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I really have no reason not to smoke.

I have one.

I was on the high school cross country team. The swimming team. The diving team. I was the sit-up champion of the high school and had endurance others only dreamt of.

Then I smoked for 30 years.

One day I got a hacking cough which would not go away, but I smoked my way through it. Then I started getting short of breath, but I smoked my way through it, because it was too hard to quit (although I did it many times.)

Today I have asthma, occasionally severe. I cannot get insurance because as soon as the companies see my history of smoking coupled with breathing difficulties, I am rejected.

I cannot walk to the end of the property without being short of breath, and I cannot run up and down the driveway with my dog, playing fetch with a stick.

When I get a cold, my lungs fill with fluid which my body can no longer break down and carry away. A cold for me lasts a month, a month where I cannot sleep, cannot lie down, and where my coughing rouses the neighbors.

I curse every day that I smoked, that I was too weak to quit, that I said "I have no reason not to smoke."

My mother wears an oxygen mask, and can barely walk from the livingroom to the kitchen. I see my future, and I do not like it. I see your future too. How does it appear to you?
 
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