I have a friend who smokes. Not all the time, but maybe a little more than “just when she’s out drinking”. She is polite about it, and doesn’t expose us to her second hand smoke. The rest of my friends don’t smoke, and as a whole, are vigorously and vocally anti-smoking. So as you might suspect, my smoking friend periodically gets a little well-intentioned flack from my anti-smoking friends.
At one point, she asked why it’s okay for all of us to get on her case about her occasional smoking, when it would be politically incorrect, mean, and hurtful for her to get on anyone else’s case for their unhealthy daily habits, like eating too much sugar, eating too much in general, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol, not prioritizing sleep, etc? You know, the kind of stuff we all do a little too much, a little too often. Are these things not as dangerous as cigarette smoke?
Well, dang. She had a point.
Dr David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffith Prevention Research center, said, “Children today will experience more chronic degenerative disease as a result of their poor eating habits than from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs combined.” Although he was talking about kids, research suggests that this probably applies to adults too. Quitting smoking is certainly low hanging fruit for improving health. But so is quitting sugar, and the like.
This conversation reminded me of the biblical quote about removing the log from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s. So my take home message was this – when I find myself getting judgmental about my friend smoking, instead of getting on her case, telling her what she already knows, I’m going to ask myself, What’s MY “smoking” and what am I going to do about that?
What are your thoughts about this topic? Comment below!
Update: The friend mentioned in this post quit!!!
Image credit: KsushPush