Cigarettes? Recreational?

Nick Vu/New University

My grandfather died from lung cancer. The last thing he said in the hospital bed was, “Give me another cigarette.”

He was down to the last couple minutes of his lifetime, so my dad granted his wish. After all, what more could we do? His last moment was spent with his murderer – his addiction to nicotine.

My dad is around his mid-fifties. He started smoking when he was 13 years old. All the men in my Korean family smoke.

For them, it was a cultural gig. It was what they knew from growing up around my grandfather, likewise with my grandfather and his father. At the time, they weren’t aware of all the negative effects and the loved ones they would hurt.

As a young girl, I would constantly think of ways to get my dad to quit smoking. It was a progressive war. It started with me simply tossing out a couple of cigarettes from his pack.

Slowly, I would steal his pack of Marlboros and throw them away. When he realized it was me, my dad promised he would quit. He never kept his word. When I was about six, I even went so far as to swap out the actual cigarettes for fake rolled-up paper that imitated the looks of a cigarette.

The papers were notes from me, which would read, “Dear Dad, Please stop smoking because I love you. I don’t want you to die.”

To this day, my dad is still a smoker, but I won’t ever give up trying because it’s never too late to change.

Four hundred twenty-five cigarettes. That’s how much the average smoker inhales in one month. Healthy?

I think not. $1,408 is how much the average smoker spends on cigarettes a year. (FYI, that’s equivalent to almost five months of rent for me!) Smoking enters the lives of people during different times for a variety of reasons.

Maybe you’re a social smoker. A social smoker simply goes with the flow. They may not buy their own packs, but they occasionally bum a cigarette from a friend.

Research from McGill University reveals, “Bumming only one smoke from a friend constricts arteries by 25% for at least 30 minutes, raising your risk for heart disease.”

Perhaps you consider yourself a stress smoker. You smoke because you feel that it relieves built-up feelings of anxiety running through your brain.

Let’s just blame it on our professors for assigning us those countless essays, endless readings and gruesome exams, or that girlfriend who dumped you the other day. Whatever the case may be, smoking doesn’t stop you from feeling bad.

The only thing it stops may be your heartbeat. When you’re stressed out, swap out the nicotine sticks for a jog around the block. Enjoy the fresh greens and the peaceful aura Irvine has to offer.

Go hang out with a friend (preferably a non-smoker!). Pick up a hobby. Do something that doesn’t drag you lower than you already feel during your stressed-out moments.

Many people smoke to lose weight, especially since summer is just around the corner and everyone’s hoping for that perfect beach body. They are known as weight-watcher smokers.

There’s no denying that smoking curbs the appetite, but trust me, you don’t want to die trying to be slimmer.

Picture this, you may be slimmer but you’re not going to look good with wrinkly skin, yellow teeth, bad breath and grey hair.

Trust me – those features are important as well. Commit to a healthy eating plan and regimen. Your lungs will improve and your will power will definitely become stronger, which means you can pretty much conquer anything you set your mind to.