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Any ex-smokers out there?(32 posts)

Any ex-smokers out there?weezy
May 12, 2001 10:37 PM
It all started as a way to quit smoking. I bought my first bike since childhood thinking that I would not be able to do my nasty habit AND cycle. Well, I fell head over heals with the bike - upgraded to a decent road bike but have somehow managed to continue the nasty habit while averaging about 100 miles a week. Any suggestions? Non-smokers, please don't respond. I know all of the logical reasons for why this is a bad thing to do but I'm looking for some good psychological hints. All constructive comments welcome. Thanks!
Embarrassed to admit, but I am an ex-smokerDINOSAUR
May 13, 2001 12:32 AM
I smoked for about five years, 1/2 a pack a day on the average. I stopped when I retired Dec '98. I quit cold turkey. It was hard at first but slowly the craving diminished over a period of time. What helped me is when I took up cycling again. I could feel what smoking did to my lung capacity. I was sucking wind (pun intended)for a long time. If you are putting in 100 miles a week while smoking you are capable of probably putting in another 50-60 quality miles a week, or more, if you stopped smoking. Smoking is holding you back. You have to look at cycling as a complete package. Exercise, diet, rest and no drugs. If you are smoking, why even bother to cycle? I don't mean to be critical, but there is absolutely no benefit from smoking at all, period. Try chewing sugarless gum instead. Most people pack on about 10 pounds when they stop smoking. You can avoid this if you concentrate on your diet and snack on fruit or vegetables. Cancer kills more people in the U.S. than traffic accidents. Give it up. I can't stress this enough, you are playing Russian Routlette. I have to admit the smoking is the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life. I was just talking to my wife today about wishing I could set the clock back about twenty years and do it over, knowing what I know now. Not smoking was my first priority, followed by quiting cycling and drinking alcohol.
I don't know what else I can say. STOP NOW YOU ARE KILLING YOURSELF.
re: Any ex-smokers out there?LLSmith
May 13, 2001 5:10 AM
I gave it up about 17 years ago. At the time I was smoking 2-3 packs a day.I wont go into all the details, but I did use the nicorette gum for 4-5 weeks.It was cold turkey. I don't think any other way would have been possible for me.Our daughter was about 16 months old at the time. I would have to say that she was probably the main reason for this and so many other positive changes that have taken place. If you are riding 100 miles a week you must be concerned about your health. If you have ever lost anyone where it hurt so bad you wanted to die,remember this is the same pain you will put family and friends through.Whats even worse is the more you smoke,the closer you come to losing all things that are dear to you. For me it was a miserable month or two,but well worth it. Our daughter is now 18 and will be leaving for Georgia Tech in a few months. I'm just happy that I have been here to see it all. If you can ride 100 miles a week I know you can stop smoking. LLSmith
re: Any ex-smokers out there?Cliff Oates
May 13, 2001 7:30 AM
I'm coming up on a 2 year anniversary of my quit in July. I did 2 laps on the local 4,000' mountain yesterday, and I couldn't have done that if I were still smoking. There's a web site run by the American Cancer Society called The forums there, particularly the quitstop and q&a forum, are very active with people posting about their successes and their failures. There are also a number of documents worth reviewing in the resources section. You can get a lot of good information, and support if you need it, from that site. I know the folks there helped me quit.

In a nutshell, to increase your odds of success, use some form of NRT (I used the patch) and have some form of a support network available to you. The first week is the roughest, the second week is no fun, it gets better after 100 days, and after a year you're cruising. The only smoke you can't have is the first one -- remember that. Have a talk with your physician about quitting, he can direct you towards some local resources. Check out the quitnet, it's really a valuable resource. Good luck!
re: Long time ex here.......JimBob
May 13, 2001 7:58 AM
Smoked 2+ packs a day of hard core stuff...luckies,camels, chesterfields,etc for over 20 years.Any kind of physical activity was a burden.Quit cold turkey.Kind of a mind game thing. Was drinking lunch(3 martini type)one day and a friend asked if I had quit smoking, and I asked,'no why'? Friend replied ,'well thought maybe you did,since you haven't had one for 20 minutes'.So it's been 19 years and I still havent had one. Quit drinking and lost weight at the same time too.That's when I started riding a bike too, to get in shape an keep the weight off.Got maybe the ultimate compliment yesterday when a much younger and pretty fit rider I had just blown in the weeds managed to catch up due to a slow down caused by heavy traffic.His comment 'man you look like you were born to ride a bike....awesome'.Does't get much better than is good.
re: Any ex-smokers out there?Jim Burton
May 13, 2001 8:21 AM
I know that non-smokers shouldn't respond, but I do have some positive input. My mother had smoked since she was 15 years old. At 53, she got into triathalons. While she also didn't quit right away, the bike turned out to be her greatest motivation to quit. Cycling, with a little help from nicotine gum, has helped her get rid of her habit for the last five years. Even in the winter, when she is too much of a wimp to train outside and rarely pulls out the trainer, the motivation to cycle deters her from smoking. She says that the urge is sometimes still there. She says it is not easy all the time. But cycling does do something to everyone's discipline. For me, I am more motivated to eat healthly food. Again, something I knew was bad for me that I hadn't the will power to stop until cycling. Keep up the good work. You are definately on the right track.
re: Any ex-smokers out there?an ex-smoker
May 13, 2001 9:07 AM
Here's another angle that might help. I'm not going to sugar coat it.

