Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
So I quit smoking — again. And this
is for sure the last time. Unless you make me screw up.
The part of my life devoted to Du Maurier Lights, Belmont
Milds and Marlboro Reds ended this past weekend when I had
a dream in which something happened (I can’t remember
what) and as a result I felt horribly disgusted (I can’t
remember why). But I soon woke up in that weird half-asleep,
half-awake daze, convinced I didn’t want to die of lung
cancer or have a hole punched in my throat in order to breathe.
To be fair to those smoking since they’ve plopped out
of the womb, I’ve only been a cigarette smoker since
this summer when a trip to Italy and Croatia surrounded me
with the angelic wisps of Dunhill’s International and
the occasional whiff of Stewardess. However, I must confess,
I’ve long harboured a secret attraction to the products
of Big Tobacco.
Blame it on the media or the “cool” image associated
with smoking, but I have different reasons for starting. Initially,
the public education campaigns got to me and I effortlessly
resisted the marketing prowess of tobacco companies. But I
soon succumbed to the single best advertisement for cigarette
manufacturers: their product.
The smell, feel, taste and experience of smoking is devilishly
contagious and wonderfully delicious, but not necessarily addictive.
It’s the fuckin’ habit that makes your body crave
and even require the harmful chemicals contained in tobacco.
So, as soon as I realized I had a habit (even though I still
wasn’t physically addicted), I knew it was time to quit.
Habits are strange things. Though they are borne of various
consequences, habits are most often the product of one’s
external environment. In the case of my bygone smoking habit,
my enjoyment of cigarettes was continuously supported by friends
who always kept a pack at close reach. Though it may sound
obvious, I found I could off-load my guilt associated with
smoking onto friends who also smoked — and I would guess
some of them feel the same way. What an ugly cycle.
Of course my love of the cancer stick was not just because
my friends shared the same passion, it was also because cigarettes
really do provide you with a one-way ticket to flavour country,
where stress is stopped at the border. Very few things come
close to matching that feeling, and those that do are illegal
or out of my reach (drugs or anonymous sex).
So with such rave reviews, how could I ever give up smoking?
Besides the dream (which probably won’t have staying
effect anyway), there’s a simple reason I will never
have a smoking habit again: I don’t want anyone else
to experience what I have.
Call me altruistic and idealistic, but if I stop smoking,
then maybe it will be slightly easier for someone else. If
someone else stops smoking as a result... well, you get the
idea. At least I hope so.