I am not a smoker. However I have had loved ones who were smokers. Two dear friends have battled lung cancer and oesophageal cancer and both of these people are still alive by some miracle and because of this they gave up smoking. Simply because it played such a large role in giving them these diseases.
Today I read an article that stated 10% of cancer survivors still smoke… 10%! And most of them were smoking an average of 15 cigarettes a day! What shocked me even more is that 14.9% of lung cancer survivors go back to smoking.
When you go through something life changing like cancer. When you don’t know if your number is nearly up or not, I have been told it changes your priorities. At least it has for the people I know who have been faced with the depth of the unknown.
I would have thought that being given a second chance at life encourages you to embrace it. Live every moment and give yourself the best, healthiest years you possibly can.
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I thought that most people would see it like a gift from the world and would knowingly stop the major risks that contributed to the initial diseases, mainly smoking. But it seems as though my view of the world is warped.
Perhaps these survivors have been through so much hardship that they want to enjoy every moment and their vices that come with it. Perhaps this is when the alcohol and the cigarettes become even more valued?
I don’t know, and as I am not a smoker I will never know. I don’t want to pass judgement on the people that turn to smoking again because it is your right to do so. And after what cancer survivors have been through, they have every right to do what they enjoy whatever that it. I just hoped that as a society we could learn from our mistakes, and give ourselves the best chance of a healthy future.
What do you think about this issue? Have you been through it? Can you shed some light on why you have made the choices you have after you became a cancer survivor?