You've been systematically manipulated by big tobacco corporations. Sure, you have some responsibility because you tried cigarettes -- get over it. They made sure that you'd get addicted to continue to pump dollars into their coffers. They don't give one hoot about you. They don't care if their product kills you. These people are amoral and ruthless. If you continue to smoke, you're playing their game and you can't win. Every time you light up, they're laughing at you.
I Quitgusriley
May 13, 2001 9:09 AM
I smoked a pack a day for 26 years. I truly enjoyed smoking. I thought cigarettes tasted good and soothed my nerves, yada, yada, yada. I quit 10 years ago by using the "Patch". It was easy for me and after 30 days it was much easier to stay off of them because I got my taste buds back and re-discovered the AWESOME taste of food! Previously, I never touched chicken or fish because to me they had no taste.....after I quit smoking these were re-introduced to my diet and they are wonderful! That was all I needed, I quit the patch and quit the cigarettes and have never had a craving to return...never. Oh, I gained 20 lbs, but this was weight I needed and still have, now I watch the weight, ride and I'm at a healty 165 lbs @ 5'8" tall. And feel great! Good luck quitting, I know it can be difficult, but I'm proof that smoking can be soundly beat!
Eddy Merckx smoked(*1)Breck
May 13, 2001 9:18 AM
And E-D-D-I-E!, E-D-D-I-E! smoked the boyz on the roads too. Merckx outright won over half the races he ever entered. World Mile Record holder Herb Herb Elliott smoked & he never lost a one-mile race through out his career and retired undefeated. First sub four minute miler Sir Roger Bannister smoked to calm his nerves before a race. He said the time lost was less than going into the race not relaxed. Jacky Kennedy was a three pack a day closet smoker. The famous poster from Tour book(*2) showz the Boyz lighting up. Big League ball players chew as they once lit up. Check out the 1940's & 50's Saturday Evening Post Ads "...nine out of ten doctor's smoke ...brand". Marlboro's the big into race sponsor & no bikie's heard of the Skoal Bandit? You pick out products by ads & boycott the baddies. Do you?

Mountain men smoked, Cowboys & Ranchers smoked, most sportsmen smoked
except Ernest Hemingway who said it affected his ability to smell out in dah woods, etc. The "hero" of my bike novel "Olympia 2025" smokes i assure you, but as a bad habit or fault as cannot tolerate Ayn Rand type characters & posers.

The Guv'ment's gone after smoking big time and left behind the kidz excessive consumption of cheezeburgers, fries, alcohol, lack of exercise, education, etc. Meanwhile "they" subsidize the Virginia Tobacco growers.

I smoke ...too bad the keepers of the Gate can't prevent me/ we/us from run and bike racing, huh? Real bad image for the kidz, i know but guess what ...what, help me guess. I have plenty of race tee's with Coors & McDonalds, Wineries, etc on them but none with Joe Camel ...what gives here? Say what ...what. And mebee could have improved the 1:22:17 best half-marathon but guess what ...still in the middle of the pack.

Don't you just hate it when not all the sheep follow the bellwether over the cliff.
KEY to any diet or health issue is moderation.
" Just the facts, ma'am " -- Jack Webb

*1... " Eddy Merckx ...the greatest cyclists of the 20th century ", Rik
Vanwalleghem, VeloPress, hardback edition w/ dust cover,1993.

*2... " An Intimate Portrait of the Tour De France ...masters and slaves of
the road " ,Plilippe Brunel, Buonpane Publications original hardback French
edition w/ dust cover, 1995.

