Hey Smokers! Do you all know what today is?
Uh-huh. Time once again for the Great American Smokeout. Yeah, I know you don’t want to hear about it because it only reminds you how much you really don’t want to be a smoker. And how annoying it is to have your nasty little habit held up to the light by all those self-righteous nonsmokers. And especially how, darnitall, you will not be told when to quit. If you DO choose to quit, it will be on your own schedule. If ever. Am I right?
Wait, wait! Don’t hit that back button!!! Really, I am NOT here to preach.
Seriously. I was one of you. For a long time. And I tried to quit manymanymany times so I know how nearly impossible it is. But, since I have only slightly more self control than a golden retriever puppy, I’m thinking if I can do it, so too can you! You just need the proper motivation, am I right?
Okay, you probably need more than that but since I’m often asked how I quit – did I mention that it’s been nearly 10 years? – and I have no idea how I did it, I’m going to make up some stuff.
Just kidding. Partly. While I don’t specifically remember, if I ever did know, HOW I quit, I do remember some of the WHY I quit.
First of all there's the money. Sorry, but my profession requires me to put that at the head of the list. And, this is the coolest part anyway, because if you quit smoking right now you will be one of the few people in this struggling economy to actually INCREASE your income. If you inhale anywhere near a pack a day, that amounts to nearly two thousand dollars a year of after-tax money. I know, you could buy some pretty sweet stuff with that.
Plus, there are the smoking fees that you hide from yourself: the higher car, health and life insurance premiums, the cost of everything you damage by playing with fire, all that gum and tic tacs you have to buy to hide your smoker breath, and what about all those extra trips you have to make to the Kwickymart?
Then there’s your health to consider. That should actually be first but I think you know it’s bad for you. I will say that one thing that inspired me was focusing on the benefits of quitting. I found a list that tells you what happens 20 minutes after you quit and 12 hours and 2 weeks and on and on. It's nice to know what you're gaining for all your misery.
And time. OMG, have you ever stopped to think about how much time it takes to smoke? I mean, it’s not just the few minutes of actual smoking. There’s the time spent looking for your pack, and finding a light and then getting yourself to a place where you are actually allowed to smoke. Here in You-tah, that’s basically a 2 acre plot of land out by the Nevada border. I think it’s also part of a missile range so be careful with those matches. Butanyway, you then have to get yourself back and try to remember where you were and what you were doing before you were hit with the insatiable urge indulge your addiction.
You know how else quitting has saved me time? When I quit, I had to give up talking on the phone because it was just too hard if I couldn’t smoke and I’ve never really gone back to it. I’m sure my mother thinks I have the weakest bladder in the world because I would usually end phone conversations after about two minutes with a ‘gotta go pee bye’. Not very original, I know, but polite people don't challenge you on it.
By far the biggest reward for becoming a nonsmoker is freedom. You can't believe how liberating it is to no longer have to think about the how and where and when of your next nicotine fix. I did miss it for a long time. I still dream that I start smoking again and I can't tell you how disappointed I get in my dream-self.
Quitting is also a free pass to be absolutely ornery for a while. Don't even try to hold back because you will be all the more likely to go running back to your crutch, Mr. Ciggy.
So that's my sermon for today. Okay, turns out I AM here to preach. But becoming a nonsmoker is a change that is SO worth it in SO many ways that I don't feel bad for tricking you. I promise you will never regret it.
Okay, gotta run so you'll have to run spellcheck and grammer nazi your ownself.