Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:44AM - 192 Views

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Reduce risk of COPD; quit smoking

My name is Nicholas Pratt and I am 19 years old. I am a student nurse and nationally registered emergency medical technician.

As a young man blessed to grow up in a nation with freedoms like no others, I value the amount of choices we as Americans enjoy each day.

I have recently become concerned with the destructive decision-making of many of my peers. I am flabbergasted at the number of young adults who smoke cigarettes. In the past week, I have seen five individuals with whom I attended high school smoking cigarettes.

Personally, I do not understand the appeal of cigarette smoking. That being said, you know better, people. I have seen firsthand the effects of cigarette smoking, caring for various patients in the clinical setting who have smoked for years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for nearly one of every five deaths each year in the United States.

I would like to remind the “hipster” cigarette smokers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a very real and nasty disease process. Just because you don’t feel the effects now, doesn’t mean that you will not develop complications in the future.

I do not condemn individuals who smoke; I understand that for some it is a vice. I would just like to remind everyone that smoking is an expensive habit, it’s unappealing to nonsmokers, and smoking cessation is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of COPD.

— Nicholas Pratt, Lima

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