THR to the Rescue by Steve Chase
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.