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When thinking that you’re special can kill you!

Just like every snowflake is unique, no one on earth has your exact fingerprints. You are one of a kind; completely unique; the only copy; there has never been anyone exactly like you nor will there ever be again. And that is a beautiful thing.

Thinking that you are special is a beautiful way to think about yourself, except when it could kill you. All of us know a smoker or smoke ourselves and when they are faced with those scary health facts, there is one mindset that is almost universal to smokers. Health facts like:

  • Smoking causes 80% of lung cancer deaths or
  • Smoking is a risk factor for miscarriage. 

Smoker’s will usually respond by thinking, “yeah but it won’t happen to me (I’m special)“.

How could they think that?

Aren’t the facts obvious? Well people who smoke want to protect themselves from change so they…well…lie to themselves. Because to someone who smokes the fear of change is more scary than the fear of dying a horrible death from smoking.

What if I fail to quit smoking? Will people laugh at me or bully me? What if it’s painful or difficult? Or my smoking friends exclude me? What if I don’t like the smoke free life?”

These fears have a greater importance in the mind of a smoker than the reality of lung cancer, premature aging and early death.


The normal reaction to these freakin’ scary health facts should be: “holy crap THIS REALLY COULD HAPPEN TO ME, smoking is killing me, I don’t have a moment to lose, I’m quitting smoking immediately!

Smokers ignore the scary health facts that demand change; they put their head in the sand. In fact that is what psychologists define as the ‘Ostrich bias’.

Ostrich bias

Ostrich bias means they actively seek out information that confirms that smoking is fine and they won’t get sick; (just like aunty what’s-her-name who smoked all her life and lived til 90) and ignore all information that says it’s really bad and they need to change.

Logic says ‘smoking is making you sick and will kill 2 out of 3 early and painfully’  but they think “it won’t happen to me, I’m the special one, I’m the 1 out of 3 that will escape the suffering and early death and see my grandkids grow up”. Well sorry to say it but unfortunately not all smokers can be the 1 in 3 and regret can be a terrible thing.

The truth is everyone is able to change and it’s never too late to quit. Just look at all these champions in our community who have kicked the butt. Logic also says that EVERY SINGLE SMOKER’S HEALTH IMPROVES WHEN THEY QUIT. Get a kick start on your healthy journey by contacting our Smoking Cessation Worker at DDACL-Tristan on 0409 573 533 or call the Aboriginal Quitline on 13 7848.

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