Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My reasons for Voting YES on Prop. 29

My two passions in life are helping those who want to be smoke-free and being an advocate for cancer patients. Both are very personal issues for me since I am a former smoker who found it extremely difficult to quit and I've had cancer twice in my life.

I am a very independent, strong-willed woman yet I felt completely helpless when tackling my nicotine demon and my cancer diagnosis. I had little control over either situation.

Like most, I started smoking as a teen. It was after my first cancer diagnosis at the age of 32 that I got serious about becoming smoke-free and it took me 3 years. I know how hard it is to quit, I know it's more than just a "habit" but a true physical addiction that engulfs your willpower and breaks even the strongest personality. Until you've been there, you can't understand how powerful nicotine is.

No one asks for cancer, not even smokers. Most tobacco users don't think cancer will happen to them, it always happens to the other guy. And there are some that say since you have to die anyway, it might as well be from something enjoyable. But the problem isn't dying too young from smoking--it's living too long with the effects of a smoking related disease. No one who sees me, thinks of me as a "cancer patient". I look healthy but looks are deceiving. I have to deal with the effects of cancer treatment daily. No one sees the physical and emotional scars I deal with. Until you've had cancer, you can't understand what it is like to face death squarely in the face.

That is why I can face the slings and arrows shot at me for standing up and endorsing Proposition 29, which Californians are voting on today. When making phone calls to voters or in response to written articles, I have been slandered and called many things and each time I silently wish, "I hope you never need our (American Cancer Society) services". Time and time again I have seen righteous indignation over taking away a "smoker's right to smoke". Yet again, I silently say to myself, "I'll be here when you're ready to face your own nicotine demon which I hope is before you face the death, disability and destruction smoking causes."

I'm not a saint but truly a sinner, yet my gift for being alive is to help others, whether they want to quit smoking or whether as a cancer patient. It is for these reasons I have worked so hard to get Prop. 29 passed. I truly hope you never need my help or the help of the American Cancer Society but I will be here for you until my dying days. So now you can help me by voting YES on Prop. 29 today.


Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy said...

Hello! I was addicted to nicotine for about 14 years and this March I tried hypnosis therapy and it worked. It finally worked..

VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting said...

Congratulations on becoming smoke free. While the research on hypnosis is showing mixed results--every method will work for some smokers, there is no method that works for every smoker.