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Twenty years ago today, ten in the morning (it was a Saturday), I sat up in bed and lit up the last half of a cigarette I’d started the night before. And that was it – the last time tobacco passed my lips.

Welllll, not counting the second hand stuff. I’ve been known to sidle up to any sad group of outside smokers and sniff hard. That’s not cheating, right?

Unkle B quit about the same time and never looked back. Me, I miss it every day of my life. I take my vices very seriously. I would’ve liked to live out my life a smoker, and die young of something acute before the first soft tendrils of dementia enwrap my brain.

On the other hand, brand name smokes are approaching £9 a pack here. Given my 2.5 pack a day habit at the end, that would come to $33.75 a day. That would seriously cut into my smack habit.


Comment from gromulin
Time: May 17, 2017, 8:26 pm

About 17 years for me. Then The Gum…which was worse to quit than the ciggys. At least you had to slink off outside to have a smoke. With the gum, I could have a sustainable nicotine high from the morning until bedtime! Even in meetings! Finally quit that, then cigars. Quit those. Then the gum again…now The Vapes. Nicotine is a bitch.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 17, 2017, 8:28 pm

You need a ‘like’ button on your posts Miss Sweasey!

That smack joke nearly caused my “IT” coffee to spatter the flatscreen.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 17, 2017, 9:03 pm

The gum didn’t do anything for me. I wanted to stick something in my mouth and light it, dammit.

I’ve been tempted to try a cigar, but I’m pretty sure the pull of addiction is too strong and it would suck me right back in.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: May 17, 2017, 10:42 pm

Never started. Even as a kid I didn’t like the smell, even though all the cool people did it.

Maybe it helped that I was never in to being cool either. One job I had in college was clerk in a convenience store. Mid seventies most brands cost $0.55 a pack, and back then it seemed too expensive to me (I got something around $2.15/hr). Much much worse now, even allowing for inflation.

Do enjoy a cigar, very infrequently. Maybe once a month, with a Scotch or Bourbon or port.

Comment from AliceH
Time: May 17, 2017, 10:43 pm

Great. Now I *really* want a cig.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: May 17, 2017, 11:17 pm

Every few years I smoke a pack a day for a month or two then quit cold turkey. I’ve done this six or seven times now. I’m now 68 years old and I figure I could probably start full-time again as I’m likely to be dead from some other cause before the 15% chance of lung or heart disease from the cigs catches up with me. But I enjoy the reaction I get when quitting smoking comes up in conversation and I tell my tale.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: May 18, 2017, 12:19 am

I quit in 2012 when I was hospitalized with a blood clot in my lung and pneumonia…I don’t at all miss it and wish I’d quit a lot sooner, the money I’m saving is awesome 🙂

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 18, 2017, 12:20 am

Congratulations, Stoaty. My mother quit, and was mad every day for the rest of her life that she couldn’t enjoy a cigarette with her morning coffee and her pre-dinner cocktail.

I was a social smoker—a pack would last me about 3 days, but it was still hard to quit, which I did in 1991. It was a long time (years, in fact) before I wanted a mixed drink because without a cigarette, it just felt all wrong.

Comment from Pablo
Time: May 18, 2017, 12:41 am

After 30+ years of a pack a day habit, and quitting attempts (and strategies) too numerous to count, one day about 5 years ago, while in the grips of a nasty chest cold, I decided I liked breathing better than smoking. I got an e-cig and kept it around (in case of emergency) for about 6 months. Haven’t looked back and I don’t miss it a bit.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: May 18, 2017, 12:49 am

I’m probably closing in on 20 years as an ex-smoker myself! It took a lot of tries but the patch eventually worked for me. I never miss it myself but I do have dreams about smoking from time to time. I started when I was 13 or 14 because Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer made it cool.

Comment from tinman
Time: May 18, 2017, 1:19 am

Good on ya, Stoaty! Beating any addiction is tough, and tobacco is one of the hardest. But every day without a cancer stick extends your time here with us and that’s what matters most. Who else is going to be our chicken expert if not you?

With the health and medical monetary benefits of kicking the habit, I can truely say to you “Live long and prosper.”

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: May 18, 2017, 1:59 am

I love watching old movies, but there’s often something that always gives me a twitch: an actress who is cute, or downright beautiful, and charming, and then she lights up.

But congrats to you on beating the habit and staying smoke-free.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: May 18, 2017, 2:15 am

Rich, and you can’t count out the image of Bogie with a cig dangling from his lips.

Definitely cool.

