The Best Thing You Can Do To Be Beautiful: Quit Smoking

I am breaking into my usual blog schedule to post this public service announcement for Delora Starbrook, who has just quit smoking. This is a message to you, Delora, cuz I quit smoking once, and I NEVER want to go back.

Against Smoking

View the above specimen. She is a smoker. You can see the results of smoking:

1. Sagging baggy eyes from smoking. Smoking causes vascular (blood vessel) problems that can make your blood vessels appear more prominent and bluer beneath the skin and smoking also kills off Vitamin C, which contributes to health and elasticity in your skin. It also makes you look older than you are. This lady? She’s 33.

2. An article in Scientific American shows that smoking does not buy happiness. In fact, “smokers tend to be less happy than nonsmokers.” (That’s why this lady’s frowning.)

3. Smoking also contributes to those wrinkles around your lips from puckering. And gives you bad breath. And yellow teeth. Ewww!

4. Smoking is also a leading cause of cancer—not just lung but all sorts of cancer. (That’s a cancerous mole there. Now we can surmise, based on her skin, that may have been caused by too much exposure to the sun, but I am going to say it’s from smoking!)

5. Smoking is bad for your heart. According to this article from Cleveland Clinic, “Quitting smoking reduces the risk of repeat heart attacks and death from heart disease by 50 percent or more.”

6. Smoking causes split ends. The Mail Online features an article explaining how the depredation of oxygen to your hair and skin is bad for them. (And if you smoke, you are more likely to have bad hair days and wear hair from the 80s. I have no scientific evidence for this—but clearly you see she suffers.)

7. Smoking is bad for your lungs. Look at this if you don’t believe me.

8. Smoking makes you twitchy. A study at the Mayo Clinic showed that “higher cigarette consumption levels are associated with mild-to-severe symptoms of terminal insomnia.” Nicotine is a stimulant and contributes to insomnia—duh.

9. According to a study in the Archives of Ophthalmology, smoking can contribute to earlier forms of age-related macular degeneration. In other words, smoking is more dangerous than masturbating in making you go blind!

10. This is a sort of non-pictorial thing, but quitting smoking saves you craploads of money. I believe I saved at least $1000 in cash alone the first year I quit smoking just from not buying cigarettes. Add to that the decreased doctors’ visits for bronchitis, the lower premium on my life insurance, the savings on lighters, ashtrays, and Febreze, and dang, it all adds up. If you’re feeling the urge, go to this site and plug in the numbers.

I can’t tell you enough how important it is for you to quit smoking, Delora. The way I did it was by changing my personal habits. First, I didn’t allow myself to smoke at lunch. Then I couldn’t in the car or the house. Then I had to smoke on the back stoop and had to clean up every single speck of evidence (which was a pain during the winter). Then I could not smoke in anyone else’s presence. These were all self-imposed rules, but the hassle of following my rules and the embarrassment I felt about being a smoker won. When I finally quit, it was such a non-event I hardly noticed because I had changed my habits.

18 thoughts on “The Best Thing You Can Do To Be Beautiful: Quit Smoking

  1. Jeez Harper … Congress should force the tobacco companies to hire you to do those anti-smoking commercials for kids. I might actually stop smoking after reading this. GO DELORA!

  2. indeed smoking is dangerous to your health! now can i have a light pls? jokeeesss!=)) okay, i thought the photo was funny and when i read on, geez! i’m just glad that i dont smoke <3

  3. I remember being a girl of 11, bringing home pamplets from the american society about the effects of smoking. I got them for my father, and I prayed he would see it and be scared straight. IT didn’t work of course but he has alot of health issues including bad teeth ( also lack of dentist visits because he was embarassed) and a stroke in his eye. It didn’t stop him from smoking or drinking but it had a big impact on why I never smoke or drink. I want to have healthy lungs, teeth , heart and body. Among other things…like being around for years to come. If you can…and you can. Please stop smoking. It’s not worth the effects on your body and thankfully if you stop all the damage you have done to your body can be reversed in time.

