Diary of an Ex-Smoker...Part One


It was twenty years ago that I quit smoking.

Requests from my local convenience store clerk for "a pack of Virginia Slims Menthol Ultra Lights" or "a pack of Benson and Hedges Menthol Ultra Lights" (depending on the country I was currently living in) was quite the mouthful. By the time I had finished placing my order you would have thought that I would have lost interest or at the very least forgotten what I was asking for. That was far from the case. I loved my 'smokes' and had to have a pack with me at all times. Money was no object. At about $6.00 per pack, I fed my addiction without fail. One to one and a half packs (30 cigarettes) daily. It seems hard to believe that I had time to do anything else.
The ad text reads: "Back then, every man gave his wife at least one day a week out of the house. You've come a long way, baby. Virginia Slims – Slimmer than the fat cigarettes men smoke."

Work was no problem. I had to work. How else was I going to pony-up for my smokes?  As a nurse working in a hospital, smoking was not restricted - at all.
I recall walking into patient's rooms where cutting through a cloud of smoke was a common occurrence. Even if the patient was a non-smoker, their visitors did not seem to have an issue with smoking over them while sitting vigil at their bedside. For safety reasons, patients who were elderly, oxygen-requiring and/or forgetful would be wheeled to the Nurse's Station at night where we could all enjoy a smoke together. This practice was frowned upon by hospital administration during the daytime of course, but staffers could feel free to get their "nicotine fix" in the medication, dictation, conference rooms and/or hospital cafeteria.

Smoking while driving required essential multi-tasking capabilities. Friends were amazed at the fact that I could drive while smoking a cigarette, applying eyeliner and drinking a cup of coffee simultaneously. That took talent, if I say so myself.

I never did learn to knit, crochet, type or play an instrument and I didn't care to.

And then the boom came crashing down on my love affair with smoking...  In 1990, a Harvard study involving hundreds of single college-graduate men was released. The men were asked... "If given a choice between a woman who smoked vs. a woman who was overweight, which one would you date?". Their resounding response? The fat woman.

That was it. Time for a change.      

Diary of an Ex-Smoker:Part II

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Heather said...

Do you think that's still true about men choosing a fat woman over a woman who smokes? As a woman packing some extra pounds, I think I would have to beg to differ. Otherwise, why would the skinny girls with cigarettes standing outside of the clubs get cat-calls and attention while I go unnoticed.

Then again, maybe it's just me.