Just recently, I had to leave work immediately after a phone call to fly across the country to visit my dad; his life was hanging on a fraying thread. He had been admitted to the ICU with double pneumonia and a critical heart issue. The cause, smoking. Ever since I can remember, my dad had a cigarette in his mouth. The only time he didn’t light up was at church.
It took many years for his smoking to catch up with him, but little by little, cigarette by cigarette, his health deteriorated. He remained in the ICU sedated for weeks while doctors constantly checked on his precarious condition. I spent two weeks next to his lifeless form hoping and praying his time would not be then. Fortunately it wasn’t. After many months of learning how to walk again and other intense rehab he was on the mend.
Like everyone else he was aware of the risks of smoking. Like many smokers he thought, “It won’t happen to me”. If he had really wanted to avoid this near death experience he could have put forth the effort to stop.
I do not hate smokers, but I believe my experience can help smokers understand the potential havoc this addiction can cause on loved ones. I could have lost him. Even though he has his issues, as we all do, he is my dad and losing him would have been devastating.
So what does this have to do with Christmas? The answer is quite simple.
Most people know over 1.3 million people world-wide are smokers and an average of 443,000 Americans die of smoking each year. But what many people do not know is 3.5 million people in the United States have lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning affects the central nervous system and red blood cells. Some statistics show that lead poisoning leads to mental retardation during pregnancy, reduced mental development as a child progresses and a reduction in the child IQ. Other symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain and chronic headaches. Studies have show that exposure to high amounts of lead is the predominant cause of anemia.
Why isn’t there an aggressive campaign to combat lead poisoning as there is to stop smoking? Mathematically, the consequences of lead poisoning are more rampant than those of smoking.
PVC contains lead. California is considering a ban of the use of PVC in packaging because studies have shown PVC leeches (leaks) lead.
So the question I leave you is why would you expose yourself, and those you love, to lead at Christmas by having a PVC (a.k.a. Artificial) Christmas Tree? My dad got lucky. Are you going to take a chance and risk your health and possibly your life?
Warning found on artificial Christmas tree boxes.
I am sure when smoking was becoming popular the celebrities of the time were in cigarette ads. If you visit some of these artificial Christmas tree web-sites, you will see some celebrities of our time. Do yourself a favor and think for yourself. Don’t put yourself or those you love in danger because some celebrities face was on an ad.