Monday, November 18, 2013


Up until eight months ago I was a smoker. A closet smoker. Only my hubby, kids, other smokers and people that I trusted would overlook my bad habit and not judge me if they knew I was a smoker knew about my naughty habit. I have never been a heavy smoker so it's always been pretty easy to hide from those prone to judge or give unwanted opinions of the effects (I already know them all, thank you) of cigarette smoke on my health.

The first time I ever smoked a cigarette - a Marlboro Red - I was with my best friend Julie crouched down behind some cars in the parking lot of Sage Park..  I was 16 years old and it was Julie who taught me how to properly smoke a cigarette. Julie was two years younger than me but more mature in more ways than I care to share.

Even though I choked and gagged on my first cigarette, once I got the hang of it I found it felt natural and enjoyable to me. Smoking became one of the few things that gave me pleasure in my teens.  It eased my anxiety in my personal life, in social situations and gave me something to do with my hands when I felt uncomfortable. It also made me feel grown up, something I desperately wanted to be at 16.

Smoking for minors was easy in the late 70's and early 80's. Cigarettes were .50 a pack and no one ever scrutinized you or asked to see your I.D at the checkout. Those were the days of ultimate freedom for teens.

My friend Julie's parents smoked so it was easy for her to hide the smell of nicotine in her hair and on her clothes. Neither one of my parents smoked nor did they associate with anybody that smoked unless they were the occasional visiting smoker relatives or my grandfather (Pop) who lived with us many years. Understandably, Pop was asked to go outside when he smoked. I can remember him spending a lot of time outdoors on the front porch steps puffing his life away.

Growing up my family strictly shunned smoking (and drinking) and let us kids know from an early age that it was unacceptable from us or anyone else. I can remember many times as a child seeing strangers smoking and tattling on them into my mom's ear with my whispering voice. Little did I know much I would enjoy the nasty habit one day.

During my teens smoking was a sporadic thing. I smoked when I had money to buy them or when friends had cigarettes to share (bum).

I found great satisfaction in smoking and smoked on and off for years. Mostly my off times were during the times I was pregnant with each of my kids. Only a year or two after each of my kids were born would that old habit would weasel its way back into my life.

Only after Skye was born in 2001 did I see the decline in how much I craved cigarettes.  Smoking in public places was beginning to have its limitations and cigarettes weren't so cheap anymore. I also felt uncomfortable smoking in the house or my car because I was more aware of the effects and smell of cigarette smoke. I was odd in the fact that even though I was a smoker I hated the smell of cigarette smoke on myself and in my surroundings.

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Skye I also had Congestive Heart Failure that caused some heart damage. Ever picking up a cigarette again should not even have been on my agenda, but old habits die hard. I know, you are judging me now. Go ahead if it makes you feel better about your own shortcomings and weaknesses.

Anyway, I greatly limited my smoking habit to outdoors and only smoked after dark. I secretly liked putting limitations on my smoking as a way to eventually get the monkey off my back. Although I enjoyed smoking, after many years of smoking I was mentally determined not to spend the rest of my life toting that monkey around.

In my 40's I still enjoyed smoking the occasional cigarette when I was having a drink or two...or three. I kept my bad habit in the closet and had managed to work my addiction down to a pack of cigarettes a week. I called it my 3 cigarette a day bad habit.

Then along came Bo. I started jogging with him in an attempt to keep his hyperactivity to a minimum. Even though I still had a minimal smoking habit I managed to run every morning without too much ill effect. That said, I could always tell those morning runs that I had slipped up and smoked more than my 3 quota of cigarettes the night before.

Then one day...Skye's birthday of this year to be exact....Toby brought home this contraption he called an Electronic Cigarette. One of his clients that he does business with on a regular basis owns a business that sell "electronic cigarettes". I had never heard of them before but apparently they have gained popularity in Austin.

I was intrigued enough to give it a try and found that it was a satisfactory replacement for my Misty Lights. It took a little getting used to but it did stave off my craving for regular cigarettes - plus they smell much better. I also found that with the e-cigs my lungs felt much clearer when I run. Physically, I don't feel like a smoker anymore.

I've been smoking e-cigs for eight months now and find that I am slowly losing interest in inhaling anything. Because I'm old fashioned when it comes to cigarettes, the e-cig just doesn't give me the satisfaction a real cigarette does. It mostly gives me the hand to mouth sensation that I craved from regular cigarettes.

Although there is a lot of controversy about the e-cigs I don't really care. It's the lesser of the two evils in my opinion. I don't think I would have been able to kick the habit if it weren't for the electronic cigarette.

This is the first time I have ever kicked the habit and absolutely KNOW that I will never return to smoking the old fashioned cigarettes again and it feels pretty damn good.


  1. In March 1999, I kicked the habit. The hardest thing I ever did. The only thing that keeps me from smoking now is knowing it wouldn't be just one cigarette. It's funny that one of the proudest moments in my life is overcoming one of the things I am most ashamed of ever having done.

    The E-cig reminds me too much of a pacifier. Plus the little capsules hold about the equivalent of a pack of cigs. Without the end of the cigarette to tell me I have had enough, I think I would OD if I ever went in that direction. Good for you, Sis. I am very proud of you... in a non-judgemental way.

  2. Buddy, I also have thought about the e-cig being akin to a pacifier myself. Which, I guess that's what a cigarette is anyway.