Commentary

August 2, 2013

Airman slowly kills himself by smoking

Airman Ryan Conroy
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — I’ve been slowly killing myself for the past three years. I intentionally inhale toxins that destroy my lungs and heart. I smoke cigarettes.

But, I’m quitting — again.

According to the health and wellness center’s tobacco cessation class, the average smoker will attempt to quit five to seven times before achieving success.

This will be my third attempt.

To this day, I still tell people I smoke to be social and network. But, the truth is that I like the feeling of breathing in the smoke and letting it all go. For me, smoking may be the easiest way to reduce stress instantaneously. It also has the most severe consequences.

The Center for Disease Control states adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for more than 440,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.

My grandparents were examples of those deadly statistics. My grandfather died of emphysema and my grandmother of lung cancer. My mother described their experience as “suffocating to death.”

Yet, those facts never really bothered me because they never adversely affected me.

What finally influenced me was that I would be out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, the stares and snarky remarks I would get from nonsmokers and the smell that perpetually permeated every piece of clothing I owned. None of these characteristics are attractive to say the least. This is the motivation that I hope will drive me throughout the rest of this quitting process.

Recently, the first lieutenant in my office would pester my supervisor and me every single time we would go for a smoke break. “You know you’re killing yourself, right?” and, “Seriously Airman Conroy, you need to smoke again?”

She encouraged me to go to the HAWC for a class on quitting smoking, and finally I gave in.

During the class, the instructor informed the class on the health risks, talked about nicotine replacement therapy and gave us the tools to quit for good.

I then realized I needed a life change.

Instead of smoking every time I get a little stressed out, I intend to do sets of pushups. The dollars I would have spent on cigarettes are now going into a travel fund. I figure the little rewards will help me maintain my mental strength through adversity.

When I hit my lowest moments, and desperately crave a smoke, I know that I have a support system in the office through my supervisor, who decided to quit with me, and my first lieutenant who couldn’t be happier for the both of us.

I don’t want to end up like my grandparents – because let’s be honest – smoking is just a really slow suicide.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Henry Hancock

Weapons school grad challenges Airmen as new AU commander

U.S. Air Force photo by Henry Hancock Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, Air University commander and 1994 outstanding graduate from Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., addresses Airmen Nov. 12 at Maxwell-Gunter Air Forc...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Blowing away ashes

Courtesy graphic Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., yet more than 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. However, more than half of these smokers have atte...
 

 

479 selected for CMSgt promotion

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Of the 2,525 senior master sergeants eligible for promotion to chief, 479 were selected for an 18.97 percent selection rate, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced today. To see the selection list, go to the Air Force Portal at https://my.af.mil, or myPers at https://mypers.af.mil. Airmen will be able to access their score...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech chiefs welcome finest Airmen into top enlisted tier

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Saugstad, center left, poses with his wife Senior Master Sgt. Carissa Saugstad, Chief Master Sgt. Butch Brien, 432nd Wing command chief, and ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Creech commandeers career counseling capability

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Senior Master Sgt. Tonya Joyce (left) and Master Sgt. Marcy Holland, both 99th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisors, are available to help Airmen stationed in Souther...
 




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