightmares in your sleep, if it comes to that, than to live a nightmare for real, because of smoking or secondhand smoke.

There is no guarantee that beginning early instruction will be sufficient inoculation against your child(ren) using drugs, or taking up smoking, but it cannot hurt. My daughter is a nonsmoker and does not use drugs --and yes I do know that for a fact. Her father was a smoker and he has been paying the “later” price of that habit for the past 15 years. We hope he will continue to pay that price, because the alternative is death, and those are the only two options available to him. Educate your children about smoking now so that they will have more options available to them than my former husband now has for himself.

Keep in mind that if you smoke and tell your children it is bad for them and that they should not do it, what you will end up with is adult children who smoke and tell their own children it is bad for them and that they should not do it. Your example has more influence and power than your words. If you are a smoker with children, set a good example and quit right now so that your children know you are serious and that you mean what you say.

Once In Your Life Addiction Is Always The Boss

It is like this: Addiction is a bully of sorts. Once a person becomes addicted to any drug, or gambling, or any number of different things, the addiction is the boss. The addiction determines what you will do, when you will do it, and who you will do it with. The addiction will determine what you are willing to do in order to get the money to feed it.

The addiction will determine if a person is going to be late for work because they stayed up all night feeding their addiction, or whether a person is going to wager their family’s home because the addiction has convinced them they are going to win the next hand of cards or the next roll of the dice. The addiction will decide if a person is going to study for an exam or waste the night feeding the addiction.

Addiction will drain your resources (money, health, time, etc.), prevent or destroy many worthwhile friendships and relationships both with friends and family, and even after all that your addiction is still not satisfied. It will not be satisfied it has destroyed your life until it kills you and literally takes your life.

Once a person is addicted to anything, the addiction calls the shots. Addicted people are slaves to their addiction and for many people it takes unbelievable, incredible willpower and stamina to fight the addiction to the point of overcoming it, but it remains a daily, even hourly battle, for most people even then.

Addiction, once it has a hold on a person, is never truly beaten, and will stalk a person for the rest of their life trying to tempt them back into slavery if a person ever manages to break free of addiction in the first place. The best solution is not to let addiction into your life. No addiction is cool, and there is no person or persons on the planet worth fitting in with if doing so requires you to flirt with addiction or to include addiction in your life.

Check out some of the new Public Service Announcements by clicking here.

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Comments 59 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes, thank you for coming by. Always good to see you, and I hope everything continues to go well for you.

Google advertising is tailored to the person who is visiting a particular page and so you must have been looking at 'the things,' whatever the things are somewhere recently for them to be placing ads for them on pages you're looking at.

Whenever I research something in considering or actually writing about something, whatever I looked at is suddenly in the ads everywhere I go. That is one reasons targeting ads as they do doesn't work so well. I'm not looking at things I want or need for myself, but because I plan to write about them. Maybe that recent article you wrote about spiders inspired the ads you were looking at . . .

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

Yes, saw your article and ran in disgust because they are advertising the things on it (window attachments)

Not a stone left unturned.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Shyron, thank you for stopping by. I'm so sorry to hear about Stacy. I know you've told me about her before.

I hope you got the concrete work done. That is hard work and dirty if I remember correctly. Not dirty in the sense of nasty, but lots of dust flying, etc., if it's windy, and getting all over everything.

We've had a pretty good week and now it's going to cool down again. Take care. Blessings and hugs for you both. Will talk soon I hope . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Bobby! (Diogenes), what a surprise!! Glad to see you here and I hope all is well with you. Yes, I wrote an article about E-cigarettes on a different site and they're not safe nor is it wise to 'smoke' them. Read it here:

I never behave myself. When I'm bad I'm at my best . . .

diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico

All the vapid idiots are "vaping" around these parts...if they knew how ridiculous they looked!

You behaving yourself?


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Had to re-share this as I think about my very, very dear friend Stacy who passed away from lung cancer.

Have a blessed and glorious day. I hear it is going to be in the mid 70s.

We can get more concrete work done.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

David, thank you for stopping by. So glad you found this article useful!

