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Smoker’s Dilemma

Posted in Uncategorized by MamaSass on June 11, 2008

I’ve been a smoker since age 16, when I gingerly coughed my way through my first Marlboro outside a bar in Spain. To be honest, I’ve only been a real smoker since age 18, when I first got up the nerve to actually inhale the smoke into my lungs. So technically I’ve been a smoker for 6 years. I’ve tried halfheartedly to quit a few times, mostly after art school, where smoking was pretty much a required course. I tried Wellbutrin for awhile, which effectively stopped me from smoking. It also had the nifty side benefits of stopping me from eating and hating myself, which was delightful and surprising. A dream come true. On the downside, however, it also stopped me from sleeping. And while being skinny, pleasantly-scented and perky may be attractive qualities, not being able to tie your shoes properly or subtract simple sums tends to put people off.

Ok, round two. Emphesyma vs. self control. Unfortunately, I have none. End of story. Not for lack of trying, however. I quit cold turkey for 6 hacking-cough-free months when I started dating a sweet, wounded man with a daughter who was diagnosed with throat cancer. Apparently guilt works a lot better than Wellbutrin.

After I stopped dating the guy, the guilt went away and the smoking came back. An old woman outside of a CVS gave me a lecture on how her daughter-in-law is dying of lung cancer. It didn’t effect me much because I’m a terrible human being and since I’m off the Wellbutrin, the idea of dying young doesn’t really bother me. Inside the CVS the woman behind the counter sells me a pack. She’s breathing through a tube. I feel terrible for asking her for cigarettes, until I see her outside a few minutes later, lighting up. Then I don’t know whether to feel better, or worse.

My latest option for quitting is this new medicine called Chantix. A friend of mine swears it works like a miracle. She says that when you smoke, nothing happens. You can’t get your nicotine fix. Problem solved. However, everytime I light up in front of her she gives me this long, yearning look. I’m not sure I trust her assessment of this wonder drug just yet. I might try it someday. I can’t lie, though. I love smoking. Maybe Chantix works, maybe not. Maybe I’ll try it and be cured. But for now, the desire just isn’t there.

I’ll let you know in a month or so what I decide. Don’t hold your breath.

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