MotivationJon Billheimer
May 13, 2001 11:25 AM
I smoked two packs a day for 23 years. Then my lung spontaneously collapsed twice. The result? Lung surgery, a diagnosis of emphysema, and a 22% loss of pulmonary capacity. So I started running, then a few years later cycling. Every time I get dropped on a fast group ride or by an attack over the top of a hill I curse my own stupidity. Then resolve to train harder.

The bottom line on all this is that each person has to have their own motivation. If you have a compelling personal reason to stop you'll find a way to stop. There is no easy way, whether by cold turkey or with an ergogenic aid. So my advice to you is to do some soul searching, get privately honest with yourself, and if you find your own compelling reason to quit act on it now. Conversely, you may not find a sufficiently powerful reason to kick an equally powerful addiction. For your own welfare and that of your family,like everyone else,I would urge you to stop. But I realize that all the preachments in the world won't do the job for you. This is something you have to do for yourself. Good luck and good health.
And your point is?mike mcmahon
May 13, 2001 1:44 PM
I believe I understand the main points of your message: 1) many great athletes have been smokers and 2) tobacco has been demonized while other products that are arguably as unhealthy are freely promoted and consumed with gusto. I have no argument with your second point. Our government has proven to be quite hypocritical when it comes to tobacco. However, do you believe any of the smoking athletes you mentioned would be competetive in our era if they were still smokers? Some might disagree, but I'd take a non-smoking Armstrong in his prime against a 2-pack a day Mercxk in his prime any day. You also suggest that, as with anything, moderation is the key. One problem with that argument is that the tobacco companies were (now admittedly) loading their products with elements intended to assure addiction.

To the list of smokers you mentioned add the following:

Rod Serling (lung cancer); Edward R. Murrow (lung cancer); Desi Arnaz (lung cancer); Art Blakey (lung cancer); Humphrey Bogart (asophogeal cancer); Jack Cassidy (died in fire started while smoking in bed); Nat King Cole (lung cancer); Gary Cooper (lung cancer); Sammy Davis, Jr. (throat cancer); T.S. Eliot (emphysema); Duke Ellington (lung cancer); Roger Maris (lung cancer); David McLean-Marlboro Man (lung cancer); Jesse Owens (lung cancer); R.J. Reynolds, R.J. Reynolds, Jr., R.J. Reynolds III (all smoking related deaths); Nancy Walker (lung cancer).

While I appreciate your making a point few would be willing to make, I think weezer was looking for help on how to quit not a (well-written) piece at least implying that quitting may not be necessary. At least that's the way I took it. Sorry if I mis-read the intent of your post.

Talk at you later, King of the Hill,
Mike :-)
Smoking serves no purpose....DINOSAUR
May 13, 2001 2:07 PM
Let's face it smoking is a dirty, filthy, smelly, unhealthy habit. It serves no purpose at all. I must admit when I smoked I enjoyed it at first. It was my pacifer. Everytime I encountered a little stress I would grab a smoke. After a period of time my mouth tasted like an ash tray. My cloths reeked of tobacco smoke. After a while it became an addiction which is exactly what cigarette smoking is.
If nothing else it is expensive. I was spending about a 1K a year on smokes.
Also I watched my mother die of cancer. She had a tumor in her lower stomach that was so large and so far advanced that it could not be determined where it started. She was a former smoker.
Gor forbid, I rather get taken out by a logging truck while riding my bike than die of cancer. It is a bad, bad way to go.....
Camels buck eighty a carton ...Breck
May 14, 2001 7:25 AM
USMC base price 1964.

Your right & you are always right ...that's why you/we are a Dinosaur.

..."I'm a dinosaur and shoulda died outa long time ago"
from the " Habits Old and New " album, Hank Jr.
Electra 1980

The few coffin nails i do smoke still field strip 'em. I hate butts! An occasional cigar & a corn cob pipe for show only.

cheers & Semper Fi!
Camels buck eighty a carton ...DINOSAUR
May 14, 2001 8:43 AM
Well, I gotta adimit once and a while I get a craving for a smoke and a shot of J.D. I smoked when I worked and it gave me something to do, as I was bored have out of my gord most, it not all of the time.
Actually I started smoking when I was in bootcamp, because if you didn't smoke they always had that call for "Any non-smokers?".
Anyway- to each man his own poison, mine happens to be caffine, who are we to comdemn? In the end we pay the piper for whatever vices we chose to partake...
Too Cirrus ...Breck
May 14, 2001 7:17 AM
...i sumtimes get too cirrus, like the white clouds floating bye; then they vaporize and reform jes like messages on the board. [:p)

and ..."You Never Even called Me by My Name"
DAC (David Allen Coe)

Am looking for Tom Wait but nothin' in the bins so far?!