David 2 years ago

Hello there I am so happy I found your webpage, I rlealy found you by mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a remarkable post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic work.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron, for sharing your experience on this subject. I, too, am allergic to smoke -- all kinds of smoke but it started with cigarette smoke. All my husbands were smokers, one was a chain smoker. You're right in that it is a filthy, nasty, smelly, expensive habit, and in the end it kills you.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Diogenes: Thank you Bobby for stopping in. Glad you've beaten you addictions. Have you followed any of my suggestions? You'd better cuz I'd miss you if you weren't here. xx

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Deborah-Diane, thank you for your comments and for tweeting this hub! In fact tobacco kills more people even than cancer or heart disease. The only thing that kills more people than tobacco is poverty.

diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

I used to be addicted to sex...I also drank a lot, too. have beaten both habits as the first isn't easily or cheaply available - nor vale la pena! and the second tastes like the poison it is now.

I used to smoke cigars! But, like Clinton, I never inhaled.

God, I'm bored! Any suggestions shrink?

R x

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

samowhamo, it's true that I can't be in your shoes, yet I know that it must be very painful having lost your mother. I know she's still alive, but the addiction is her boss and she is not the person she used to be, or the person she would be if she were 'sober.' Sober meaning clean of drugs. I understand that, and I hope you do too. I hope you realize that your 'real' mother still loves you and cares as much as ever, but 'the boss' will never let her show it or be her real self again so long as she lets the boss be the boss.

Breaking free of her new boss would be so, so hard. It could be done, but when she's wanting her fix that's all she can think about. She, like all junkies, will do whatever she must to get that fix. Some women have sold their babies and other horrific things. Some men have sold themselves and even offered to kill people to get money for their habit.

Imagine if your hand were on fire. You would do anything to put it out and nothing but nothing else would matter to you until you did put that fire out. I bet you would sell your mother at a certain point if you were certain it would make the fire quit burning your hand. Being addicted to something and needing a fix because the last one has worn off if on that same order. When the drug starts wearing off it affects a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's not like you forgot to take your vitamin this morning.

Try to understand how difficult it is to break an addiction and to choose to change. I'm not condoning what she has done or continues to do, but trying to help you understand that given what she is dealing with, she's doing the best she can.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and to judge other people by our own strengths is unfair, just as other people judging us by themselves is unfair. I know people do it all the time, but that doesn't make it right or helpful.

Try to think of your mother the way she was when she was herself. She loved you unconditionally from what you have told me, and so now you must overcome the hurt as best you can, and be there as much as you can for her in the same way. Always keep in mind the person she was before and how much did for you and would without a doubt continue to do if she were herself.

Your mother is not herself now and while that is due to a bad decision on her part, remember we all make mistakes. Once we make a bad decision that involves alcohol or drugs, or even tobacco, it is usually the last decision we ever make for ourselves. A lot of people don't understand that. Once a person makes a wrong decision that involves addiction every decision after that is made by their new boss -- the addiction.

Try to keep your memories of your 'real' mother alive in your mind and to realize that if she were still her true self she would be just as supportive and loving today as she was back then. Out of love and respect and appreciation for what she gave you when she was her real self, try to be understanding and loving even when she is not so loving and downright hurtful. Not an easy thing at all, but do your best for the reasons I stated. You will be a better person for it and when you're older and can look back you will feel better knowing you did everything you could and didn't add to a bad situation by being hateful and mean spirited. It takes a true Christian not to seek retribution.

I am not offended by anything you've said or done, but I just think out of respect for the privacy of others, especially your mother in your case, there are certain things you (nor anyone else either) should write on an international bulletin board such as these comment sections amount to.

No, I have never used any illegal drug, nor have I ever been addicted to any illegal or prescription drug, alcohol, or tobacco. I have studied addiction in my PSYC courses and I took them to heart, where most people refuse to give up their judgmental attitude. It's easy to stand in judgment of people who are less than perfect, not so easy it would seem, for most people to realize that they are themselves less than perfect.

