Monday, May 5, 2008

Denial - Not a River in Egypt


It amazes me how people can justify just about anything...despite all the evidence to the contrary. As they say "De-Nial is not a River in Egypt."

A guy I know came up to me at an event, reeking of tobacco smoke. Seriously, I had to take a few steps backward because of the odor. Because I am a doctor, he launched into a story about a study he is in at Stanford, where they are testing him for some health factors. I couldn't quite follow what the study was assessing.

What was remarkable was that they said he is so healthy that they told him not to quit smoking because if he quit, his health might go downhill. Yes, he heard them say that being a smoker has helped his health.

It is hard for me to believe the doctors at Stanford advised him to continue chain smoking. He doesn't look particularly healthy, has a smokers voice and unhealthy smokers skin. Of course I do not know his underlying health status.

We can fool ourselves about most anything if we want to. But 10,000 studies don't lie and believe me, smoking is about the worst thing you can do to your body.



8 comments:

Cynthia Chiarappa said...

I love this post - how funny! I mean, with all the evidence that has been compiled to date, there is just NO excuse for anyone to smoke these days...Imagine, I have an aunt in Italy who is 83 and has chain smoked all her life. It is amazing that she's still alive!

Raymond Bouchayer said...

Dr. Brayer your blog is the only one I read . I used to smoke 2 and a half pack of Pall mall for many years and sometime more . I stopped cold turkey" and the first day I could smell an apple across the room . My allergies , or most of them disappeared overnight . unfortunately I did gain weight , but the trade off was very much "worth it " .
For the one of you that are thinking , hoping , making plans of quitting , when you do , it is the best thing you will ever do for your health.
And then ...remember Joan of Arc last words "I am smoking more now , but enjoying it less". Stop smoking . Period .Make love , it burn calories and it is good for your health and it feels good ...

tracey said...

Interesting that he could know everything my 7th grader knows about smoking and still think smoking is a good idea. My husband is marriage & family counsellor & you'd be shocked to hear the excuses people give to justify everything from affairs to abuse. They bounce from one counsellor to another until they find someone who diminishes their accountabilty & tells them want they want to hear. Sounds like this guy has "selective hearing" too.

K said...

They probably don't want him to stop because (a) it'd potentially screw up their experiment/test results because of the change, and (b) it's possible they're studying him like they ought to study Keith Richards - i.e., how is this guy still standing?

But yeah, smoking is a foul, foul habit, and I'm only mildly embarrassed at how low my respect for someone drops when I find them smoking. I mean, dang, there's got to be something wrong in a person's head where the pros outweigh the cons for starting/continuing it.

Toni Brayer MD said...

To K: Nicotine addiction is incredibly powerful. If cigarettes were outlawed, smokers would be mugging little old ladies to grab their handbags. Seriously, it is a bad addiction so we need to quit making it glamorous in the movies.

Rich said...

That guys face looks like it's ready to collapse - sucking the cigarette inside with it.

Why,didn't you hear that smoking is good for you now???

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