With my 33rd birthday fast approaching, I’ve decided that it is about time I quit smoking. For good. I had my 1st cigarette at the end of my junior year in college driving home from St. Louis to Green Bay, WI. Until that point, I was a champion of anti-smoking with my friends. I consistently asked if I could “bum a smoke”, then broke them in half in front of their faces.
I was a bit of a health nut up to that point, but for whatever reason, I started to devolve during my first year in grad school. I had no basketball team to keep me in check and I had become a veritable sloth-eating Jack-in-the-Box at least once a day and exercising infrequently.
After that year, I started treating my body better but haven’t been able to shake smoking since. I tried nicotine gum, e-cigarettes, mint toothpicks, chewing sunflower seeds, chewing gum, meditation, and most recently an anti-smoking drug. This vice has been especially hard on my wife, Kari as she has been a nurse for years and also a strong proponent of healthy living. Her tactics to get me to quit have ranged from simply talking to me, to withholding lovin’, to leaving photos of smoky lungs from the operating room on my bed pillow for me to wake up to.
Even with all of this, the longest I’ve made it is a month before backsliding. So, like the scene from Trainspotters when the main character is preparing to quit heroin, leading up to my birthday, I’ll be stocking up on seeds, toothpicks, gum and Welbutrin. And my hope is that by divulging this to all of you, I’ll have the added incentive of potential shame to keep me from ever buying a pack or taking a drag again.
So, here are my 33 reasons to quit smoking (for good):
1. Lung cancer
2. Lung disease
3. Heart disease
5. All the other smoking related illnesses
6. I want to be able to breathe easier
7. I want to be able to taste my food
8. I want to be able to smell things
9. I don’t want to be coughing constantly
10. I don’t want to smell like cigarettes
11. I don’t want my daughters to think of the smell of cigarettes as “daddy’s smell”
12. I don’t want my daughters to start smoking because of me
13. I don’t want Kari to have to deal with the smell
14. I don’t want Kari to have to take care of me
15. I don’t want Kari to have to outlive me
16. I don’t want to live with the feeling of suffocation
17. I don’t want to pull around an oxygen tank
18. I want to see the birth of my grandchildren
19. I want to take my grandchildren on hikes
20. My grandpa quit
21. My parents quit
22. My brother quit
24. I hate the feeling of cravings
25. I hate the idea of being dependent on something
26. I hate that I use taking the garbage out as an excuse to sneak a cigarette
27. I hate that I intentionally come up with reasons to run some errand so that I can sneak a cigarette
28. I hate that I say I need to make it a quick errand and that Anna can’t come along so I can sneak a cigarette
29. I hate that Anna is four-years-old and knows I smoke
30. I hate there is no logical reason for me to smoke but I still buy a pack
31. Smoking does not look cool
32. Smoking looks trashy
33. Smoking sucks
So there it is. Wish me luck!