While I know a lot of people like to think their own sins are less offensive than those of other people, the fact is that God has no sin rating system. With God it's either a sin or it isn't. No gray area. Fix yourself first and then look around to see who you can help while they're deciding whether to fix themselves. We're all in this together even if our sins are not identical. We all need to work on something, so try to be kind to your mother. Like I said, no matter what else she has become, she's still your mother. She's still the reason you're alive with opportunities to have a good life and all that goes with it.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Sam, my mother would not quit until she lost her voice, and believe me that was a cruel wake-up call. Mom use to sing in a Nightclub. Maybe that is where she picked up the habbit.

If something happens to me as a result of second hand smoke, I will never blame her, she did not know what she was doing.

Au fait, this is a fantastic hub.

samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

My mother doesn't think she has a problem she is in denial (which addicts sometimes are from what I have heard the shows about addiction) about it in spite of all the proof we have that she does have a problem (I am not trying to say anything personal about my mom in this comment I am just letting you know that's its hard for me to be there for her when she wont even admit she has a problem). I do have plans to spend time with my mom around the 4th of July we are going to downtown Toledo to see the fireworks we use to do that a lot during the 4th of July.

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

My mother smoked for years and years, and I get very ill when I am around anyone who is smoking. Mom quit after she lost her voice.

Hubby smoked and quit when we started dating. Grandpa and two cousins died of cancer. Smoking is a dirty filthy habit. I agree with Sam, it should be illegal.

samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

I know she is my mother but you can't imagine the sadness and anger I felt when my father told me the truth about her I cried like I have never cried before I felt like I lost my hero. I visit her every now and then and we get along again but she still has her moments when she does not act how a mother should act around her kids I still cry sometimes wondering and deep down hoping maybe she will get better.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

samowhamo, I understand that you are angry with your mother. No matter how you feel or what you think, your mother is still your mother, and had she chosen abortion as was her right, you would not even be here. As a result of both of your parent's efforts, you have whatever it is that you have today. Without your mother choosing life for you, you would have nothing. Nothing, because without life you can have and do nothing in this world.

Please respect your mother's privacy and do not discuss her private and person matters on this international bulletin board. If you were not there when she did these things you accuse her of then your words are mere hearsay. Basically gossip, and I think it's a terrible thing to say such hurtful things about your mother when if nothing else she gave you life that you might have everything.

I have deleted the comment about your mother out of respect for her privacy and I ask that you not write another so personal comment about your mother or anyone else.

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. No one has a perfect childhood or so far as I know a perfect life beyond that either. From what you've said your mother was there for you many a time. Now you're all grown up and it's your turn to be there for her. If you can't do that, at least have some respect for her privacy. She is your mother Sam!

Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

Well said! As you know, I write articles about addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse. However, I know that tobacco probably kills as many people and can be just as dangerous. This is a very important Hub and I hope that many people will read it. I will help by posting it to my "Alanon and Alcoholism" board and tweeting it.

samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Thank you for posting that comment in the hub about my mother. I do go and visit her every now and then and sometimes we do things together. And also as I said before in your hub about marriage I would like to apologise again if I said anything offensive that was not my intention.

samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Smoking should be illegal like any other drug because that's exactly what it is a drug. It may not make you high or alter your mood but it does give you cancer and God knows what other diseases but as long as the tobacco companies keep making money off of it (and I don't see that ending any time soon) they will never make it illegal.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

JayeWisdom, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub. Very much appreciate your sharing your thoughts also.

I think it's important to program children while they're still listening -- before they start school and care more about friends, schoolmates, and teacher's opinions than their parent's. The book I mentioned is a short picture book and it's fun to read. There is a verse that is repeated over and over ending in "No Way, Slippery Slick, No Way!" It's catchy and the phrase and its meaning sticks.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream (Cat), I'm so glad you're inspired to look into presenting this program yourself. Please do let me and my readers all know how it goes. You might even consider writing a hub on it; how you went about doing it, etc., so that other people can do something on the same order too.

Don't worry about taking time before you respond. I'm so snowed under with everything I have to do that it's sometimes 2 weeks before some comments get responses from me. I wish I could do it faster, but there is only 1 of me and I have to work where it pays sometimes . . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

c.mark walker, thank you for taking time to read and comment on this article. Very much appreciate that you shared your experience and your thoughts.

