DAnIEL tagged this document as irrelevant
More help available for stoppers
January 17, 2012 2:26 AM
It has been said many times that there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker.
Mostly, it's smokers who say it. But, hey! No matter who says it, there is nothing more musical to the ears of a crusty old newspaper editor than to hear that there's nothing worse than him.
Yep. I am a reformed smoker. I gave up the evil weed 36 years ago. That's about a half-dozen years before I
could have taken advantage of the moral support of National Non-Smoking Week. which is this week, for the 30th time.
When I stopped smoking - after several tries, some lasting a couple of months or more - I relied on the help of a girlfriend.
She told me something had to go: either the smokes, or her.
I dumped the habit, and two weeks later, she dumped me - and there was no way I was ever going to give her the satisfaction of seeing me with a cigarette hanging from my mouth after that.
Kicking the cancer sticks works differently for different people.
It's seldom easy. At 2: 30 in the afternoon on Feb. 4, 1976, I tossed into the nearest garbage can a pack that still had six cigarettes in it.
(A friend fished them out, asking if I minded if he took them. I said, "No, go ahead, catch cancer, if you like." He said, "Anyone can quit smoking; it takes a MAN to face cancer.")
I attribute my success in stopping (not "quitting": you can't quit, you can only stop, and hope it never catches you back) to two things.
First was my pride. As I noted above, I wasn't going to let my "ex" think I was too weak to stay off the cancer sticks without her. Second was tossing those six smokes in the trash. All my earlier attempts started with me saying, "As soon as this pack is finished."
Chucking those six valuable cigarettes constituted a commitment.
No, three things: Third was the escalating cost of cigarettes. Within a couple of days of my last smoke, the price had escalated to a whopping 65 cents for a pack of 20 - three quarters (an astounding 75 cents) to buy them from a vending machine. speaking of which, whatever happened to those vending machines that were absolutely everywhere? As I had been smoking a pack and a half a day (which increased every time I started up again after "quitting"), that was turning into serious bread for a university student.
No, four things:
Fourth was my dad's pride. He was so obviously, incredibly proud of me for breaking the habit, that I couldn't have had the heart to let him down.
As a smoker himself, he knew how difficult stopping can be.
I know some smokers will go "Aha! Your dad's a smoker, and you've said he's now 97 years old! How unhealthy can it be, after all, eh?"
Sorry to rain on your smoke, folks, but apart from there being occasional anomalies to the statistical reality, dad's another of us ex-smokers. He quit - and there's a hilarious story to go with that, for another day - way back in the 1960s.
And there's a fifth thing that kept me from starting up again, despite the intense cravings (and nightmares on the eve of each anniversary of my success since then, nightmares in which I discover that I've been sneaking puffs all along). It took about six months to really notice the change. but my general health had improved dramatically.
Now there is a lot more help for those who want to stop smoking than there was (here comes the old man line!). back in my day.