Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette…No Wait.

Today is April 1st, 2009. I’m fifty years old, and after 37 years of smoking, I’m quitting today. I’m using a nicotine patch- in the past, I’ve used acupuncture, Wellbutrin, Chantix, hypnosis, you name it. But in the past, I’ve never really wanted to quit. I knew I should, but I didn’t want to. I believe this time is different.

For the last couple of months I’ve been enjoying cigarettes less and less. More and more, I’ve been finding myself grabbing a cigarette at certain times because I was supposed to smoke when I…finished eating, had a cup of coffee, got in the car, talked on the phone, conversed with my in-laws, looked at the sky, the ground, the scenery…you know, ‘triggers’.

The thing was, I wasn’t actually enjoying those cigarettes- well, sometimes I was, but mostly not. Mostly it was a pain in the ass, especially here in drought stricken California. In New York, you get in a car, light a cigarette, let the ashes blow out the window and then just have the butt to deal with. Here, you have to worry about even the smallest ash burning a couple of hundred thousand acres.

One thing I have done for the last month or so was change brands to a type of cigarette I didn’t really like, taste-wise, so each time I had one it was a less than pleasurable experience. I don’t know if that’ll help in the end, but it seemed logical.

My wife is trying to quit today too. On a selfish level, I wish she wouldn’t; I don’t need that kind of stress on top of everything else, but you can’t tell someone to keep smoking as a favor to yourself.

Back in Seventies when I started smoking, I’m told I was a particular target of the tobacco industry, not to mention my that father was a life long smoker, so I was probably addicted from second hand smoke in the womb and anyway, I really dug Humphrey Bogart. No one could smoke a cigarette like Bogart.

Still, while I blame the tobacco industry for getting me addicted, I’m just as pissed at the anti-smoking groups. They’re just as manipulative as any tobacco industry group, not to mention really smug about it on top of it all. Plus, they probably go home at night and have a nice glass of wine or beer, the sloppy drunks. I put up with drinkers all the time (and anyone who has two or three glasses of wine is drunk, no matter what they say)…for Christ sakes, my pharmacy is filled with bottles of wine and bourbon for sale. Until they push to tax wine, beer and liquor at a rate commensurate with tobacco, then the anti-smokers will just be a bunch of self important hypocrites and I hope they get T-boned by a drunk driver; fuck them too. At least I never had an accident because I smoked one too many cigarettes.

And finally, all these states and the federal government are raising their taxes to fund children’s health programs- they say. Well, this latest .60 cent tax increase is what started me thinking that today, as the new tax goes into effect, was the time to quit, so instead of the sick little kids getting $1.01 a day in taxes from me to fund their health programs, they’re losing .41 cents, or $4.10 a week from me, which was the current rate I was paying. And since I have no health insurance, I’m not costing anybody anything extra either, so shut up about that. Even my life insurance carrier, State Farm, wants to up my new rate a few hundred a month because now I’m fifty and a smoker, so I’m dropping them and getting accident insurance instead and in two years when my rates would drop because (if) I’ve been a non smoker for that long, I’ll go with another company with my business.

I’ll keep you posted on how this is going, but right now I’ve gotten myself so upset that if I don’t stop bitching I’ll need a smoke to calm down.