I'm so sorry you are suffering from all the bad stuff smoking causes and contributes to. Seems like before things start going downhill all those warnings seem far away and irrelevant. Addiction is so strong it makes us ignore warnings and even makes us stop worrying about our own well being and mortality. I hope everything will be the best it can be in your current situation.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake for commenting and voting on and sharing this article. I hope your husband will quit too, but keep in mind that tobacco addiction is very, very strong. I honestly think it's easier to lose weight, and that can be a real challenge for a lot of people.

JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

Excellent hub, Au fait! If you never wrote another word, you would have achieved something valuable to readers. (I hope you do continue writing, of course.)

I've never smoked, and I wish people I love didn't smoke. I understand it must be difficult to break that addiction, but it is terrible to watch your loved ones being slaves to nicotine and know it can kill them.

That children's book sounds like a wonderful way to influence kids in a positive way not to smoke, use drugs or alcohol BEFORE they become hooked.

Voted Up+++ and shared


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

Sorry for my delayed response, sometimes my notifications get lost at the bottom of the page. What a wonderful idea?!! I don't know if there is already any kind of existing program that occurs outside of schools, but I'm guessing it was created for the school-type setting, so I would think not. I would absolutely love the idea of starting something. I'm sure most parents would agree that they would find this kind of program and information beneficial for their kids and I'm sure my attempt would be supported and well received. I think I will check into this, thanks for the great idea! I also have full access to my fire department which includes a lovely fire hall and what a great place to bring this together. Oh, now you've got me excited. I'll let you know how I make out!


c mark walker profile image

c mark walker 3 years ago from Jasper Georgia

I smoked for years and no it's not going far enough. I'm very messed up and know that smoking caused a lot of my problems.Why wasn't made illegal years ago.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I wish my husband would stop smoking I keep hoping those TV commercials will upset him enough to stop. Voted up and shared.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub!

As you may know I am a proponent of home school, but even if you don't want to take your child(ren) out of public school and home school them, there is no reason you can't teach some things at home. Is there somewhere you can get the presentation for DARE and give your son that instruction yourself? Might there be an organization in your community that would give a class in it from time to time? Maybe you could do that yourself. Lots of parents would probably like their children to have the information DARE provides -- see about getting the materials and teaching a class a few times a month at your local community college or even just renting a space and getting enrollments in advance. Just a thought . . .

Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Paul Kuehn for sharing your personal experience regarding smoking and for letting us know a little of what it is like in Thailand in regard to this habit. Also, thank you for voting on this hub and for sharing/pinning and tweeting it!

Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au Fait,

This is the perfet "beware the dangers of smoking" hub for any anti-smoking campaign. I have to admit, some of these commercials are a little rough and I find myself almost wanting to turn my head when I see them. You are right though, these are real life realities and there is no point in sugar-coating them. There are enough people and things that will promote smoking, drugs and alcohol to our children and make it appear cool or appealing and it is our job, as parents to show the flip side... and be more convincing. I was appalled recently when my childrens' school decided that the DARE program was not important enough to keep in the budget. My first real experience with the dangers of drugs, sex, alcohol and tobacco came from the DARE program when I was in 5th grade, my son went through the program and came home preaching statistics every day. My daughter will not have the same luxury!

Voted up and useful

Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au Fait,

This is an awesome hub about the health dangers of smoking. Yes, smoking and nicotine is an addiction and I was hooked for 28 years until I quit cold turkey almost 18 years ago. I was a slave to cigarettes and they did really control my daily activities from the time I got up in the morning until the last cigarette I had before retiring at night. As you mentioned in the hub, I was selfish and thinking of only my own enjoyment and not being cognizant of how I was harming my family. My son is a smoker now, and I'm sure a smoking father made him feel it was alright to pick up the habit. I found out, however, that smoking as an addiction is not as bad as being a "junkie." I had almost a conversion or mystical experience when I finally stopped smoking. I have a hub on this experience. In Thailand now, all cigarette packs have pictures of people who are inflicted with lung, throat, mouth, and other cancers. I stay away from smokers now, and it so much better because most public indoor venues in Thailand are now non-smoking. Voted up as awesome and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

I didn't know people could lose limbs from smoking before researching this subject either. You're so right! It is scary. Thank you for reading and commenting, Jen!