Cuyamaca Trail Dog
Eddy Merckx smoked(*1)Cliff Oates
May 13, 2001 3:24 PM
"I smoke ...too bad the keepers of the Gate can't prevent me/ we/us from run and bike racing, huh? Real bad image for the kidz, i know but guess what ...what, help me guess. I have plenty of race tee's with Coors & McDonalds, Wineries, etc on them but none with Joe Camel ...what gives here? Say what ...what. And mebee could have improved the 1:22:17 best half-marathon but guess what ...still in the middle of the pack."

Officially, we call that junkie talk. The way you use language makes you sound young. Smoking will catch up with you. It will take your breath away, maybe more if your family is predisposed to cancer. Not now, but later, when you're in your 40's or 50's, it will come home and determine your future.

When you're ready, quit. No one has EVER been sorry they quit. I'm certainly not sorry that I quit.
Thanks Cliff ...Breck
May 14, 2001 7:11 AM
I'm past the 58 year old mark and am still curious about all things. I stopped smoking ...really smoking in 1965. Except for a few of the end of the foot-race ceegars back in the 70's. I started back when was 55 as had given up a few very bad habits and did not want to have none atall, but don't smoke all that much and then only in Church, i.e., the Bike Board [:)

When the ship is listing hard to the starboard (right) side i merely like to go to the port (left or other) to see what am missing. I fear the boat may capsize anyhow. Funny no one has yet to list the real athletic aerobic argument against smoking and continue to give testimonial as i did. Kinda like the blind man and the elephant. Mebee hark back to old Elmer gantry tent revival. "Yea, brother i have sinned, repent!" and drop coin in the plate on the way out, pleeze. How does me repenting save your soul?

To the point ...the hemoglobin in your blood has a 200% more affinity to the carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke than free air oxygen. As for alcohol, the stuff cauterizes the dendrites at the muscle level and prevents total assimilation of energy. And arteriosclerosis from animal fats and overeating clog up the arteries and close down the inner-diameter of the tubes besides being the number one killer today for society at large and lung cancer maybe 6th. Smoking is up among teenagers ...Asians 30%, White and Latino about 11%. Alcohol abuse is the number one killer among teenagers. "Old Age" may be the number one disabler among old(er) people such as me :)

"Give up your bad habits and get off your positions"

bl, bgcc
(bubble gum ceegar club)
all back in the day...never againpeloton
May 13, 2001 4:11 PM
Breck- Eddy, and the others you mention are all long gone from competition. Athletes today are so highly evolved that you could never compete at a high level and be a smoker. Look at other things from the past such as that aren't done now, doctors used to not sterilize instruments, and use ether to numb patients. Would you like to see either of these practices used today? Lots of things happened in the past because we didn't know any better. Today we have the opportunity to smarten up.
Zealots can sometimes be jerks...MikeC
May 14, 2001 7:32 AM
I've learned that when my kids do something wrong, it's easy to yell first. It's not the most effective, but it happens. It also doesn't mean that I don't love them; in fact, yelling is mostly a misguided attempt to get someone's attention and express how important something is to you.
I think it's the same with non-smokers vs smokers. We non-smokers do care. We care about you; we care about our kids; and we care about ourselves. Sometimes expressing outrage at your behavior is a way for us to renforce our own defenses against falling victim to the vice.
My dad died 11 years ago this month, during his second heart bypass surgery, at age 67. He was a smoker for about 40 years, and no responsible doctor or scientist would deny that smoking contributed to his death. I loved my father very much, and still dream about him. I know how much he would have delighted in seeing his grandchildren grow up, but he never had the chance. He was a brilliant engineer, but the power of his addiction was greater than the power of his reason.
When my youngest daughter was four, she would hold her breath and pinch her nose shut when she saw a smoker. I don't believe that she will ever smoke, and I won't apologize for encouraging her outrage against smoking. I'm sorry if we're sometimes rude when we express disgust at the habit, but it's a small price to pay for our future.
re: Any ex-smokers out there?Ted
May 13, 2001 11:27 AM
I smoked for 8 years. Then my mom died from lung cancer. Big wakeup call. I took Zyban for the required 2 weeks. It really helped me. Then I went on a little (weekend) vacation with my non-smoking dad. Kinda a get better weekend. It helped me get over the worst few days. I then took up cycling and running. I lost 80 lbs and now am in superb shape. I went from being a fat smoker to a fit runner/cyclist.

another ex-smokerBQ
May 13, 2001 12:07 PM
This might help.

