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 Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

LRS fuels Nellis’ mission success

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Staff Sgt. Mike Radcliff, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Patrick Fields, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels mobile distribu...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty

Creech heats up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Adarius Petty The Nellis-Creech Fire Emergency Services Flight’s Fire Station 6 personnel applaud the speaker during the Fire Station 6 ribbon cutting ceremony at Creech Air Force Base, N...
 
 

Aviation pioneer in Las Vegas

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — During World War II, aviation opportunities literally exploded as the military trained hundreds of thousands of individuals to fly, opening the door to many who might never have had the chance before. Among this group were women pilots, many of whom trained and flew as civil service pilots with...
 

 

Rosie the Riveter and me

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — As we recognize Women’s History Month this March, I am struck by the thought that heroes and role models do not have to be one single person but, in fact, can be several people. For me, this truth is especially relevant. During World War II, many women opted to...
 
 
DT1-(10)

Ground broken for new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Col. Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander, speaks at a ground breaking ceremony for a new solar array at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 24. The new array will ...
 
 
Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros

Darkest before dawn: Retired master sergeant, active duty wife share struggle of overcoming TBI

Photo courtesy of retired Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros Then Master Sgt. Phillip Sisneros, 99th Communications Squadron comm focal point chief, lays in a coma following a motorcycle accident in Las Vegas on Aug. 13, 2011. Sisner...
 




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