|Life's expensive enough without smoking|
The campaign against smoking has been going on for years. I don’t know really how successful that campaign has been, but I must give credit to those who are against smoking for their persistence. A news note 100 years ago reported:
“Instances of the cigarette evil continue to accentuate the importance of the crusade which is now in progress. From East St. Louis comes the account of a young man of 23 who has just become insane after 11 years of smoking cigarettes.”
Now I don’t know how many people since that time have become insane from smoking. I can, however, vouch to witnessing smokers coming close to going insane because they didn’t have a cigarette.
As a good dad and granddad, I should say over the years I do recognize a smoking habit is not an easy one to dump. I’ve cited health statistics, quoted insurance rates, pointed out a heavy smoker can spend enough on cigs in one month to make a car payment and I even offered bribes. My lectures have only worked twice. My son quit the smokes at least six times, but still continues puffing. A couple of grandsons smoke on a “limited basis” governed by their own economics.
One of my two success stories comes from the betterhalf who once smoked only on social occasions and still insists she quit ‘cause she wanted to and not from my constant lecture of sticking around long enough to see her grandsons graduate from school. Just where is my second success story?
That success story came from yours truly. My smoking story seemed to revolve around a guy who, with just a few months of a college education, was bent on trying to create a macho image. At that time I never considered smoking held the potential to be a life-long habit
Cigarettes were my choice, but they required the expense of a Zippo lighter, or at least a book of matches ...and smokers constantly wanted to mooch a cigarette. Soon I realized this smoking deal could get expensive. If I remember correctly cigs cost around 20 cents a pack.
The money factor played a role in the change of my smoking effort. I was then convinced smoking a pipe was the most affordable way to go. After all, the commercials always showed this cool character walking around with a pipe between his teeth while the girls would smile and remark of the good fragrance of his tobacco. There was no mention in those commercials of a pipe stem creating a sore tongue, a leaky tobacco pouch, or a few burn holes sprinkled down the front of your favorite shirt because of pipe ashes cascading from the pipe bowl.
By the time I got around to trying cigars I found they were unacceptable in most circles because of strong, stinky odor. People actually had the nerve to tell you “no smoking” in their house, or business.
Finally, after a few months, the old light bulb went off. My early college education came through. I asked, “Self, why not just quit smoking?” So I did -- cold turkey. Unfortunately my monthly college budget during those years still came up short. And, even today, life is expensive without smoking.