Smoking and multiple sclerosis

Smoking and multiple sclerosis

I was driving and my iPod was shuffled playing random songs from my entire music collection. My favorite things when driving were music and smoking. I could drive for hours smoking with the music cranking, loud. I quit smoking years ago for the final time. I didn’t wait for the last cigarette of the pack, I didn’t even throw out what was left of the pack. I woke up one day and said enough. I can’t smoke anymore. It messed with my MS symptoms and just created havoc. I don’t know why but it did. I turned to the vapor for a while especially for when I drove and eventually broke that habit. Now I don’t do either.

I was always a funny smoker. I could easily smoke a pack of cigarettes one day and go out with my parents and smoke nothing. However the second I’d leave my parents house, as soon as I got in the car, I lit the cigarette immediately. I loved smoking. I admit it. I loved it when I drove and I smoked the most when I drove. Maybe because as a child that was my escape, but for me it was always the car. I could be home all day not touch one but my car, as soon as I sat down. Today listening to some of the old iPod music like Fly to the Angels by Slaughter, I actually had a craving for one. I probably stopped smoking 3 years ago officially but I never put a date on it. I had a long stretch of five years where I quit on my grandmothers birthday on October 17. I started again for a bit maybe three years before I quit for good so I’d rather keep her date because it was one of the last things I told her before she passed. I kept that last pack that still had about 10 cigarettes left in my draw for maybe 6 months before I found them and threw them out.  I won’t smoke again, won’t even date a smoker again. However I still miss the disgusting habit. It still brings back memories maybe of my youth or a freer time. A time I wasn’t sick. I don’t know but today I wanted to drive with windows open cigarette burning.

As per the National Multiple Sclerosis Society;

In a study comparing 1465 smokers, ex-smokers and never-smokers, all of whom had multiple sclerosis, MS disability progressed more quickly in smokers, and this difference was also noted in MRI measures of disease activity. For several measures, ex-smokers did not differ substantially from never-smokers, suggesting that quitting may delay MS progression.
In a study of nearly 700 people whose medical records were reviewed by researchers in Sweden, current smokers were significantly more likely to develop antibodies associated with immunity to interferon beta treatment for MS than non-smokers.

I don’t need to lecture on why quitting smoking is a good idea and what the health benefits are. We all know them. Just thought I’d share this information and my own personal experience today. Happy Friday.

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