This is quite a common objection from your friends or loved ones when you try to ask them to quit smoking. They are already addicted to nicotine –so you need to have a stronger reason to get them to stop.
Because anyone who is on substance addiction would try to cling on to every bit of evidence that perhaps, that habit is not that bad after all. Hey look, my Uncle John smoked all his life and live up to be a hearty 95.
I have some ideas on what you can use to counter those remarks. Because I have known people in my life that are smokers and lived till a ripe old age. One of them was my grandaunt who smoked all her life and lived past 90 years old. What I can say is that for people who are smokers who lived to an old age, in terms of physical, mental and emotional are very different from smokers today. Smoking for them was not an addiction driven by grief, worry and sadness. In fact, it was through this learning that I am finding the strength and reason towards the path of cutting down caffeine from my diet- seriously. So here it goes:
If you look at your Uncle John, a smoker who lived up to 95, see if you also seemed to notice one or more of the following traits in Uncle John:
- Uncle John was born during the time when fast food and processed food were not invented yet (which is obvious from his age). But even though they were invented during his life, he does not seemed to have much of a liking for it. He preferred ‘real food’- real chicken meat instead of flipped burgers, real oranges instead of orange juice. No doubt, he ate ice cream or cakes once a while but he’s not obsessed bout those stuff. So he ate real food
- Uncle John led a period of extreme poverty at one time of his life- usually his younger years. He had survived the great depression and the world war. Also, he had to do a lot of physical labor just to put food on the table- the slogged hours at the field- pulled the buffalos (he could not afford a tractor at first) and did everything himself. Those were hard hard days that Uncle John loves telling you about over coffee and a cigarette smoke. So his body had learned to effectively extract nutrients from what he eats– which is incidentally real foods
- Uncle John was the kind of easy going guy that you would like- he did not hold grudges and worry too much about things that he cannot change. He did his best in whatever he could and left the rest to God. Emotion plays a role in health
Let’s compare with a typical chain smoker today:
- The fella’s born in the time when his parents were busy working people- so he ate lots of cereals and prepacked food before going to school.
- There’s no extreme suffering going around here- he had most of the things he wanted doing schooling, and is now working.
- He said that his job is too stressful and smoking makes him feel better- makes him forget his problems. His mind is continuously tied to how to make more money for his business or fulfill his KPI so that he has a fat bonus at the end of the year. And he constantly want to upgrade his car or condo because his friends are doing it. Also he wants to give his kids the best branded things that he can afford, because he felt guilty of not spending enough time with them. And all this lead to a lot of stress in his life- so, he chained smoked
- He is not an easy going guy. He worries a lot- when the economy goes down and some of his friends are retrenched, he could not sleep.
- Sometimes, certain dishonest practices he ‘hated but forced to do them’ to get more dough keeps him up at night.
I hear you, you are asking, “yeah, so what? What’s the point in this??”
First, I need to bring in a little bit of ancient Chinese healing system into the picture. It has worked for us for thousands of years, long before Western medicine come into the picture, so obviously the system works.
We are all inherit different form of life ‘chi’ from our parents- also know as prenatal chi. The vital chi energy that sustains our life is stored in our kidneys. Some people inherit strong prenatal chi, giving them a heads start- strong immunity system, less susceptibility to illnesses and well, basically, doing lots of stuff and getting away with it.
But today, judging by the rising incidence of illness despite the most advance and sophisticated medical care- indicate that most people are born with weaker prenatal chi (please note that those who are born with weak prenatal chi can improve their health by adopting healthy lifestyle).
Uncle John was born during the era that the world was much less polluted. His parents ate proper ‘real’ food. So he could have inherited strong prenatal chi from his parents- well, I am not saying that all that were born that time inherit strong chi- but given the type of environment, proper food and physical activity, babies then tend to have stronger immune system than babies now.
When he had to put in a lot of physical labor, his entire body system had to work well together- so his circulation system, heart and lungs were strong- so his body was able to ‘tolerate’ the toxic substances even though nicotine actually had the effect of weakening the lungs of any smoker.
Today, even if we torture ourselves in air con gyms, we can’t produce the same type of positive health effect as a man slogging in the fields could. You may notice that people who worked hard physically doing the younger years of their lives tend to be more resilient compared to those who never worked a day in their life. Today, we are beginning to get all types of diseases at an increasingly younger age compared to previous generations- like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer.
And from the energy point of view, the excess negative energy of worry is stored in the lungs. A person who worries too much would eventually weakened his lungs- and we all live in a society when we are constantly on the guard and we worry if we are not careful enough, someone may come along and snatch away our ricebowl. Or that nothing we earn is ever enough- fueled by the desire to have the same new car as our neighbor does and to constantly chase after the latest gadget or fashion trends. We always want more..and more.. and more….The more we think we need, the more are at stake and we constantly worry about losing our money and livelihood.
An experience Chinese physician who detects a weak lung when reading the patient’s pulse may suggest to the patient to relax and don’t worry so much. That may also explain why a non smoker gets lung cancer even though he/she is not even a passive smoker.
So you see, a human being living in today’s era stands at a far, far disadvantage. Our mothers are already eating take-outs and chemical laden food when we were in their wombs. And the sedentary lifestyle makes us move less, work less and sweat less but the lifestyle gives increase mental stress. We are bogged with endless mental worry- which weakened our lung meridians.
Unlike Uncle John, we are at a disadvantage when our immune and health are concerned. We can do the best we can to improve, but we should not wreck it further by adding poisons into our bodies. The body cannot withstand such onslaught continuously. Each time a person lights a cigarette stick and puffs it, he/she is putting poison to the body and weakening the lungs bit by bit.
The body does it best to neutralize its effects. But when it is not being cared and loved for, it may just lose the battle. And the cancer or an heart attack would overwhelm it and rob the person of the life that he/she should be living.
Please think about it.