"I can't run. I can't breathe"

Photo of 20 year-old Iris holding the message that 'I can't run and I can't breathe.'

Iris started smoking in Paris, France at age 17 so that she too could look "cool," like her smoking friends and like Rhonda. Little did Iris realize that being "cool" meant no more running. Tars and carbon monoxide quickly rob the body of up to 30% of its breathing capacity. Imagine never again being able to engage in prolonged vigorous physical activity. The heart and muscles need extra oxygen for vigorous exercise. But smoking fills Iris's bloodstream with carbon monoxide and half of the carbon monoxide she inhales is still circulating in her bloodstream four hours later.

The above photo is owned and was taken byJohn R. Polito on November 17, 2005. Iris has consented to her photo's use in association with any not-for-profit non-commercial youth smoking prevention or cessation education effort, as does John R. Polito, so long as the photo's use is accompanied by accrediation to Link to higher resolution version.

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Page last updated June 6, 2015 by John R. Polito