Commentary

July 18, 2013

Find a reason to quit

Commentary by Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — I smoked my first cigarette on a random day during technical training, and I admit to my own dismay, it was completely because of peer pressure.

Months later when the ritual became less of a bonding experience with my friends and more of a habit, I was confronted with the reality of my secretive existence–I was a smoker. I knew it was bad, everybody knows that. That isn’t the issue. The issue of being a continued smoker is having difficulty finding a reason to quit.

Some numbers: More than 440,000 Americans lose their lives to smoking-related diseases each year. That’s 1,200 people a day. That’s an unacceptable amount of lives being lost. Think about it, if it were something else, like a brand of food killing that many people, it would be pulled from the market.

Smoking is allowed because we all allow it as a society and those numbers mean nothing to smokers because it doesn’t directly affect them, yet. But, I guarantee most smokers know that what they are doing might kill them some day. So why smoke?

That simple question is exactly what got me to quit. Somebody I respect, who I knew would throw a fit if she found out about my filthy habit, calmly asked me that exact question. Why? I was at a loss for finding a reason to quit, but she challenged me to find a reason to smoke in the first place.

Smoking isn’t beneficial in any way to any person. It only harms. So why smoke? I was just being lazy; continuing a habit out of boredom.

The best advice my father ever gave me was, “If you’re bored, it’s because you haven’t any goals.”

What I mean by that is if you can’t find a reason to quit smoking, you aren’t going out of your way to improve yourself as a person.

I took a quick turn to physical training as a distraction from smoking. I went to the gym three days in a row, taking to the sauna to sweat out all the nicotine per a suggestion I saw online, and I now use the free time I would have filled with smoking to work out instead. Now, instead of spending money on cigarettes, I buy protein powder. The protein does cost a little more, but it also helps to enhance my combat readiness–whereas smoking is only a crutch.

Smokers don’t need to be motivated to quit smoking by the terrifying numbers of death and cost surrounding their enslavement to tobacco, they need to find an inner motivation to quit what they already know to be a bad habit.

“You smoke?” My supervisor had asked me, “Why?”

“I don’t have any reason to quit.” I shrugged.

“Find one.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 

 

“Little people like you make Christmas better”

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — “It’s little people that make the difference. Little people like you.” The fictional character Frank Shirley pitched his “little people” Christmas message to Clark Griswold in the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation.” Although demeaning in a comical way, the little people reference is seen over and over in classic Christmas stories. Litt...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin