As a former smoker, each Father’s Day is an extra special blessing for me. To think, had I not quit smoking there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be spending the day with my children and grandchildren today.
Sadly, many other African American smokers no longer have that option. According to the CDC, 45,000 African Americans die annually from smoking related illnesses, most of them men. Smoking causes more deaths for African Americans than AIDs, homicides, diabetes and accidents combined.
It took me so many years to realize the negative effect smoking had on my health. But, I’m one of the lucky ones. Since quitting, I feel so much better. Walking up and down the stairs is easy now. I wish more Father’s who use tobacco knew how much better they’d feel if they quit. That’s why I joined the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN). The WAATPN is working with the African American community to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and to support those who want to quit.
My plea is for Fathers who would like to quit or need more information about quitting to please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Do it so that your children and grandchildren don’t end up spending their next Father’s Day without you.