Sit down at a table with a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a line right down the middle of the paper. On the left side, write things you like about smoking. On the right side, write down things you dislike about smoking. Then take a hard look into your soul and circle the three most important items on the list in either column. Then ask yourself if you really want to quit. Until you do a gut check and decide that it's important, you're not likely to stop smoking.
My surefire cureRich Clark
May 13, 2001 6:54 PM
Do what I did: have a massive heart attack. Wake up knowing that only luck and an ER doc who decided there was still time to use a clotbuster saved your life.

I started smoking when I was 13, and smoked 1-2 packs a day until the above happened at age 44, in 1995. Smoking may not have been the only contributor, but it's a vasoconstrictor -- it narrows your arteries -- and that's tempting fate for anyone who pursues a sport that makes heavy aerobic demands, like cycling.

I never smoked again. I confess that I had some help -- Xanax -- with the stress for a few weeks, but it was the fear that really did it.

There's a difference between knowing and believing. My near-death experience made a believer out of me. The question is, will it take that big a sledgehammer to make one out of you?

You can do it!MeDotOrg
May 13, 2001 7:39 PM
I was a pack-a-day smoker for 30 years. I quit last April. Here are a few observations.

You're addicted to a drug. Consider seeing your doctor. I got a prescription for Zyban, an anti-depressent, which has been shown to help during nicotine withdrawal. I started taking it 3 weeks before I quit. (I also think psychologically it helped prepare me for the quit day).

Consider a patch or gum. (I used the patch). This REALLY helped me. It helps you deals with the psychological part of the addiction without having to confront the physical part all at the same time. For me, it was MUCH easier than quitting cold turkey.

I quit on vacation. I went with some friends, and spent a good deal of time cleaning and walking, keeping busy busy busy.

Keep mints or sugarless candy around to have something for oral fixation.

By your second week, you'll start feeling the difference in your lung power.

You can do it!
re: Any ex-smokers out there?drew
May 13, 2001 8:18 PM
Like Rich C above, I smoked since 13. In 97' I had just turned 40 and thanks to the clot buster TPA I survived a masive heart attack. That was the day I quit. Had a second massive at a follow up visit while on the treadmil. This one took away all the cravings you get when you attempt to quit. Thank God I was right there at the hospital. I've kept up the 3-4 time routine at the gym since and now that the weather has gotten nice, I have also been doing about 50-75 miles per week on an old 12 speed while I wait for my Fuji Finest to arrive. Like all the others who have responded. Just quit! Need some motivation? Go visit the CCU at the local hospital.
re: Any ex-smokers out there?STEELYeyed
May 13, 2001 8:32 PM
I smoked for 20 years,then 2years ago I took a job that is very sedintary,I started putting on weight and smoked a pack a day,I was feeling slugish and weak and decided I had better change my ways before it was too late,my dad was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer in 1989,he suffered dreadfully for 18 months before he died a horrible,agonizing death at the ripe old age of 54. Last year I bought a hybrid and started riding,short rides at first,then building up,a friend asked me to ride RAGBRAI a 500 mile tour across Iowa,I accepted and have been a bike junkie since,I knew I had a choice to make and the cigarettes had to go,I set my goals high and this year I have a new Litespeed road bike,bought with the money I saved on cigarettes and liqour,I rode my first century in April, a goal I set for myself over the winter,and am doing another one next week. Anybody can quit smoking,you just have to want it,set a goal and don't let yourself be denied,reach down and tap into that inner strenght that all real cyclists have,the decision is yours............. and yours alone.
Do you have kids?mike mcmahon
May 13, 2001 10:27 PM
If so they-above cycling or anything else-should be your prime motivation in quitting. My dad smoke a pack or two of filterless cigs (Pall Malls, Lucky Strikes, and Camels) from ages 13 to 28. Then, at the age of 6, my younger sister guilted him into quitting. He did it cold turkey and hasn't gone back since. I was a "social" smoker for years; I usually smoked out at bars after a few drinks. However, I haven't touched a cigarette since I found out my wife was pregnant with our now 4-year old daughter. If you have kids don't put them in a position where they'll be in a hospital watching you on a ventilator at 57 or pushing you around the mall at 55 in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank attached.
takes balls to post.Made in Taiwan
May 13, 2001 11:02 PM
it takes balls to post that being a smoker and a cyclist.

