TITLE: Smart kids don't smoke 10/2/14
By Richard McCaw
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SMART KIDS DON’T SMOKE
Eight o’clock, Friday morning, Roger watched the Camp doctor place the cold stethoscope against his chest. The sixteen-year-old had been summoned into the camp clinic because the doctor had noticed his uneven breathing. He could hear the bouncing of tennis balls outside, and excited campers shouting in a nearby field. Inside, the tent smelt like a hospital with all its medicine bottles. Abandoned chessmen lay scattered across the doctor’s desk.
“How bad is it, Doc?” he asked.
Doc shook his head. “I wonder how much longer your lungs will last. You will have to stop smoking, Roger!”
“Stop smoking!” exclaimed Roger. He knew that every pack of cigarettes had this warning: The Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous for your health.” If only he were man enough to quit smoking altogether.
After camp, Roger visited Doc in his apartment.
“Why do you smoke?” Doc asked.
“My friends do,” Roger admitted, “and it makes me feel big.”
He watched as Doc set up vacuum pump, jug with water, rubber and glass tubings, cigarette and matches on a table. Doc lit the cigarette and performed an experiment, then pointed to the dark, oily substance on the surface of the water.
“That mixture of tars, Roger, contains about thirty cancer-causing chemicals. That is what irritates the lining of your mouth, nose, throat and lungs!”
“It also damages your lips and palate, and irritates your eyes!”
“Sounds frightening, Doc!” Roger remarked.
“It is.” ‘Doc’ agreed. “Smokers also catch teeth and gum diseases easier. Not funny, is it?”
Roger left feeling like a ton of bricks had hit him. Perhaps, ‘Doc’ was exaggerating. Outside the apartment, he lit a cigarette and hurried home.
In the next few days, he compiled his own research from magazine clippings and books on the subject. Then, he reviewed the facts.
1.THE REAL HARM IN SMOKING comes from two destructive poisons: nicotine and carbon monoxide. Nicotine raises your blood pressure by ten to twenty points. Our heart pounds an extra fifteen to twenty-five beats per minute. And carbon monoxide affects the artery walls of your heart. Other poisons are deposited in your kidneys, stomach and bladder. That is why smoking causes so many deaths.
“So many negative facts!” Roger scoffed, as he blew smoke rings above his head. “What about those who hardly experience any side effects?” he tried unsuccessfully to convince himself.
2.SMOKING AND YOUR LUNGS. Smoking chokes the airways, rots the air sacs, leaving behind poisonous chemicals. About 1200 chemicals, besides harmful acids are involved when you inhale the smoke of one cigarette. Sixty percent of the country-fresh flavor inhaled is gas, at least twenty different poisonous vapors. Smoking slows down the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your lungs, and affect the level of your endurance.
Roger shuddered. He had noticed a shortness of breath. Definitely, nothing must ruin his athletic career.
3.SMOKING AND YOUR DIGESTION. Smoking destroys your digestive system.
He put down the cigarette in the ash tray. He had also noticed a definite loss of appetite, but a greater craving for cigarettes. How could he ever give up smoking?
4.SMOKING AND YOUR NERVES. Smoking attacks your central nervous system. He had noticed how his hands turned the pages unsteadily. It was easy to say, “Stop smoking!” but he felt trapped like a captive. What would his friends think?
Suddenly, one sentence seemed to leap out of the page at him: “YOUR BODY DOES NOT NATURALLY DESIRE TOBACCO.” He remembered the first time that he smoked. He had not really enjoyed it.
That evening he gazed into the clear eyes of his girl, Julie. He noticed how fresh her breath smelt and her pearl-white teeth. What a contrast to his smoking friends with their yellow teeth and foul breath!
He drew hard on the cigarette and became thoughtful. “Smoking is harmful to my mouth, eyes, heart, lungs, digestion and nerves. It’s threatening my athletic career. Is it really worth it?”
He pressed the burning end of the cigarette into the ash tray. “Besides,” he reasoned, “money spent on cigarettes just goes up in smoke!” He threw the dead stub of the last cigarette through the window. That act confirmed his irrevocable decision never to smoke again. He was thoroughly convinced. “Smart kids refuse to take poison into their bodies. They just don’t smoke.”
When Roger visited Doc a few weeks later, he was sure that he was clean enough to continue soccer and the other sports at his high school. He sat down with a wide smile across his face and told Doc all that had happened since he last visited him.
“Well, you know something else, Roger,” Doc began.
Roger leaned forward in his chair.
“You’re a believer aren't you?”
“Yes, from Sunday school…but you know how it is, Doc…friends and…”
“Roger, the Bible also tells us that our bodies do not belong to us.”
“I know. I was reading that the other night in first Corinthians”
“Yes, it says that you have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ…therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which belong to God.”
“Doc,” Roger smiled. “I’m never going to smoke again as long as I live. Doesn’t matter what my friends think of me. I got smart, Doc. Smart kids just don’t smoke!”
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