Herald & Journal, January 5, 1998

One year and still not smoking


On Dec. 22, 1996, I smoked my last cigarette. That's over a year ago. I haven't had one of those coffin nails since. Nor do I care to have one.

I remember when I was at the VA Hospital recovering from a stroke two and a half years ago. Like so many other patients, I couldn't wait until I could wheel my wheelchair outside so I could join the other smokers. You see, you couldn't smoke in the building. So here we are lined up in front of the hospital, many in wheelchairs, some dragging along intravenous bottles, puffing away. We all knew we should quit. To me, it was a long way to wheel outside. A long hall, down an elevator, down another hall and then outside.

Well, it took me a year and a half, but I finally quit. And it was much easier than I expected. Mainly because I had been cutting down for several months. I still get a craving, but it's not very often and it just lasts for seconds.

I think the main reason I couldn't quit before was the lifestyle I had. There's a lot of stress for those in radio broadcasting. It's so easy to light up while you're spinning records. But I don't do that any more. So the stress is gone.

Now here's the best news. The premium on my life insurance is going to be considerably reduced because I haven't smoked in a year.

Since this is January, I'd like to share some cold and wind one-liners with you.

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