Believe it or not there was a time not that long ago when I used to be cool…

Backwards Fat Guy Hat? Check. Black Trenchcoat? Check. Undeniable Sex Appeal? Hells-to-the-Yes Check.


I had to use a Zippo because lighting a girl's cigarette with a Fire Flower was a little...inaccurate shall we say?

…and dead.  Effing.  Sexy.

This was my eHarmony profile pic.*

*Yeah, not really.  And to this day, I still can’t remember why I took a picture of myself coughing after a bad drag.

But after spending most of the first decade of the 2000s in a perpetual haze of Marlboro Light smoke and what I can only assume was a sophistication without equal, I decided that it was time to let it go.  Even though I still really enjoyed it, even though I was positive that any day now I would finally find that girl who noted my obvious resemblance to James Dean when I lit up and fall madly in love with me…

I know, right?? We SO could be twins.

…in the Spring of 2007, being able to breathe normally again and not screwing up my singing voice any further became more important to me than any ashtray breath, lung-hacking coolness.  Plus, I didn’t want to sell any of my organs so that I could maintain my two-pack-a-day habit.

*And pause for shocked silence*

Yeah, I may or may not have been a nicotine fiend.  A nico-fiend if you will.

Like a Boss

So on my 47nd attempt…or possibly my 112th…I can’t remember exactly as my numerous tries at quitting smoking kind of run together…I finally had some success after going through a free Stop Smoking class that my work offers a couple times per year.

Six weeks of group counseling sessions plus your drug of choice to help you quit (I went with Chantix) was followed by a group quit day where we all went outside and had one last cigarette, and wrapped up with another 6 weeks of group counseling wherein we discussed how we were doing.  I think only I and one other person managed to not have a single cigarette in the six weeks after the quit date and in the 5 years since that class, I believe I am the only one who remained a non-smoker although I’ve had some bumps in the road along the way.

I actually managed to go about 3 or 4 months before I slipped up and that was with a now-illegal clove cigarette so I didn’t really count it as a “true” slip up.  Ahhh…sweet, sweet Justification; you are such a bad friend.

...But a good singer with excellent comedic skills if SNL is to be believed.

Fast forward about a year from my first post-class mistake and countless clove/cigar/pipe/menthol cigarettes* “slip-ups” later (albeit without ever truly relapsing back into a consistent habit) and I finally figured out that I was just not one who could enjoy tobacco in any form without the very real danger of becoming seriously addicted again.

*I’m pretty sure menthols don’t count as real cigarettes.

I’d been skirting the edge of falling back into that tar pit (did you see what I did there?) and rather than just allowing it to happen; which would have been all too easy, let me tell you, I decided on January 6th, 2009 to cut out tobacco use all together.

Since then, other than the occasional incidental second-hand smoke I might inhale in one of the few bars in Nashville that still allows smoking or when I’m hanging out with friends who smoke; I’m happy to report that this past Friday marked 3 years since I’ve partaken in tobacco in any form.  I’ve not had one single cigarette, cigar, clove, pipe, etc since then.  I’ve not had so much as one, single drag on any of these because I’m awesome like that.

Next on my list is quitting smorking…

Because there's nothing quite like a good smork after a hard day at work.

15 thoughts on “#ThreeYearsSmober

    • Ummm…actually I’m against the smoking ban. Even though I don’t smoke anymore, I believe businesses should have the right to choose whether or not to allow it in their establishment and the patrons can choose whether or not to keep patronizing it.

      Having moved FROM a city that put in a smoking ban shortly after I left and TO a city that put in a smoking ban shortly after I got here, I’ve seen how many long time businesses completely dried up and put people out of work in both cities after the bans were established because the much vaunted non-smoker-clientele that was supposed to start coming out because of the newly smoke free establishments never materialized and the smokers who used to pack out those bars found different smoker-friendly venues to frequent the next county over.

    • I’m not actually a big fan the smoking ban myself — it’s been a problem for some businesses here too, and given Michigan’s economic problems (that predated the national slowdown — we’re trailblazers!), that’s the last thing we need. My comment about the exemption rankling me was in reference to big-money industries wrangling nonsensical exemptions in a law simply because they can.

  1. ha, brilliant. No smorking, indeed. Were you googling “No Smoking” pictures and you came across that little jewel?
    Btdubs, congrats on the three year mark. That’s pretty great!

  2. Good for you. I’m in a continuous three-year quiting stream, does that count? Went back from 30 a day to about 5 a week, but there is still an image in my head that will reflect a cool me only when smoking. I noticed Lucky Strike is not popular at all in the states I visited, whereas here it’s one of the top brands (and trying very hard to maintain a real American image).

    • Lucky Strike used to be pretty much the only cigarette back in I think the 40s and 50s, but then Marlboro kind of took over at that point.

      I used to frequent this jazz/martini bar back in Indiana called Club Soda that had a martini called the Deano after Dean Martin. I think it was just an ordinary vodka martini except that they gave you a Lucky Strike cigarette and a book of matches to go with it. Every time I got that martini I gamely attempted to smoke the Lucky Strike, but I was never able to get the hang of smoking a filterless cigarette and always ended up with a mouthful of unburned tobacco; which was unpleasant to say the least.

  3. Well I’m very late to the commenting – but I have to say CONGRATULATIONS! For two reasons – one dying of lung cancer is not how you want to go, seriously, I watched my lovely Great Aunt (who never smoked) die of it – and well you basically suffocate to death – on a happier note though you’re dating record might not speak to this – I think it makes you way more date-able.

    As to the whole smoking rules thing – I guess Canada is weird that way, it’s been out of restaurants and bars for at least a decade due to worker safety issues (no second hand smoke and lawsuits) and now you cannot smoke within 6 metres of a building’s entrance. Basically you’re a social leper if you smoke. So if you don’t feel like you’re being appreciated for your choice you can always come north.

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