Smoking. Is it worth quitting?

cyclists smokingWell, I wasn’t a complete idiot smoking for twenty years.  Obviously, I liked a lot about it.

What I liked most:

  • A cigarette in the morning paired with a coffee is great.
  • A cigarette  with a drink is great too
  • A cigarette  after sex, perfect
  • A cigarette  after a long commute is almost mandatory
  • I really didn’t (and still don’t) like or trust non-smokers
  • A Cigarette can keep you company.  They even help you find company.  I feel like half the people I know I met on a balcony at a non-smoking friendly house or outside of a non smoking bar.
  • Any time you are anywhere and you want to take a break, you can announce you are going for a smoke and disappear.  Now that I don’t smoke It  more difficult to find a way to say, in a non offensive manner, “This chat is boring the hell out of me, I just want to go stand over there by myself for a moment and not look at your ugly faces.”
  • Cigarettes are an excuse for loitering.  What are you doing there? Nothing, just having a smoke. OK.
  • Let’s say you are in a situation where you have been kidnapped and your hands are tied.  As a smoker you have a chance at reaching in your pocket for your lighter and burning off the rope that is binding you.
  • Photos of me looked like this (or I felt like I always looked like that):

me smoking

Why did I quit?

I quit because of family.  I often tell myself that I did it for me, and in a way I DID do it for me .  However, I know that if I didn’t have my two kids, I never would have quit.  I knew all the health risks and they scared me but not enough to stop.  I would think about them sometimes and then just have a cigarette to alleviate the worry.  I wanted to be healthy so that my health quality would be as best as it can as my children grew up.  Setting a bad example was another reason, though, now that I think about it, I didn’t start because my dad smoked, but rather because other kids smoked.

 You might have noted that I didn’t mention my wife as a reason for quitting.  That is because she met me as a smoker and even though I am glad that I quit for her sake too, her role in my cessation was different.  My wife wanted me to quit, and to her credit she did it in a very discreet manner, knowing how smokers hate being nagged about doing something that they know they shouldn’t be doing in the first place.   She never gave me a lecture about it or asked to me to stop.  Even when I quit she didn’t make a big deal out of it, though I knew she was happy.  In addition, I am often grumpy and the quitting made it worse, and she put up with that and was the best nicotine patch I could have.

I won’t get into the difficulty of quitting, or how great you feel once you are liberated from cigarette smoking.  There are tons of sites on those issues.  It isn’t fun to quit and even after two years I still miss it.  Even when I run past people smoking on a park bench, I take a deep breath just to remember the smell.  Then I sometimes remember how good it is to be running too.

6 thoughts on “Smoking. Is it worth quitting?

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