i'll one up ya, i'm a singer, i ride about 120 miles a week, i have asthma, and i smoke. i still smoke (pack/day). can't quit. i have, however, set a date to quit (a quit smoking program that i have read about says you need to be ready and set a date to quit). and that date is coming fast (less then a week away).

you can do it, we'll do it together.
Best of luckmike mcmahon
May 14, 2001 6:41 AM
Are you selling the Ferrari to buy nicotine patches in bulk? ;-) See you on the other side!
Here's some motivation ...bianchi boy
May 14, 2001 7:15 AM
$3/pack X 365 days = $1,095/year

Take that money and buy a nice road bike.

I smoked from about age 16 to 21. Never a heavy smoker, but it was still hard to quit. I've got a lot of friends and relatives who smoke or smoked, and you'll never quit from scaling back. You just need to decide to do it, and quit cold turkey. Patches and gum seem to help lots of people. But don't fool yourself into thinking you can just smoke now and then. It's an addiction and you need to stop completely or you'll never break the habit. Cycling or other physical activities like running are great motivators. Every time you are tempted to light up, think about climbing a huge hill and how much easier it is when you don't smoke.
BT, DT (cough, hack, wheeze)Haiku d'état
May 14, 2001 8:51 AM
been there, done that. smoked 10+ years 1-2 packs/day. quit twice over those years, once for 3 and once for 6 months. quit FINALLY almost 3 years ago (or was it 4?), cold turkey, with my wife. it was almost double-homicide/divorce in those first 2 weeks.

part of it, to me, was money--a good motivator; especially now, when they're twice as expensive as a few years back. i was so needy with those things, couldn't leave the house without my cigs and lighter, felt lost without one, blah, blah, blah. here's a good psychological hint: JUST FREAKIN' DO IT (hate to use this nearly cliche phrase, but hey). all the hypnosis and herbal remedies and self-help and thousand-plus-dollar seminars won't do jack for you unless you actually want to quit.

take some pride in yourself! make up your mind and just throw 'em away and decide that, no matter what happens, you're strong enough to stay away. after a few days, the craziness goes away. after a few weeks, the irritability goes away. after a few months, you don't think about it constantly. after a year, you start to breathe a litte easier. after three (or is it four?) years, i don't think about them at all anymore, until a post like this one comes up. they don't smell good anymore, i don't yearn for them in the morning anymore. i don't hack up yellow crap in the morning. and, i can BREATHE. i rode three long, hilly and mountainous rides these last three weekends (i'm a flatlander), nothing i thought i could ever accomplish--all a distant result of that bike i bought for $200 3 years ago with money i saved from not smoking.

and--as advice is worth what you pay for it, here's some more! don't quit four things at once. i didn't quit alcohol, or start a massive diet, or give up caffeine at the same time. there would have been heck to pay if i had.

good luck. don't think about it, just do it.
It takes guts to ask for help!!!!Len J
May 14, 2001 8:57 AM
Congratulations, Now for my two cents.

In the next 3 weeks, I have a daughter graduating from college and a son graduating from Highschool, I have two other great kids, one in college & one still in high school. They never met either of my parents because of smoking (they both died (horribly) of lung cancer). I was reflecting this weekend on how much my parents have missed and realized that my kids may have missed more by not having them in thier life. If you can't do it for yourself, find somebody you love, and do it for them.

Good luck!
Best of luckDSA
May 14, 2001 8:59 AM
I've never smoked, but for 5 years I was addicted to chewing tobacco and know how difficult it was to quit. At one point, I would have a "chew" in for up to 8-10 hours a day - studying, in class (!), running (how I did that, I don't know), playing hockey, reading, driving, hanging out, even sleeping (I fell asleep a few times with one in).

The only reason I quit was that I studied in France for 6 months and, despite my best efforts, could not find a single leaf of chewing tobacco in the entire region of Lyon. The French thought I was nuts just asking for it - most had never heard of it.

Even after 8 years of being "chew" free, I still have moments, especially on long drives, where I think of stopping into a convenience store and buying a pouch. So far, I've been able to subdue those momentary thoughts and stay clean.

Good luck.