Are you stealing your old age?
Will the effects of smoking mean that you're going to be gasping for breath when your non-smoking friends are striding out in front of you?
Will you be painfully wheezing, scaring off your grandkids, when you'd rather be kicking a ball with them?
If you've ever had something stolen, such as your car, money or personal possessions, then no doubt you were upset. You were denied the use or enjoyment of something that you worked hard for, or spent money or time on.
Then no doubt you will be upset when you find your old age stolen, or worse, your middle age robbed of pleasure. All those years ahead of you, eking out a rickety, wrinkly, drugged part-life, with the 50% chance of it ending many years before time – that's the effects of smoking.
Gold is precious, petrol costs, houses are expensive… what's a healthy, long life worth?
Nothing, absolutely nothing, feels as good as good health. "If you have your health, nothing else matters. If you don't have good health, nothing else matters."
No temporary drug gives the pleasure that long term peace of mind envelopes you in.
No instant gratification of tobacco gives you the high that a strong sense of self-worth creates.
Neither hard work, kindness to others, selflessness, will get rid of that dark cloud of guilt hiding in the back of your mind. Guilt that's reminding you about the effects of smoking and how you are stealing your old age.
Stop that thief right now! Grab hold of the idea that you have the right to your middle and old age. Get that thieving dragon off your back and claim your long, happy and healthy life.
Your friends will admire you, your children will be delighted, and your grandchildren will respect you… and better still will want your exuberant hugs and fresh kisses.
Plan your burglary well. You’re the thief now; you will claim back your life. Start with the right tools. First up, what will you replace your smoking habit with? You don't want to be sitting around bored – that's often why some people smoke. So explore ideas for a new stimulus in your life. Think about clubs, hobbies, crafts, exercise, community work, new business, volunteering, travel, learning, and so on.
Next step is to make sure you have some substitution to satisfy that hand-to-mouth habit. The effects of smoking will have created an automatic pattern in your brain, so no problem; you can rustle up some healthy snacks and alternative ideas. Fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese are the obvious snacks, but it pays to check out some imaginative and non-fattening alternatives so that you don't get tired of the same old foods or you eat too much of them.
Some tried and tested alternative to use when quitting smoking are cinnamon sticks cloves and raw liquorice root to suck on. All these have added benefits as well, such as breath freshener, throat soother, addiction stopper and circulation and lung strengthener.
Finally a very important point when countering the effects of smoking and to make sure you quit for good, is to psychologically re-program your brain from a smoker to a non-smoker. Train your thoughts; turn your thoughts away from thinking about smoking to thinking about the benefits of quitting. Remember you are not losing anything when you quit smoking; you are gaining a new lease on life.
There is no question that we have the capacity to stack the odds in our favor when it comes to leading longer, healthier lives. Don't let the effects of smoking steal your old age, get it back as soon as you can, make a promise to yourself now.