Jen 4 years ago

What awful damage smoking does to a person's lungs! I think telling it like it is may wake some people up to what they're doing. Some people will always be in denial. Hopefully the new ads will make young people think twice before they even start. I had no idea one could become handicapped as a result of smoking! That's scary. So glad I never started. I've learned something new again Au Fait!

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you tammyswallow for reading and commenting on my hub. Very much appreciate your taking time to do that.

I've only seen the anti-smoking commercials online since I don't have a TV, which means I don't have to look at them if I don't want to. I don't smoke either, but I do think the commercials will give anyone who sees them something to think about. I realize your husband doesn't need to think about it since he doesn't smoke, but parents of teens and teenagers themselves need to be informed.

Before researching the subject, I had no idea people could lose limbs just from smoking. I believe that would have made me stop and think even as a teenager. Death from smoking induced cancer or emphysema may seem far off in the long run, but one can lose limbs fairly soon after they start smoking. I know everyone isn't the same, but that fact alone would stop me from doing it if I were inclined to do it in the first place.

Agree that it would be interesting to see what if any difference these commercials are having on people -- if the commercials are preventing people from starting up or not.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Mommiegee, for reading, commenting AND sharing! You are much appreciated.

tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

These controversial commercials really bother my husband. He is squeamish and doesn't smoke and really doesn't feel like he should have to watch them. It would be interesting to see the statistics on if these commercials make a difference in teen smoking. Great hub!

Mommiegee profile image

Mommiegee 4 years ago from Alabama

Very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be sharing this article.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Theophanes: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. I very much appreciate you taking the time as I do all my readers, and I very much appreciate your adding to the discussion!

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Theophanes 4 years ago from New England

I am a non-smoker who routinely gets pretty sick when around secondhand smoke but I've learned to stay away from it. In my experience I see people start to smoke when they are stupid tweens not being watched by anyone. One stupid feral tween pressures another stupid tween into trying it and then there they are as an adult puffing away. Being a good parent is the best way to prevent this. Many of the other behaviors described like not considering others, littering, etc, is also due to lack of parenting! Tell them how disappointed you'd be in them if they ever started and how sad it'd make you. It works. I'm afraid the public ads do nothing. Someone who sees those young just gets desensitized to its sensationalist message. I'm not against public announcements I'm just for strong parenting. It's more reliable in all regards.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

tlmcgaa70: Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my hub. I hope you realize your mother's good luck is the exception rather than the rule.

Checking statistics, the CDC states that in the U.S. alone in any given year, 443,000 people die from tobacco related illness. 49,000 from second hand smoke.

According to Edgar Snyder & Assc., a law firm that represents injured persons in Pittsburg, PA, across the whole U.S. in 2009 (the most recent stats available right now), 10,950 people died as a result of alcohol related car accidents.

Lots of people smoke both where I live and where I work. Also, lots of young people smoke at the university I attend (37,000 students last I checked). None of them feel like the government is forcing them to quit. I have not noticed anyone being forced to quit. Neither have I noted our government encouraging the use of alcohol. Our government is hooked on both smoking and drinking alcohol, however, as our government depends a lot on the taxes that both bring into the state treasuries.

Agree that all addictions are bad, and I stated that in my hub. When you are addicted, your addiction is the boss, whether it's drugs, tobacco, gambling, or whatever.

I'm glad for your mother that she has faired so well all things considered, but I have to wonder how many of her friends and relatives who inhaled her second hand smoke have been so fortunate.

Thank you again for adding to the conversation!

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Dmop for your comments. You are correct about the radiation from computers and other electrical devices including power lines etc, and here is a website that can help interested people considerably reduce their exposure to these extremely harmful magnetic fields.

Lots of people work for long hours in front of and next to computers and other devices that can cause all kinds of problems, not just cancer. Altzeimer's , insomnia, heart disease, etc. I highly recommend everyone look into this issue and take precautions as much as possible. Thank you dmop for raising this important issue!

