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Why It Kills Me to Watch You Smoke

I’m in London.

It is very much so a truth that being in this city filled with beautiful people embodied in thin, sunken-in faces from the effects of smoking have pushed me to my end, inspiring this post.

At this point, I’m sure many people may be thinking of secondhand smoke, but no, that’s not the point of this article. 

I’m writing this in lieu of those who wish they had what you had. I say “had” because the moment you smoke, you take for granted the body you have been given. Don’t get me wrong, I understand smoking can start for a myriad of reasons from those of superficial means to those much deeper, but before you pick up that cigarette can we just talk for a second?

A lot of people in this world are born with respiratory issues, just as an example. I don’t think it’s fair that you, someone with a perfect respiratory tract, have decided to voluntarily start killing off what others would die to have. Literally. 

Let me give you a scenario.

You are running late to your internship. You finally make it to the parking lot, parking your car in the furthest space from the building because it’s all that’s left. You run from your car, through the parking lot, up the stairs, inside the building. But then you come back out.

You’re too stressed and you need a smoke even if it’s just for two minutes. I mean, who cares at this point, you’re already late.

You pull out your cigarette, light it, and then you hear the subtle noise of a young girl crying who is sitting just to your left on the bench in front of your building. You don’t know what’s wrong but it most likely had nothing to do with you. 

That girl sitting just a few feet from you, she just got kicked off her high school softball team, just down the street. She couldn’t keep up any longer. Even though the runs from base to base weren’t long, she just couldn’t do it. Her asthma was worsening. 

Now what she has to witness is you, a healthy looking person who just ran the length of a softball field to get to work, with no real effort. Sure, you are slightly out of breath, but she still is amazed that so many people on this planet can naturally do that. She wishes with all her heart that she could do that. A simple run. What a gift, she thinks.

This girl goes back to looking at her phone but then she smells smoke. Cigarette smoke.

She sees you, the one she silently envied, smoking a cigarette. That kills her. She begins to cry, unable to understand why the bronchi of her lungs can’t work like yours. It’s just not fair.

That girl born with asthma who can’t play her favorite sport because she simply can’t breathe; that’s the same girl who would kill to have what you so flawlessly possess that you are taking for granted. 

Please just think twice before you pick up your cigarette. I know everyone has to pick their poison, but just think of this girl and think of yourself. Just give it a second or third or even a fourth thought.

Thank you.

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Andrea Lopez

Cal Lutheran

Andrea is a sophomore at California Lutheran University. She's currently trying out many different career paths, driven by her creative passions to help people. She's a dreamer who has the discipline to turn these dreams into her reality. The moment she starts thinking rationally is the moment she has lost all hope. Andrea believes in being irrational, and taking risks. She cares to travel the world in the hope to be exposed to as many viewpoints as possible. Andrea wants to help people live the lives they desire. She believes in the insane kind of love, the one that drives you crazy. She believes deeply in Jay Gatsby and Peter Parker. Andrea is an artist at heart and a scientist by nature. She wants it all. She wants to make an impact.
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