This I have learned

Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg

It’s not easy breaking habits because, for the most part, many of us hold onto them to maintain order in our lives or to sustain certain memories.

I mention this because, as my mother did, I do our washing every Monday! There is something very rhythmic about my following in my mother’s domestic footsteps for the washing habit she carried out each week. And, I try not to break my weekly habit.

But, another habit my mother had was smoking two to three packs of Pall Malls a day, which she had done since she was a teenager.

In a website titled Vintage Cigarettes Ads, the convincing description for the Pall Mall cigarette reads, “Guards Against Throat Scratch.” Quite ironic, considering the fact that many people died from throat or lung cancer because of smoking. But, in my mother’s case, she was diagnosed with emphysema, a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that causes shortness of breath. The lung tissue involved in the exchange of lung gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) is impaired or destroyed.

Every morning my mother would light up her Pall Mall cigarette and pour herself a cup of strong, black, hot coffee, another habit of hers.

My mother was raised in an era when cigarette smoking was considered chic; indeed, everyone smoked and smoking was routinely seen in movies and on television. Furthermore, actors and prominent dignitaries were paid to promote certain cigarette brands. Ridiculously, but true, a Camel cigarette ad’s slogan was “More Doctors Smoke Camels than Any Other Cigarette.”

While she did not die of a smoking related illness (she died of breast cancer) actress Bette Davis comes to mind when I think of an actress who smoked up the movie screen. Conversely, Nat King Cole, who smoked to maintain his unusual and raspy singing voice, died at age 45 from lung cancer. If vaping or vape cartridges were around in her time, maybe she could be here today.

Eventually, dentists started promoting the new filtered cigarettes in order to “prevent” stained teeth in smokers. Nevertheless, filtered cigarettes did very little to reduce the ill effects of smoking. No matter how long you have been a smoker, finding alternative ways of quitting will lessen the chances of any health related risks. But the sooner you start to realise that smoking won’t benefit your health in anyway, the better it will be for you. Many people who want to quit smoking have looked into the idea of vaping. No other alternative allows you to smell like peaches or watermelon like vaping does. With the help of specialist vaping companies like Vape Wild, this could be what everyone will smell when you walk past them, instead of cigarette smoke. When it comes to vaping, there are many uses for it. It is commonly used to get people to quit smoking, but it can also be used as a method of smoking marijuana, only if it is legal in your state/country. If you are someone who uses medical marijuana as a pain relief, instead of carrying product with you daily, hoping that it doesn’t fall out into your bag, maybe using a vaporizer pen to smoke weed could be another option for you. This might make it a lot easier for you to effectively deal with any pains you are experiencing. No matter what you use a vaporizor for, as long as it is legal and is helping your health instead of making it worse, like smoking, be sure to do your research before going ahead with anything. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health.

My mother was age 74, and frail from the ravages of emphysema, when she needed emergency abdominal surgery; she came through the surgery without a hitch. In the middle of the night, however, the hospital called to ask permission to place my mother on an automatic lung machine, as her emphysematic lungs could not work on their own. She was unable to be weaned off of the lung machine. Her life-long habit of smoking finally claimed her life.

While I personally have never smoked, in remembering and recounting how my mother struggled with emphysema, I can most assuredly understand how a habit can be destructive to the point of no return.

This I have learned…