I learned something new about smoking the other day. It may accelerate degenerative disc problems in your back. That's what a University of Utah spine expert told us is showing up in early research. This is just one more reason to stop smoking or never start. Add this to causing lung cancer, throat cancer, and heart disease…even higher risk pregnancies and birth defects. The list goes on and on.


Why would anyone smoke these days? Yet people do and the cost to them and our society is huge.

Certainly we have made progress. I can remember in the 50's when it seemed everyone smoked and TV was filled with commercials for Lucky Strike cigarettes. I can remember thinking the pitchman for another brand, Kent, was so suave.

Fortunately, the TV ads are gone and movie characters seems to smoke less, as well. But the cancer rates are still high.

I am glad my children seem to "get" how bad a public health problem this is. And, as far as I know, none of their friends smoke. I hope it stays that way, because even if it seems fun now, the health problems later will be a real downer.