THR to the Rescue by Steve Chase

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45+ years of being a professional smoker. What an accomplishment! That is approximately 300,000 cigarettes. If I averaged that out at ten cents a piece the total dollar amount would be about $30,000.00. My medical costs are on-going from a heart attack and emphysema and lord knows what other disease is lurking down the road. Throw in lighters, cars that I’ve infested and took a beating trying to sell, burn holes in furniture and extra insurance cost. The list goes on and on and on and before you know it that adds up to some very serious money. It’s embarrassing and that is just the money side of the equation.

So what was the up side to this insanity? It is extremely hard for someone who has never smoked to truly understand. Just try and explain the sensation of a throat hit to them and they will look at you like you have frogs hopping out of your ears. I did enjoy smoking. No, I loved it…The habit…the ritual…the throat hit…after a meal…the relief of stress. Particularly for the relief of stress. A cigarette is by far the best tool I have ever found to solve that problem. The effects are instantaneous and I think that is universal for most smokers. But as much as I was enamored by and a slave to this vice I knew I had to quit.

Now it does not matter to me how someone is able to quit smoking (with the exception of Chantix). Cold turkey, nicotine gum, patches, whatever, I think that is wonderful…IF… it can stand the test of time. Unfortunately for me none of those aids were effective enough to get me to quit for good. Even in the face of a heart attack and COPD. It was not a lack of focus. Take it from me a heart attack will get your undivided attention and will give you plenty of incentive to quit smoking…until…you are confronted with a loved one facing a life or death situation…Or your house is on fire …Or some jerk steals your Social Security number…Or your car breaks down and you are in the far left lane during rush hour…Or your college age teenager has decided that he wants to make a career out of journalism at NBC. When panic sets in what is a former smoker (who is already on shaky ground) going to do? Call the Smoke Free America Help Line? A wild guess here, probably not.…Start chewing a bunch of nicotine gum? Heartburn City…Slap on a patch or two? ROFLMAO…Or drive down to the 7-11, buy a pack of cigarettes and burn a few down to the filter in two drags…Ahhh the stress is gone…my old friend has returned to save the day…… I will be back to a pack a day within a week.

Smokers know that to quit is one of the hardest things we will ever try to accomplish. Non smokers hear that all of the time but they really don’t understand it. How could they? They will offer all kinds of advice but they don’t have the experience to comprehend the real life problem. Think about it…here you are trying to quit smoking…and that in itself is going to cause a tremendous amount of anxiety and stress…and the main tool you have used all of these years to relieve stress is a cigarette. It’s cheating in reverse and with me at least, there was no effective way to break the cycle. That is the main reason why electronic cigarettes allowed me to quit smoking for good. I was able to unload all that was horrible about smoking and keep what was needed and necessary. Tobacco Harm Reduction works.

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38 Comments

  1. mongrel says

    I think you’ve summed up the biggest reason why I was able to quit. For any time in the past I always felt there was the possibility that one day I’d need that relief and that is why everything else has failed for me.

  2. muertala says

    This is the exact reason why I quit, and now I have saved a lot of money and I feel so much healthier

  3. Michelle says

    Yep you said it all!!! Great Blog

  4. Keyzy says

    Perfection! We are addicted to the behavior as well as the nicotine, with electronic we get to keep both. It works. Its the best harm reduction strategy ever.
    Great post!

  5. dandelionwings says

    totally sums up how i feel, but add to that —there are smokers that can quit cold turkey and never look back….more power to them, kudos, yay raw and all that jazz….and i hates them lol cuz they don’t understand, either. 😛

  6. saboinia says

    good for you….i do feel the samw way….for me 23 years

  7. d1gw33d says

    Great write up man

  8. Tonya Miller says

    Awwwwweeeesoooommmee article Steve, I too have never relapsed to the analogs thanks to my PV, even through the loss of my Husband/Love of my life!

    E-cigs work, no excusses needed!

  9. mrcrunch08 says

    You couldn’t be more right. It all hits home and being able to still have a ritual is what gets my through another day. Keep blogging.

  10. slap_maxwell says

    Nice tale! I smoked for about 35 years…luckily never suffered any catastrophic illnesses from it (yet). And what’s funny is I only turned to e-cigs because I was out of my MYO tobacco and Walgreens didn’t have my old pre-made brand — but they *did* have a Blu disposable. the end of February will be two tears from that day and haven’t had a cig since. But every time I *tried* to quit I never made it. Go figure! 🙂

  11. Anthony says

    great blog.

