Headache? Tense, nervous headache?
Runny nose? Itchy eyes? Aching joints? Sharp abdominal pains?
Well man up Buster, stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with it!
If you’re quitting smoking, one of the facts of life is that you’re going to get ill. Only the ‘flu or a cold; tonsillitis maybe. Nothing life threatening like lung cancer. As I understand it, this is how it works.
As we know, cigarette smoke contains in excess of 4,000 different chemicals. Most of these you wouldn’t actively choose to go anywhere near, let alone invite in to your body. This is because they are poisonous. Poisons kill things, including some of the germs that would normally give you a cold. But these poisons don’t always kill them; sometimes they just suppress them so that they lay dormant in the body. Then, when the poisons are no longer there because, let’s say, someone gave up smoking, all of these ‘dormant’ germs become active again and, hey presto! Illsville.
These chemicals are not something that I’ve really thought about as a smoker. In fact, I used to actively seek out the ones that had the ‘Smoking when pregnant can damage your baby’ warning on them. Well that’s not exactly going to affect me now is it? Or the ‘Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility’, isn’t exactly a big deal for someone who’s had a vasectomy! WARNING! – CONTAINS FORMALDEHYDE. Yeah? Well I figure if I want to live longer, preservatives might be a good thing…
Except, of course, I’m being flippant.
So I’m going to write down what some of these chemicals are and what they do and keep coming back to the list so keep reminding myself what I’m actually missing out on.
- Formaldehyde – Yes, it’s embalming fluid and yes, it’s present in cigarette smoke. But it only preserves bodies that are already dead. Otherwise it causes cancer as well as respiratory, skin and gastro-intestinal problems.
- Acetone – The Mrs uses this one quite a lot. So does my teenage daughter. Acetone is what they dissolve their nail varnish off with.
- Arsenic – The main component of rat poison and what they used to bump Napoleon off with. Pain in the arsenic.
- Hydrogen cyanide – the clue’s in the name here. No, the ‘cyanide’ bit you fool! This stuff features heavily in gas chambers.
- Benzene – Here’s a dictionary definition: “a colourless, volatile, flammable, toxic, slightly water-soluble, liquid, aromatic compound, C 6 H 6, obtained chiefly from coal tar: used in the manufacture of commercial and medicinal chemicals, dyes, and as a solvent for resins, fats or the like.” Benzene is a carcinogen that has a long association with leukaemia. Oh, and it’s a petrol additive!
Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it! Now, where’s the Lemsip?