Thursday, December 16, 2004

Smoking and Me

Twenty years ago on this day, and few weeks after my 18th birthday, I lit my first cigarette. I proudly called myself an occasional smoker until realization one day that each day had become an occasion. I have been a smoker since then.

Being a healthy kid and an avid runner/swimmer, I wasn’t plagued with the common problems exhibited by other smokers my age. In fact I was physically more fit than most non-smokers. I took great pride racing my non-smoking friends up twenty flights of stairs and I could still participate and win long distance races followed by a leisurely smoke when I finished college.

I ignored parental advice against this habit. The girl who mattered most to me in the world (and still does), for reasons of her own didn’t have an opinion. She later became my fiancée and has been my wife for 13 ½ years. She did have an opinion a year into the marriage, but I didn’t want to give up something that I truly relished and enjoyed. Her protests however were few and far between due to a known ‘stubborn as mule’ nature of mine. And I never contemplated quitting.

For reasons, I am not going to list here I realized this weekend that I am truly fortunate to enjoy good health despite abusing my lungs for two decades with 20+ shots of nicotine each day. And like all decisions in my life, I decided impulsively to give it up. I want to be the gambler who quit when he was ahead. But being a cautious optimist, my strategy was to cut down to four cigarettes a day, and wean myself off slowly.

Today is Day 3 and I am still on track.

5 comment(s):

  • Salaams

    I gave up the fags when I was a mature student doing teacher trainer. Too busy to smoke and in the UK, primary teachers who smoke are less popular the arsonists in a petrol station. That was 1999 and I am still nicotine free.

    Good luck!



    By Blogger Julaybib, at 12/16/2004 12:45:00 PM  

  • My main comment to you would be, "Just Do It!" It takes two weeks, then the worst is past. In 3 months, the physical detoxification is complete. In 4 months, you can smell other smokers and the realization dawns...

    I quit on October 4, 1989 after 2+ decades. I think I had my first one at 11 or 12. I've never smoked since I quit and never regretted the decision.

    Quitting is hard, but lung cancer and heart disease are worse.

    Drink lots and lots of water. Cinnamon, in the form of gum and/or hard candy is a workable substitute. Consider Nicorette gum for those moments when it has to be a cigarette and nothing but. It worked for me and I didn't end up addicted to the gum, either.

    Finally, based on the cost of a pack of cigarettes and the amount you smoke per day -- do the math. When I did it back in 1989, it would pay the cost of a year's auto insurance in Los Angeles. And they were only $1.75 a pack then! Auuugh!

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Bobbe, at 12/16/2004 07:46:00 PM  

  • ooo, I'm jealous. Now I need to quit, too.

    By Blogger Leila M., at 12/16/2004 08:26:00 PM  

  • oh - be a man Jafar, - just give it up ;-) --- alright, i know how difficult this is (not through personal experience 'cause i never took up smoking) -but i know so many folks who like go totally bezerk when first attempting get off nicotine... good luck, inshallah - :)

    By Blogger redwood, at 12/16/2004 09:44:00 PM  

  • Oh this is wonderful! I wish you the best, will remember you in my du'a (InshaAllah), and I'm sending you tons of you-can-do-it vibes.

    You too Leila!!! ;0)

    By Blogger blagdiblah, at 12/16/2004 10:26:00 PM  

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