was am a smoker. I will always be a smoker. I started smoking when I was in my early teens. Over the last 40 or so years, I have smoked as much as not; and I have quit more times than I can count. My longest quit was for eleven years. My shortest quit, excluding the quits where I started up again within a day or two, was one year. I am currently quit again and going on three plus years this time. If I added all of my quits together, I would guess that I have not smoked 15 – 20 of the last 40 years. If I was diagnosed with a terminal disease and told I have only a short time left to live, I would run to the store to buy cigarettes.
Tobacco’s physical addiction is a cake walk to kick. A nicotine patch for a few weeks clears the way for the grudge match I have to wage with myself while I try to kick my psychological additions to the habit. Yes, I get that smoking is bad for my health. Yes, I know stale smoke and butts smell really bad. Yes, second hand smoke is bad for others; and yes, they have a right not to smell or breath smoke. Cigarettes are also outrageously expensive, and there is no place left on the planet to smoke in peace except at home. I know. I know. I know. Yet, cigarettes are my best friend; my entertainment when bored or restless. They help me think, and they make my mouth and hands particularly happy.
So, you can imagine how interested I was in this piece from Reuters. It explores why some smokers get lung cancer and others don’t.
(Reuters) – Researchers have identified a group of genes that are especially active in lung cancer patients — even in healthy tissue — and said they may be used to predict which smokers will eventually develop lung cancer.
And, they said, a natural supplement derived from food that is being tested to prevent lung cancer appears to halt the precancerous changes.
“Even in normal cells or premalignant cells prior to cancer development we see this pathway being turned on,” said Andrea Bild of the University of Utah, who worked on the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Myo-inositol is also found in fruits, beans, grains and nuts, although Bild said the finding does not necessarily explain why people who eat more of these foods have a lower risk of cancer in general.
I’ll be sure to save this tidbit right next to my copy of Final Exit.