Smoking was my adult “binky” for many years. During times of stress, it was an excuse to physically remove myself from my house or work, sit outside and coolly ponder life. I’d go back inside, guilty and shaky from the chemicals, already planning my next break; caught in a cycle of obsession that spiraled along and perhaps served to keep my mind occupied from things that were truly freaking me out.
Oddly, when I lived around a bunch of non-smokers I craved my special break time more. Their shiny health and vitality, structure and normality made me want to run away to a grey corner somewhere with my pack of American Spirits. When I moved closer to my restaurant friends, I was knee deep in a degenerate pirate lifestyle. The all-night boozing and chain smoking was fun… for about two minutes. I was quickly overwhelmed and one day, I stopped smoking. I haven’t had a single cigarette in two years.
De-romanticizing smoking was my addiction’s off-switch. For those serious about quitting smoking in the New Year, I offer these words of positive discouragement. Smoking:
• Scares away the opposite sex faster than a virulent crotch rash. Hot people don’t want ash-flavored drool all over their hotness; they don’t say “Omnomom, gimme some yellow tarry phlegm.”
• Makes a person look older than a white-bearded wizard with a crack habit. Every middle-aged smoker I know looks like they are trying to melt the skin off their face.
• Is for losers. Think about who smokes- It’s not highly successful professionals (an obvious exception is our country’s leader, who used to smoke before running for president.) More often smokers include: the homeless, Jersey Shore cast members, frustrated restaurant workers, and mopey hipsters. No one aspires to be a hobo/greaseball/dead end job person with terrible taste in music.
May I suggest…
Instead of buying a pack of smokes, get some loose-leaf tobacco. Now take an old sock that has been mildewing in an forgotten corner of the bathroom for a few months, and put some of the tobacco in it, along with some dirt and used cat litter. Now place in the mouth like an oversized Snus. What, this is nasty? So is drowning in tar and turning into a dirty old wizard who can’t get laid.
Don’t be discouraged
Take Anthony Bourdain- This guy was a walking, (barely) breathing chimney in his heyday. He quit late in life, and looks better now than when he was younger. It’s never too late to quit!