My friend went out of town today. He does not smoke. The first thing I did when he left was go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. WHAT WAS I THINKING?
When he’s here and he’s not by my side, I have a cigarette now and then. The rest of the time I chew “the” gum. You can smell smoke a mile away. So to cover up the smell, I wrap a towel around my head, put a robe over my clothes, wash my hands afterwards, swish Listerine, and brush my teeth. I also eat something because he can smell it coming out of my lungs.
I quit all the time. I’ve tried those expensive pills that have bad side effects. And the gum eats away at the enamel of my teeth but it doesn’t smell bad. My sister Teresa has been chewing gum successfully for 15 years. Nothing has worked so far. However, I have been able to quit for days, months, and once for 14 years.
If you know me, then you know that I am a recovering addict. I attend NA meetings. All addicts, including me, think we are clean. We are? There is a lot of coffee and cigarettes at those meetings (which have been detrimental to my recovery). My sponsor smokes and tells me not to worry about it. She says the alternative is worse. It is? Probably, but it would still be nice to be rid of this hideous demon.
I will not give up on quitting. I watch my father smoke one cigarette after another. He has had throat cancer. He now has colon cancer. But what’s going to kill you the fastest is COPD. His lungs will not expand properly and his oxygen levels are very low. He now has a breathing apparatus attached so he can take his oxygen treatments at home. The doctors will not give him a tank for fear that the house will explode. He won’t stop. He says, “Why? I’m going to die anyway.” Even my mom smokes.
I was watching TV early this morning and I heard a speech by David Kessler, former head of the FDA. He made me think… (uh oh)
He gave a report in 1990. I looked it up on the Internet.
“Tobacco companies now admit that nicotine is addictive; that smoking causes cancer, and I gave Mr. Parrish a lot of credit for coming out and favoring regulation.” he told CNN host Carol Lin.
If it weren’t for Kessler, we wouldn’t have those pesky warning labels on cigarette packs.
Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and that one third of our society dies each year from smoking?
In his speech to the President on 03/25/94, he said that out of every ten smokers who quit, nine try and fail and that 8 out of 10 wish they had never quit.
I found this interesting and true;
After lung cancer surgery, almost half of smokers start smoking again.
He called for cigarettes to be regulated as a DRUG. She won that debate.
Some if the symptoms of addiction apply to cigarettes.
1) compulsive use, often despite knowing that the substance is harmful.
2) a psychoactive effect that is a direct chemical effect of the brain.
3) what researchers refer to as conditions of reinforcement of the behavior of continued use.
Also, withdrawal symptoms occur when a smoker tries to quit.
Did you know that nicotine also stimulates the release of dopamine in the brain? (Which actually attracts my addictive thinking).
I AM AN IDIOT AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT IT!
Kessler said one more thing that touched me.
“For smokers who know they are addicted, for those who have buried a loved one who is addicted, it is simply no longer credible to deny the highly addictive nature of nicotine.”
So how many of you give a fuck? And how many of you have successfully quit smoking?
I wrote a poem after my second cigarette this morning.
GIVE ME A CIGARETTE!!!
You take my Breath Away
A little more each day.
My chest is in a vice.
My fingers feel like ice.
Why can’t I let you go?
You’re going to kill me slow.
Your fire burns my brain.
Your pleasure gives me pain.
your smell is in my hair
follow me everywhere
He has yellow teeth and nails.
I cough and my breath stinks.
You take my Breath Away.
I want to stop today.
SHUT UP! I’m not dead yet.
Give me a cigarette.