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Anyone here still smoke cigarettes?

Razors Edge

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I never did. WOChrisL’s parents both smoked so didn’t seem to care when she started smoking really young.  When we started dating she didn’t smoke around me and when we started living together she rarely smoked but always had a pack if cigs in her purse.  When she became pregnant she quit for good.

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Mark Twain said, "Quitting smoking is the easiest thing to do. I've done it a thousand times."

I've been there and, knowing how hard it was for me and friends to finally quit smoking, it would interesting to hear HOW people here quit.

I used to rationalize that I lived a relatively healthy life, medical capabilities were progressing, and my smoking wasn't a big health deal.  By the mid-1900's, with two parents who were the youngest of large families whose siblings were getting old, I noticed that my smoking aunts and uncles died in their 60's and 70's and the older non-smokers had reached their '80's and were all still alive.  Those were people closest to my body's genetics. I knew then I had to quit.

I finally quit on Aug. 10, 1995, a couple months before my 45th birthday, after promising one friend I'd quit by the age of 30 and trying off-and-on for years.  The biggest problem was I was always around family and friends who smoked.

In Aug. 1995, a cousin and her husband living out in semi-rural country west of Morristown, NJ, had quit smoking a couple years earlier and needed help setting up six 2-foot diameter vertical cardboard tubes which needed to be level with each other at the top and equally spaced around something like a 15 foot diameter circle, into which concrete would be poured then, later, a gazebo trucked-in, mostly pre-assembled, and placed on top.  They didn't know how to engineer it and asked for my help while I was on summer vacation from teaching.  I recognized the week it would take as a perfect opportunity to quit smoking without constant temptation surrounding me.  On top of that, they bought red wine - which I prefer - by the case, drank it frequently, and there would be plenty on hand to help me through the ordeal of quitting.

So I went up for a week with some tools, string, line-levels, etc. to show them how to do the project and help dig the holes, etc.

At 11:45 pm on Aug. 9, I walked out on to their outside deck (no smoking in house allowed) and announced, "This is my last ever cigarette!"

I kept the last two packs of cigarettes from a carton in my glove compartment because I knew there's a big difference between quitting smoking because no cigarettes are available and quitting because you want to do so.

I was cranky most of the week, but they were understanding - having quit themselves.  But I made it.  A couple weeks more and I knew I had beat it.  A year later, I threw away those two packs of cigarettes in the glove compartment.

My mother, sister and husband, brother and wife all quit for good within the next 8 months.

My mother, unfortunately, developed a cough 6 years later that wouldn't go away and it was eventually diagnosed as stage-III lung cancer and she died in 2002.  Because of that, a lifetime as a chemist in contact with lots of chemicals, and since my insurance requires no copays for tests, I get every applicable test I qualify for, including asking for chest X-rays every time I have a long-duration chest cold.  I'll probably die of radiation!

It's said that if you go 15 years without smoking, you have only 1/8 the chance of getting lung cancer as smokers do, but you'll always be twice as likely as those who never smoked.  Those odds still are fantastic compared to smokers.  If you still smoke, quit.



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In response to @MickinMD request, on my 28th birthday I realized that, going forward, I would have more smoking days than non-smoking days in my life. Recognizing that this was not a good thing I resolved to quit. Family history played a part as well. Both of my grandfathers died in their 40's, stroke and heart attack, respectively. The woman I was dating didn't smoke and I never smoked around her. I could go a weekend without smoking, I just needed to keep going. In December 1988, I went to Ohio and met her family. I quit that week. It was stressful but I used the nicotine gum for about five days and then dropped those too. The hardest part was over but the first year was hard. After that, I don't miss them anymore. It's been 30 years. May 19 will be our 29th anniversary. 

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