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

tillsontitan: Thank you for your comments! Agree that smoking is one of the hardest things to quit.

I think young children are likely to run into people who are in the condition the people in the commercials are in when they go out into the world -- the grocery store, school, church, etc., so they're going to see them somewhere anyway. These people who are disabled or 'different' as a result of smoking and cancer have to go out in public sometimes too. No time like when children are very young to make a lasting impression.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

UnnamedHarald: Thank you for your comments. Agree that our government should be honest and let people know that what we are doing in the Middle East right now is nation building. We build a new hospital, they blow it up. We rebuild it, they blow it up, we rebuild it, they blow it up, etc., etc. Long past time to bring our people home. Enough people have died already, and for what?

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Sinea: Thank you for your comments. I agree that people, especially young people, need to know the truth BEFORE they start smoking. I think telling it like it is, is past due. Very much appreciate your taking time to read, etc.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Brett: Agree 100%! Thank you for your comments and for sharing!

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tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

i am not a smoker, tho i did smoke for a time. my mother is a smoker, and has been since she was 5 yrs old, when her older brother forced her and her brothers to smoke with him. she has been smoking for nearly 60 yrs. recently she broke her hip and while in the hospital her lungs were tested and found to be completely clear. people die of cancer all the time and they do not have to be smokers to have it. more people die from drunk driver/driving than from tobacco. i take offense to the government forcing smokers to stop and at the same time encouraging alcohol consumption. to be fair they should ban both if they are going to do anything. any kind of addiction is a terrible thing and should be met with help, not simply forcing people to quit.

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dmop 4 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

Great article, I have watched several family members die slowly and painfully of cancer, a few smoked and a few did not. I agree that smoking is a terrible habit, but the scary thing is all the proof they have of all the other things that cause cancer that they don't publicize. For example, living close to a transformer station, which has been shown to be three times more cancer causing than smoking. Sitting in front of your computer for eight hours a day exposes you to more radiation than you'll be exposed to in a month of smoking heavily. Of course, they don't want us to know or think about these things.

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tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

Well done hub. My only concern with the TV commercials is small children's reactions. The facts about smoking need to be spread and re-spread to stop young people from starting. Once you're hooked you're in deep! (I'm a smoker - almost former - I should know.)

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UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I'm for brutal honesty. We need the same brutal honesty regarding what war does to soldiers and civilians.

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Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

Some people (smokers) think they do but we have to be real about the possible consequences, which are frightening. I think they are important warnings that must be said.


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Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Thailand

Brutally honest, but it is what people need to know before they start the habit. The facts are scary and the results can be devastating on the smoker and their loved ones!

SHARING your very important message.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your comments Shyron. I wish your friend Stacy could have known the dangers of smoking before she started, too.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

alipuckett: Thank you for your comments. Wishing you the best of luck dealing with all the smoke. Is this a friend that would in time require you to spend every holiday being sick in order to be with him/her? I hope not for your sake. May all go well for you, better than you're expecting, and Easter turn out to be a lovely day.

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Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for your comments Bob. It's true that a lot of people don't stop and think that drinking and overeating usually affect only the person who's doing them and not forcing the people around them to overeat and drink too. Of course one should never drink and drive.

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Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

I wish my friend Stacy had read your article, many years before she passed away from lung cancer.

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alipuckett 4 years ago

Great article. Very informative and timely for me. I am meeting a friend's family on Easter and have been pre-warned that they are heavy smokers. This will be a challenge for me, because there is ZERO cigarette smoke in my life. In the past, every time I've been around a cigarette, I feel sick the next day. I agree with you 100% that it's an awful habit.

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diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico


Smokers need to read hubs like this every day just before they light the first noxious weed.

This is such an inconsiderate and disgusting habit, from the damage it does to one and all; to the fags and packets in the street, and to the pockets of polluted air outside store doorways in the high street.

A smoker said to me once, "Well, you drink, we don't complain about that!"

I'm not defending alcoholism, far from it, but the drinker doesn't get a mouthfull of scotch and water and spray it into the air all around him to infect others!

Wonderful hub...hits 'em right where it hurts.


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