Saturday, January 20, 2007

Smoking Update

Okay, this will be one of my most boring posts ever. I just wanted to let anyone who is interested know that it has now been almost 6 months since I quit smoking. Absolutely smoke free. Didn't cheat or sneak even once.

I had quit smoking cigarettes before. But I generally replaced them with a pipe or cigars. The rationale behind the pipe was that it broke the habit part of smoking. With cigarettes, it's easy to just pop one out of the pack and fire one up without really thinking about it. But with a pipe, it takes some thought.

You have to make decisions. Which pipe do I want to smoke? What tobacco? I have to pack the pipe. I have to light the pipe. I have to keep the pipe going. There are arcane tools and gadgets involved. You have to think about smoking a pipe.

The rationale behind cigars was much less complicated. Cigars are just really fucking good!! Each one is a handcrafted work of art.

The complexity of subtle flavor combinations rivals that of the finest wines. And like wines, they will improve with age if stored properly. I once smoked a Cuban cigar that was older than I was and it was exquisite.

But this time, I went completely smoke free. No cigarettes, no cigars, no pipes, nothing. I used the gum and patches to ween myself off the nicotine, but I haven't had either one of those in months.

All in all, giving up the smokes was easier than I thought it would be. I'll never go back. But I absolutely refuse to become one of those born-again, anti-smoking Nazis. Smoke or don't smoke, I don't care. Being around smoke and smokers doesn't bother me or make me want to smoke. If I go to a bar to listen to some music, I fully expect to come out smelling like smoke. I ain't passing no laws. I made a choice. Other people can make their own.

Speaking of choices, my girlfriend also chose to quit smoking. But my girlfriend has bigger balls than me! She just went cold turkey! No patches, no gum, nothing! Her reasoning was "If I'm addicted to nicotine, it doesn't make any sense to keep putting nicotine into my system. The sooner it's out of my system, the better!"

But she and I agree on one aspect of quitting. You have to be ready. You have to have made up your mind that you are DONE! You can't go around saying "I'm trying to quit, but it's hard!" Wah. Wah. Wah. You put out that last cigarette and from that moment, you have quit. You don't smoke anymore. You are now a non-smoker. That's the only way to do it.

So, if you are thinking about quitting, take this as encouragement. If you like smoking and don't want to quit, light one up right now with my blessing. People need to make up their own minds and make their own choices. And they should be free to do so without a bunch of whiny pussies passing laws to take their choices away from them. God bless America.

Stay warm!


Spyder said...

Congrats on this achievement!

Dan said...

Like you, I don't care if other people smoke. Unlike you, I don't think I ought to have to put up with their obnoxious smell in bars. NYC and Minneapolis have better night lives than KC, and they have banned obnoxious people from smoking and ruining the air for everyone else.

Xavier Onassis said...

See, immediately when you start using terms like "obnoxious people" you completely lose my support.

Smokers are not inherently "obnoxious people".

Smokers aren't "ruining the air for everyone else". They are exercising their choice.

You can exercise your choice by choosing to go elsewhere.

Your choice to be smoke free DOES NOT trump a smokers choice to smoke.

Your are no better than anyone else.

Don't want to be around smokers? Fine. Go someplace else.

You have no right whatsoever to demand that they be the ones who should make way for you.

Get over yourself.

Dan` said...

If someone comes in stinking of BO, he or she is obnoxious. If someone comes in and voluntarily lights up a cigarette, he or she is obnoxious.

The weakness in my argument is not whether people who choose to stink are obnoxious, the weakness is in how to best respond. One way is as you suggest - let the market cure the problem, and see if smoke-free bars take over.

The other is to use the democratic process to ban smokers in public places. That's the way I roll.

emawkc said...

XO-- I thought of you when I saw this...

Can brain damage help you quit smoking?