My One Year Anniversary of No Smoking

As Stengel would have said – “Who-da-thunk-it.”

By: Tim Bryce – Columnist News Talk Florida

It’s now been one year since I smoked my last cigar.  Some of you may remember me writing about it in my column, “My Last Puff.”  Here is what I have learned along the way…

First, several people said I couldn’t quit as they knew how much I enjoyed it.  I even went on a fishing trip in North Carolina where my friends tempted me to smoke.  They said, “After all, we’re on vacation, right?”, and there is nothing like a good cigar while fishing in the wild.  Remarkably, I didn’t take the bait.

I enjoyed cigars for 45 years, particularly when I was working in the office, mowing my yard, or talking with friends.  Not surprising, there were many times this past year when I wished I could light one up, but I did not.  Interestingly, I have friends who still smoke cigars, but before lighting one up in my presence, they ask if I would mind the smell.  I lay their concerns to rest by inviting them to smoke.  After all, I still love the smell, but as for me, no.

I am also not an overbearing anti-smoking advocate as I believe it is a personal choice for a person to make.  It’s like anything where you assume risk, and you have to live with the consequences, but I certainly do not look down my nose at anyone who smokes.

I also resent the obnoxious taxes applied to smoking.  I am old enough to remember when a pack of cigarettes cost just 35 cents, and a “good” cigar was no more than a buck.  This all began to change in the 1970’s.  Today, cigarettes are about $5.50 a pack and a good cigar is about $5.00.  I find it amusing the government claims there is no inflation.  At least I’m saving money for quitting.

On a serious note, I quit because I thought the time had finally come to do so.  I didn’t take any nicotine patches, nor hypnosis or special chewing gum; I just made up my mind to quit and that was it.  People claim I have some rather strong will power.  Maybe, but it just seemed to be the right thing for me to do, and here I am one year later, smoke free.

But I still love the smell of a cigar.

Keep the Faith!