But even still, it always bugged me how smokers, and everything around them, stank. Guess losing your sense of taste and smell can have benefits… but when the benefit is not being aware of how you smell (and your breath, and your skin, and your hair, and your clothes, and your car, and your house, and your dog, and your kids…) it seems an unmixed blessing.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: May 18, 2017, 2:33 am

13 years and going strong for me… January 24, 2004 in the middle of a snowstorm. Cold Turkey.

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: May 18, 2017, 4:17 am

(Almost) 2 1/2 years for me. I quit the New Years after my daughter was born.

And yes, just like you I miss it. Every. Single. Day. But, I’m proud to say I haven’t cheated once since I quit. Not a single puff. Because, a single puff would lead me back to my 2+ pack a day habit. Ugh.

Financially it wouldn’t hurt – cigarettes are still around $1 a pack here (local Philippines brands). But the idea that I failed yet again… And that my daughter would associate that _stink_ with her father…

*sigh* One. Day. At. A. Time.

Comment from Timbo
Time: May 18, 2017, 6:23 am

EspressoBold, I didn’t think that you would keep your Christmas leftovers for so long!

Comment from Niña
Time: May 18, 2017, 11:11 am

My dad had a heart attack at 44. Quit smoking and never looked back. My mom, however, still had urges three decades later. I could never bring myself to inhale that crap, after years as a childhood asthmatic. If I wanted to choke I could just not take my meds, right?!

Good on all you quitters!

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 18, 2017, 1:35 pm

I “learned” to smoke the summer I was fourteen, which I spent with five older cousins—all boys, whom I adored with all my heart. We were on a horse ranch deep in the Arizona desert, and we sat up late every night under the stars, smoking and talking about life. They all smoked, but one smoked Camels which is what his father smoked, making it easier for Cousin to liberate the occasional pack. So naturally I learned to smoke Camels first (though I soon switched to Winstons when I bought my own).

There were two things I always wanted: to smoke a cigarette plucked right off the assembly line before it went into the package, and to eat a Snickers bar before it was wrapped up. Now I no longer smoke, and I can’t eat peanuts anymore.

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 18, 2017, 1:58 pm

I tried the patch too. Could never keep the damn thing lit.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: May 18, 2017, 2:21 pm

I really don’t know how I missed becoming a coffin-nail addict. My mom smoked Pall Malls (and later some generic brand), and always had a couple of packs in a drawer in the kitchen. “As long as you’re up, honey, would you bring me a pack?” And I’d go to the drawer, which was never locked, and bring one back.

Earlier — this was the *early* Sixties, mind you — she’d send me down to the corner tavern to get a pack for her from the vending machine. Nobody noticed or cared.

And several of my heroes from fiction, James Bond and Ellery Queen, were both big smokers. ‘Tis a miracle, says I, that I never had the desire to try the things. (Maybe it was indeed the smell that hung around the living room –)

Now I did try pipe smoking for a few years in the Eighties and Nineties. Once or twice a week, no inhaling. Everybody told me how great my tobacco smelled. I gave it up when you couldn’t bring the pipe into a coffee shop or restaurant any more, and I only miss it a little.

Lest you think I’m crowing about not being the addictive type, Stoaty, lemme tell you I’ve got some years sober in AA. I definitely have the addictive personality. If I do something three times, and like it all three, I’m probably going to keep doing it. If I’d started with the cigs, I’d have had a tough time getting off ’em. Kudos to you and your commenters who’ve quit!

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: May 18, 2017, 5:22 pm

For me it’s cigars – I occasionally light one up in the car, later when I get in, it reminds me of my dad and his car.

He smoked a pack a day and then would just stop, stay that way for a few years till someone at work had a kid and handed out cigars, then be back on it. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes. I tried a pipe once in college, and subsequently spent the evening enjoying the earthy bouquet of a fine Chateau Chunder – that was enough for me.

Shoot, in IT, everybody I knew smoked like chimneys and drank like fishes – code warriors then lit the next one from the one they had clamped in their lips. Little rows of burned out butts, filter end down, standing next to the terminal keyboard to mark the territory. You didn’t need to smoke your own, it was everywhere anyway.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: May 20, 2017, 1:51 am

Both my parents smoked socially in college, quit when mama got pregnant with #1. I’ve never touched the stuff. The hubby’s parents were both heavy smokers. He’s the only kid who never picked up the smoking habit. His mom (stepmother) died at age 65 of lung cancer. My maternal grandmother started smoking at 13, smoked 2+ packs/day all her life. At 97, she stubbed out a cig and said “I don’t feel so well.” She died 30 min later.

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