Then she pulled out a pack of smokes and lit one up. Ugh. Smoking. It's so nasty. And it will make her look almost twice her age by the time she's 30-something. Although I don't know this woman, and I don't remember seeing her before, I was saddened by her addiction and by what it will do to her natural beauty.
And why wouldn't I be? According to the American Heart Association "nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break." They go on to say:
When a person smokes a cigarette, the body responds immediately to the chemical nicotine in the smoke. Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the flow of blood from the heart. It also causes the arteries to narrow. The smoke includes carbon monoxide, which reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. This, combined with the nicotine effects, creates an imbalance between the demand for oxygen by the cells and the amount of oxygen the blood can supply.
My dad smoked when I was a kid. I used to stay home with him on Sunday nights while my mom and siblings went to church. He smoked Chesterfield, non-filtered cigarettes (the preferred brand of James Dean) and I remember loving the smell of them. Not like smokes today; the smell disgusts me.
I've always said that one of the greatest temptations I had in life was smoking. Perhaps the craving came from all the second-hand smoke I breathed in as a child. Who knows. All I know is that I'm glad I never became a smoker, with all it's "cool" yellowed-fingered benefits.