I have quit smoking so many times in my life that I have honestly lost count. I have tried everything too. The gum tasted like I was chewing on a burned out butt. The patches gave me horrendous nightmares and skin rashes. The lozenges tasted like I was sucking on a burned out butt, and for over a year I smoked these herbal cigarettes from a health food store. Those were pretty weird. Nothing had ever lasted long, and I have always gone back to the cigarettes. Not because I enjoy smoking, but because cigarettes have just always been around me. My father smoked, my siblings all smoke, my husband smokes. Each time I reach for a cigarette after I have quit I can hear Jackie boy whispering in my head “Nobody ever really quits. A smoker’s a smoker when the chips are down. And your chips are down.” I feel haunted by them!
Over the past 10 years smoking has become socially unacceptable, and that only turned me into a closet smoker. Where Monday through Friday I smoked only after I was home, and I would only smoke in my garage. I kept all of my paraphernalia hidden, and I tried to mask the odor on me with perfumes, hand sanitizers, lotions and gum. I never wanted anyone to know about my dirty little secret, and all of my shame. I never wanted my children to know that Mommy was a smoker.
I have always encouraged my husband to quit smoking with me each time I have tried, but he always gave me the same excuse. He is an adult that enjoys smoking, and had no desire to quit. What am I even supposed to say to that? I suppose that he may be right. I mean if that is how he wants to live his life, then who am I to tell him otherwise? But I am afraid all of that changed once we had our children.
I think the new anti-smoking campaigns are great but this commercial on television that shows you the truly ugly side of cigarettes had our oldest son worried about Dad and his smoking. He came to me crying one night that Dad was going to die after he had listened to a commercial where a woman with a tracheotomy described how she has to now avoid drowning in her shower, thanks to cigarettes. I was not trying to guilt my husband into quitting, but I decided that I have had enough and I was no longer going to shelter him from all of this guilt that I carry. I never gave my husband an ultimatum, but I asked him to quit with me because he’s never even tried, and to my surprise he agreed. I let him choose the date, and it came and went without any progress. I decided to try another tactic.
We were out shopping one day when I asked him to stop at a Vape Shop. We had both entered the shop skeptical because Marlboro had been sending us free coupons for the new E-cigs, and neither one of us liked them. An hour later we both left with a new Vape pen, juice, coils and a punch card. I am proud to tell you that today it has been 37 days since we started Vaping and neither one of us has picked up a cigarette, yet. The chips have been down a LOT lately too, and to my surprise The Vape has been enough! My kids see me puffing on this electronic device and exhaling a cloud of vapor so I had to open up about my addiction and explain what I was doing. I am thankful for the opportunity to explain things to my oldest, and I can only pray that he will remember our struggle if he is ever offered a smoke or considering to try one. I told him with all honesty something a grown up never told me about cigarettes, and that is once you start you will no longer have a choice, you WILL end up addicted.
To be continued…..