  12. sandie says

    Great blog Steve and you are right….no one understands but a smoker. Nic is easy to quit its the act of smoking that is impossible without a replacement.

  13. ghostdogg79 says

    Awesome blog Steve…me15 years

  14. Moxie says

    I’m sorry that this blog post is just too funny… I was ROFLMAO, after reading about ummm…. your life. I guess it’s not so hysterically funny when it really is your life, but I could not help myself. I also have to say your cig cost is a little off, considering that a pack was probably around 10 cents when you started smoking… but who’s counting the cost when it’s really your life we’re talking about. The cost of lung/heart diseases, really take a toll. And the cost of vaping…the reduction of harm…priceless! Great write up. Next time I’m in a jam and my stress level is off the charts, I’m slapping on a patch right where it counts!

  15. Steve Chase says

    Normally don’t respond to comments because I feel that I’ve had my say and I should get out of the way and let the comments section bring in new ideas. Having said that I want to thank you all for your very kind responses. I do appreciate it very much. I am very new to blogging and I tend to write like a down home conversation so I am happy that they make sense and that the humor is coming through. Now about my estimate on the cost of cigarettes, I actually did pull out my calculator and run the numbers. I started smoking in the mid to early 1960’s and for the first couple of years I was stealing them. Also consider I have always lived in a tobacco state where prices were dirt-cheap. In the 60’s -.30 cents a pack. 70’s -.50 cents. 80’s -$1.00. 90’s- $2.00 to $3.00. Since then they rose in price rapidly. And Moxie if my blog brought a smile to your face..it made my day! Careful where you slap that patch.

  16. slap_maxwell says

    Cigs were about 75 cents a pack in Florida when I started smoking in the mid 70’s; but who can calculate the total costs that you outlined…and possible costs to come. Vaping has the potential to save people tons of money beyond the cost to vape vs cost to smoke paradigm! We gots to continue getting the word out!

  17. Courtney says

    great blog!

  18. imtheboss says

    Nice story for people to follow. Im sure it inspired alor of people.

  19. Anthony says

    very good story

  20. Philippe says

    thank

  21. brisn says

    I feel the same way, When I switched to e cigs it was the best decision that I have ever made.

  22. Johnathan Brown says

    Great write up and I enjoyed reading it. Glad you have found a safe way to get your nicotine!

  23. brian says

    Very nicely put,

  24. brian says

    very nicely put

  25. tiffjamesnjj says

    i love the new flavors and plumes of vapor, and the fact that it’s not killing anyone!

  26. Karla Lyle (MsV8PR) says

    I agree! I tried it all too and vaping is the only thing that worked for me too.

  27. muertala says

    Amen, thank the gods for vaping

  28. WindLvr says

    I never get tired of reading these blogs. I am not sure if it is the ongoing help that I crave to stay away from cigarettes? Or is the simple fact there are other people out there doing the same damn thing I am?!?! It’s probably a fine mixture of both, so I guess I will keep on enjoying people’s stories. Thanks for sharing yours Steve!

  29. Ralph Tirella says

    its not easy for alot of people, my friend quit a little over 2 years ago and he had been smoking for little over 15 years, he tried some pills and all the sudden he got every side effect, burning urination, dry eyes, blurry vision, and more and he went right back to the doc and they said uh oh, well good news we will give u different pill to try, bad news you cant stop we have to ween you off. haha , he eventually did stop, and then last year he found out he had stage 4 esophageal type cancer, in dec he had his last pet scan and apparently he beat it, which surprised us all because for the 2 months i drove him back and forth to the hospital we really thought he was a goner. and me and him LOVED smoking when we were younger we would buy a carton in the morning and smoke all 10 packs, if we were partying that night may have to buy couple more, cigs keep going up in price and gas keeps going up, and it was my little buddy, i still believe smokers rights have been trampled on, and it just sucks. but i can really relate to your story.

  30. Holden says

    Great 😉

  31. Clawfield says

    Love It 😉

  32. Holden says

    good

  33. Chad says

    Great blog!

  34. Tyler says

    you said it all man great blog

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