  4. eek thank god i never tried smoking. When I was 15 a bunch of girls in school made me smoke but I refused.. phew <3

    Thank you for the awesome post xoxo

  5. It took me about 3 years to quit, I first tried “cutting back” only a few ciggies a day, then just bumming ciggies off freinds…(boy was I popular..not) then I would feel guilty about then and they buy a pack for a freind..give her 3/4’s of it and take the rest…ummm well that worked for about a month, before I realised how pathetic it was. Then only smoking when I drank…well when I drank I smoked a pack! then only smoking with freinds never alone…( I was never alone..) finally after 3 years of this stupid “cutting back” I went to the UK smoked an entire pack in a day felt sick and decided when I went back to Aus I would never ever smoke another I…ADDICT and couldn’t there for “Cut Back” once I admitted I had an addictive nature and was an Addict and there had to stop cold turkey the motivation was there. I got the remains of my Pack soaked it with water and tore up ever single but and put them i the bin under the tealeaves and muck….then decided to take up singing..which I found hard to do with a lung full of smoke. I quit at age 28 and have had one puff of a ciggie since which made me real over backward and nearly faint. I did have to quit alcohol at first as the associations killed me, coffee with a phone call instead of a smoke, stop drinking…until the cravings went, ciggie when I was angry…replaced by a walk, ciggie when I was sad…eventually replaced by a drink unfortunately but I don’t drink as much as I smoked :). The cravings for a smoke with a port lasted the longest and went on for about 5 years. One of the hardest things I ever had to do but boy am I glad I stopped..never regret one single day.

  6. In RL I was an active guy, not over weight at all, high pressure job and total unexpectedly I developed what I thought was the worst heart-burn I had ever had. I phoned my ex-wife, a doctor who had worked in cardiac surgery, she asked me to describe my symptoms exactly, I did. She knew I was 2 miutes from Brisbane’s best cardiac hospital she said get there NOW.

    3 days later in cardiac ICU when I could start to remember and comprehend things they told me as well as the emergency procedures they had done I also needed open heart surgery in a few weeks, and that had I been more than 5 minutes away I wouldn’t be alive.

    Even scarier was the fact they said we see you are a life long non-smoker? I asked how did they know they said while I had some nasty left side heart muscle damage had i been a smoker I would never have lived long evough to make the call to my ex wife.

    The medical team were very definite, you you may not have made it, or things would have been worse had you been a smoker – it was a very simple statement – had you been a smoker you would be dead.

    I was a practicing Human Rights lawyer – now I can’t work, I am quite restricted in my RL activities but I hell I AM ALIVE and able to tell you my story.

    No lecture from me just the facts of my RL – and a number of my close SL friends know this story already.

    I will leave you with something I just thought of cacluate and be honest your weekly spend on smokes lighters etc x 52. Now is that amount close to the cost of the new computer you wish you had the spare cash to buy?

    You don’t have to tell anyone the answer, just think about it.

    Take care all

  7. Age 33? Seriously? I’m waaaaay past 33 and don’t even look that bad! LOL She may be 33 if she was a crack smoking prostitute that drank too much. Look at the bulbous nose and the rosacea on her cheeks. I don’t even know 50 year old’s who smoke and look that bad. It appears she is a bit too well tanned, so that would explain the skin cancer. I live in the southwest desert of the US, I am quite familiar with skin cancer and the effects of the sun. I stay out of it after I burned my shins by the sun years ago. They were purple and blistered and now scarred. Don’t get me wrong, I commend anybody on quitting smoking, but I also hate scare tactics and false claims about smoking. Can it cause cancer? Yes… But yet where are all the anti-cig smoking fighters claiming health issues when it comes to our food supply being corrupted by big businesses. Anyone have a glass of growth hormone milk today?

    • I would like to say I respect your right to smoke, but really I don’t. It costs me money in the end for all the smokers now on Medicare who are getting medical care that they could have avoided because of their smoking. Add to that all the people on my insurance plan who smoke for whom I pay extra when they have brochitis or heart disease. I cited my sources. You’re going to argue with the Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic?! In this case, I disagree with you ASmoker. And by the way, smoking next to your computer is hazardous for ITS health too. Steve Jobs will tell you to stick it personally if you ask ;)

  8. Xavier gave up smoking last June using an electronic cigarette. Well done for spreading the message Harper me old diamond :) xxxx

  9. Actually, there was a study done about the health costs of smokers. This isn’t the article I read a few years ago, but does make the same point:

    Anyhow..since the people who don’t smoke do live longer, it cost MORE to keep them alive and healthier as opposed to those who died earlier because of smoking, which if I remember right is an avg. of 10 years more. Furthermore, who keeps the Social Security money from all the dead smokers who didn’t live long enough to spend it? Also the cost of cigarettes, when I started they were less than $1.00 a pack, is astronomical now. The reason? The tax added not to pay or offset health care, but in the State of Arizona to pay for childcare??? I don’t have children and my state taxes already pay for childcare!

    Harper, did you read the whole article you list by chance?

    Once more, I just ask that the truth be said about both sides. I will not ever say smoking is good for you or anything else like that, but I will defend my right and anyone else rights to smoke a legal product. BTW, I will be getting the E cigarette myself.

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