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Why you need to quit smoking (1)... Cancer is just the beginning.


In the first few months of medical school I learned to go without cigarettes during the day as the practice had long been criminalized in the medical community. It never occurred to me what bad form it might be to actually smoke, like in the poster-wild 1930's and 40's when "more doctors smoke camels than any other brand".

SI maintained my concealment through the beginning of second year when we began to study pathology - the study of disease. It was then I learned of the true ravages of cigarettes on the human corpus. It was shocking.

I learned that lung cancer is but very small part of the problem. Truly the number of cigarette smokers who actually get and die of lung cancer is relatively small. However, there are a list of other cancers and a whole other chapter called emphysema that I never once thought to worry about ... particularly on the first puff of the day when I would always say to myself as I pursed my lips to exhale- "fuck, I gotta quit this shit before I get cancer" as I looked at the cigarette and then sucked on it again, self-loathing like an addicted wretch.

Interestingly, as study in pathology continued, I also learned that while cigarettes certainly can give you lung cancer, they don't always. But weather they do or they do not give you lung cancer, they absolutely will increase your risk of all other cancers of all other organs. And there are many types of cancers that effect each and every one of the organs of the human corpus.

But there's more... Check back for my next blog on emphysema. It's horrifying ... but you need to know.