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World Tobacco Day 2022

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I thought it was over. As they let down the coffin, I felt that was all the harm it could do. True, the pain was immense- who could describe the feeling of losing a beloved. The little words of comfort I could hold on to were that it had done its worst. What could be worse than death? What harm could Nicotine do to me again? Like I said before, it was over. My brother is dead. He couldn’t put down the cigarette till it killed him. One stick at a time- two sticks- three… Progressively till it could no longer be numbered. He’d often say, “It’s just cigarettes – it can’t harm me. Don’t worry, I don’t do cannabis, cocaine, and the like. “
Look now, you’re not even here for us to assess the harm it’s done together… It didn’t harm you, bro, it killed you! And I’ve spent the last 1 year offsetting your debts. “
Looking back on the day I said it was over as your coffin was let down, I feel stupid. Oh, how ignorant I was. I mocked Tobacco that day because I felt, it had run its course in my family and it poses no harm anymore. Since my brother was the only smoker, it’s natural to think tobacco is gone from my home.
Why does it feel like I’m being punished for the manner in which I comforted myself after losing my brother? It feels as though there was a spirit that heard me speak against tobacco that day and vowed to show me something worse. Last month I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Now that’s a weird flip huh? Yes, I was a secondary smoker. For each cigarette He smoked in front of me, I got my share of the substance. I didn’t need to put it in my mouth. The air was polluted and now I’m being dealt another blow. “What could be worse” I lamented then. Now I have seen and I know there could be darker days.
All forms of tobacco are harmful and there is no safe level of exposure. You have a responsibility to not make people suffer for your choices. Quit today, and you’ve just saved a life!
(c) Regina Matthew
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