Thursday, March 15, 2007

Does a Smoking Habit Ever Really End?

This is not related to guns in any way that I can think of right now. It is a life issue shall we say. I stumbled on an article in Salon while following a link. Rebecca Traister quit smoking a few months ago. She doesn’t regret her decision, but she’s had all sorts of minor health problems since then; flu, pinkeye, weight gain, clumsiness, head lice, etc.

I used to smoke and I enjoyed it. I decided to quit because I feared it would affect my health eventually. Let’s face it, putting a tube of burning plant matter in your mouth and lighting it on fire is not something that God and/or evolution designed us to do.

It’s been years now and I still miss it. I forget how many years since I quit smoking, but it’s been more than twenty. Quitting was the right thing to do, but every now and again I still want a good smoke.

I’ve backslid over the years. Right now, I could find two maybe three packs of cigarettes at home. Each has one or two cigarettes missing. The remaining cigs are so old now that touching a match to them might be like igniting flash powder. Poof, and the cigarette is gone. Magic!

Yosemite Sam smoked cigars, but he never developed a habit. It was just something he tried out. Don’t tell him, but he’s missing a couple of cigars from his old stash.

I find that if I’m at a casino, in a bar, or if I have to really think about something I’m writing for work, I want to smoke again. The writing thing is left over from college and graduate school. Smoking got me through both.

As far as casinos or bars, part of it is all the other smokers around me, but there’s the feeling that they’re the perfect places to smoke. I can imagine Rick's Cafe' Americain in fictional Casablanca. Humphrey Bogart is squinting his eyes against his cigarette’s smoke as he leans over to light Lauren Bacall’s cigarette. It just seems right.

I do recommend that people quit smoking or never take it up. I’m sure it’s bad for you, but I think I’ll always miss it. I wonder if the urge to light up ever really ends.

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