"" Running Rabbit: A Friend's Plea To Selfish Smokers

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Friend's Plea To Selfish Smokers

Sure smoking is your choice, and you have the right to do it you wish, but as my friend Steve says you are hurting more than yourself. The following essay is his plea for you to stop. He asks this of you on behalf of those who love you and will miss you.

This is the email I sent to my co-workers on Friday. Feel free to send it or use it in any way you want. As one of my friends who responded said, if only one person quits as a result of this email it would have been well worth the effort.

From: Johnson, Steven
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 2:58 PM
Subject: To my friends and co-workers...

Hello to all,

As you may or may not know, my father passed away on Monday. I state this not for sympathy, but to get your attention.

My father was 81, had lung cancer, and for the 12-15 years before that he suffered from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and bronchitis. He was a strong man, but our family was forced to watch as these diseases slowly robbed him of his ability to enjoy his favorite hobbies (boating & fishing), and then his ability to get around or even out of the house, and finally his life. My grandfather and great-grandfather both lived past the age of 95, and given the advances in medicine, my dad should have live to at least age 90. Unfortunately, these diseases combined to shorten his life by at least 10%.

But the worst part of this story is that while these diseases were the thieves, my father knew that he was the one responsible for letting these robbers into his life. He expressed to me on several occasions his profound regret that he ever allowed these thieves to influence his life – because they robbed and harmed not just him, but more importantly to him, his family. We are here, left to miss him… and while his passing was inevitable, it didn’t have to happen this soon.

The thieves that my father allowed in are the same ones that many of you allow in to your own lives today – cigarettes. As you all roll your eyes, I ask you to consider my plight today. My father is gone, and his whole family is hurt by that absence, because he indulged himself and didn’t think about others. That is how HE described the 40 years he smoked, not my interpretation.

And so, as your friend and co-worker, I will ask those of you who smoke one small favor… please stop. Don’t do it because I ask or even for yourself, please – PLEASE – think of your family, and spare them the pain of seeing what I have seen, and from accepting a loss that can still be delayed. Your life is precious – to me as a friend and co-worker, but most importantly, to your family who loves you and wants you to stay around as long as possible. We will all someday face the end of our lives, but there is no reason to hasten that day’s arrival. I know and understand that quitting is hard, but the alternative – for you and your family – is much, much harder.

Are those cigarettes really worth losing 10% or more of your life and the pain you and your family will be forced to endure? I hope the answer is no. Your family, friends, and the world would be much better off if you stuck around a while.

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