There’s a website called Quit Assist to help folks stop smoking cigarettes. The motto is Quitting Never Felt So Good. “There are hundreds of programs, telephone quitlines, websites, apps, and other tools available to help you quit and stay tobacco-free. Many resources are free or low-cost. Here is a partial list to help you get started.”
Thursday, November 17, is the 2022 Great American Smokeout. I hope you can quit smoking. If not for you, then do it for me. Or someone like me.
My father used to smoke cigarettes, Winstons. I remember it well because he would send me to the corner store to buy them for him, starting when I was five or six. This was back in the day when they’d let minors purchase tobacco. This really irritated me. The store at Front and Gaines was only three very small house lots away. Why didn’t he get his own darn cigarettes?
Of course, I never said that. Still, I ALWAYS hated the smell and the taste of the smoke in the air. When I was a little older, and he had graduated to having me buy cartons, I would occasionally steal a pack from time to time, hoping the added expense would get him to at least cutback. Nah. He’d just say, “Give me back my cigarettes.”
These are the good old days
Of course, cigarettes were much more prevalent when I was growing up, with the coffin nails allowed in planes; smoke didn’t know to stop at the non-smoking section, I’ve learned.
It takes me a little by surprise, then, to confront tobacco these days. Those folks who stand just outside the door to a building when they’re supposed to be 20 feet away. Some dude moves away from the hospital onto a path that everyone going that way must pass. Or those who can’t seem to be able to read the quite visible “no smoking” signs in the bus kiosks because they need to light up there, especially when it’s windy and/or rainy. Am I supposed to stand out in bad weather?
Smoking makes me particularly grumpy because I have an annoyingly acute sense of smell. I can sometimes pick up the scent ten meters away. It’s a bit of a curse when our next-door neighbor is puffing away on their property line.
So, at the bare minimum, be aware of your environment when you light up. Better still, save your money. Cigarettes are expensive these days, especially in New York, where they’re about $12 a pack. I swear they were 35 cents when I grudgingly bought them for dad.