If you haven’t already, there’s one thing you can do to almost instantly improve your health in a multitude of ways: quit smoking cigarettes. I’m not talking about foregoing the occasional cigar or pipe — that sort of tobacco is not great for you but used in extreme moderation, it’s not going to potentially ruin your health like butts will. Cigarettes on the other hand are bad for your blood pressure, your heart and lungs, your skin and your hair, your eyes & eyesight, your mouth and your teeth, your stamina and sex drive and your circulation and digestion… to name but a few of their nasty side effects. And obviously smoking is one of the world’s leading carcinogens, increasing your cancer risk exponentially when used as directed. Remember: you might survive cigarette-induced cancer but you will not be unmarked by it.
If you’ve never smoked cigarettes in earnest, good for you. If you’ve already quit, congratulations for taking such a big step on living a longer, more healthy life. And if you haven’t yet I can only ask: why the hell not, dude? I know, I know, you’re young and tough and nothing’s going to harm you and you feel like a real man with a smoke in your mouth. Well, by the time you get into your 30s, that’s not going to be quite true anymore and your doctor will probably begin noticing some signs of mortality like higher blood pressure or diminished lung capacity, both directly attributable to smoking. I smoked throughout my 20s and quit when I turned 30 and now I can’t even think of a good reason why I ever used cigarettes at all. One too many Hollywood movies where the hero chain-smoked his way through the film (the links between Hollywood and the tobacco industry are deep and well documented)? The fact that my father smoked and so it connected cigarettes with an ideal of manliness in my mind? Either way, it was damn stupid and once I finally stopped I pretty quickly got to a place where I was never tempted to smoke those coffin nails again. Or should I say coughin’ nails?