Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Wake-Up Call Sends Strong Smoke Signal; the More I Expose Myself to the Chemical Cocktail in Tobacco, the Shorter My Life Expectancy, and Therefore the Time I Have to Witness My Son Grow into a Man

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Wake-Up Call Sends Strong Smoke Signal; the More I Expose Myself to the Chemical Cocktail in Tobacco, the Shorter My Life Expectancy, and Therefore the Time I Have to Witness My Son Grow into a Man

Article excerpt

Byline: WEDNESDAY With Leonie Brann

AFTER nearly a decade of sucking toxic smoke into my lungs, I have found the perfect motivation for quitting - my young son.

We all know smoking is bad for our health, so it may seem an obvious conclusion to reach, that the more I expose myself to the chemical cocktail in tobacco, the shorter my life expectancy, and therefore the time I have to witness my son grow into a man.

But logic goes out the window when trying to battle and beat an addiction, and sometimes you need a wake-up call to get you thinking straight.

A severe cold and cough caused me to cease smoking a week ago, but my wake-up call came last Friday when my doctor, concerned about a "funny sound" in my left lung, ordered me to have a chest X-ray.

While I am still waiting on the results, and am hoping that they are all clear, the situation has reminded me of my own mortality and what I need to mentally prepare myself to quit my nasty habit, once and for all.

Tobacco smoking is responsible for the premature death of about 16,000 Australians each year and 17.4 per cent, or one in six, Australians are daily smokers, with the smoking rate higher in indigenous communities, some ethnic groups, the mentally ill and those addicted to another drug.

While there are many ways to quit, with the chances of long-term success increased by between 50 and 70 per cent if nicotine replacement therapies are used, I have decided to go cold turkey, motivated by the knowledge that whatever I do now will mean I have a better chance of seeing my son reach those important milestones in life, like starting school or finding his special love.

Beating cigarettes, like any addiction, is not only a physiological battle but a psychological one, and my son's wellbeing has motivated me to quit smoking before.

I gave up while I was pregnant with my son, who is nearly three, and managed to stay smoke-free throughout my pregnancy and maternity leave. …

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