Reflecting on Smoking and Lung Cancer

Since I have had lung cancer, I, with other lung cancer patients and caregivers, have been shouting out that smoking can cause lung cancer, as well as 16 different types of cancer. Researchers and doctors are working diligently to develop adequate screening and early detection requirements.

However, the outside world seems not to know or ignore this fact.

I have never smoked, and people close to me don't smoke. So, it was natural for me to join the anti-smoke movement, and I never thought seriously about smoking or quitting smoking. However, I have encountered some people who smoked, which made me re-think why people smoke and why quitting smoking is so difficult.

Glamorizing smoking

Recently, I saw the movie "Call Me by Your Name" on an airplane to Florida. I wanted to enjoy the summer sunshine in Italy and the beautiful story of two young men falling in love with each other. This is the second time I have seen this movie, but this time, I was shocked by what I saw in the film.

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In the movie, everybody was smoking, men and women, no matter how old and young. It didn't matter if the characters were happy, upset, or severe; they lit up.

I specifically paid attention to the scenes with the main characters; with almost no exception, smoking was always involved. Honestly, those smoking scenes have nothing to do with the storyline.

For most adolescent youth, it can be attempting to pick up cigarettes for temporary coolness, like in the movie, and they don't consider the consequences. Even if they have heard that smoking causes cancer, it becomes "white noise," disappearing in the background.

I hope people know that it's serious that tobacco can cause cancer, like lung and breast cancer, and you can be "cool" without lighting up.

Perceptions and realizations

I knew a friend who smoked for most of his life, and unfortunately, he got lung cancer several years ago. He was a "heavy smoker," and even the lung cancer diagnosis didn't stop him from smoking.

Later, he tried to quit smoking, but, according to him, it wasn't easy. He is intelligent and has an almost unattainable profession.

When I asked him about smoking, he believed that smoking might be related to lung cancer but thought that maybe other things in life could have also caused his cancer. He doubted the seriousness of tobacco.

He felt so many people smoked but didn't get lung cancer, such as his father and uncles, who smoked their whole lives and either died peacefully or never had lung diseases. He attributed his lung cancer to him being purely unlucky.

Indeed, in the real world, more people smoke, but they don't get cancer. Why do some people who smoke have cancer? More research should be done.

I have another friend who smokes one or two cigarettes daily. As he described, smoking cigarettes was a pressure releaser and a very effective way to carry the day through.

He is aware that smoking can cause cancer, but compared with quitting smoking, it's simply not practical and not worth it since he only smokes one or two cigarettes per day. He also thinks everything is risky, and even if he doesn't get cancer due to smoking, he may have cancer some other way. He believed that getting cancer had nothing to do with smoking.

Understanding smoker choices

I developed a deeper understanding of individuals who engage in smoking. Their choice is unwavering.

Indeed, smoking is like an addiction, and it over-simplifies the challenge of just telling them to quit. The most important thing is to not pick up the cigarette in the first place, which the media must be serious about.

At the same time, it's essential to research how tobacco relates to cancer and the therapies to overcome addiction.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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