I am proud to announce that today marks my Old Man’s FORTIETH DAY WITHOUT A CIGARETTE!
It has by no means been easy for him. And he hasn’t quit “cold turkey”… more like warm turkey. Or cold game hen. But he has gone forty days without a cigarette. There have been easy days, there have been hard days, and he still does have cravings, but for the most part, he has made a most excellent transition from being a real smoker to a fake smoker. Or, as he likes to look at it, “a smoker who just isn’t smoking today”. His transition would not have been nearly as smooth had it not been for the help of a few new friends:
Friend #1: His e-cigarette. If you are unfamiliar with these contraptions, the e-cigarette is a little cigarette-like battery-operated apparatus that is made up of two main parts; a cartridge containing liquid nicotine, and an atomizer which, when puffed on, vaporizes the nicotine, making it breathable. They look like this:
They are great because they satisfy the nicotine craving but omit all the bad chemicals and additives in real cigarettes. The Old Man, being a good combination of nerd and Virgo, did a lot of research on e-cigarettes before quitting and found that there are quite a few e-cigs on the market. Since they are still relatively new, there has not been an enormous amount of research on them, but from what he gathered, he learned that most e-cigs are manufactured in China, and some are made in the United States. The ones made in the US use only vegetable oil and nicotine in the cartridge. The ones made in China… no one really knows what are put in them. So he opted for the slightly more expensive US-made version. (His particular brand is 21st Century Smoking. His favorite flavor is Atlantic City. You can find these e-cigs at kiosks in malls, or online at the link above.)
Friend #2: Snus. Although the e-cigarette is fantastic, and the “smoke” it creates is not harmful to second-hand breathers, it still garners glares from passers-by and is not always an appropriate social utensil. To avoid those potentially awkward moments (or when the e-cigarette needs to be recharged), The Old Man resorts to snus: a tobacco-filled pouch that is placed against the gums to deliver nicotine an a nearly-unoticable way. They are by no means The OM’s favorite thing, but they are not a cigarette, and do the job in a pinch.
Friend #3: The iPhone app called My Last Cigarette. Since so much of smoking’s allure is psychological, it helps to have any kind of encouragement while quitting. The OM finds solace in this app which tracks his progress by calculating how many cigarettes he hasn’t smoked, how much his circulation has improved, how much money he has saved, and how many days he had added to his life. As of today, he has not smoked six hundred and forty nine cigarettes. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?!
This app is more accurate for the cold-turkey quitter since his nicotine intake is still high, and the cigarette savings are offset by e-cig costs, but it is still a comfort for him to be able to track his progress everyday.
As you can imagine, the everyday benefits of The Old Man’s decision to quit smoking have been many. He no longer has to go outside in the cold / heat to pace around smoking and talking on his phone and making the elderly lady neighbors nervous. He also takes fewer breaks at work now (which is a combo good / bad thing). And although I never really minded the smell of smoke on his breath or clothes, I did not like the way his hands would smell – and judging from the way our cat Sid interacts with him – I think the pets felt the same way. All this to say, my husband kicks ass, and you can too! If you are a smoker, ex-smoker, or smoker who just isn’t smoking today, I am interested to know how quitting has gone for you and whether you went cold turkey. How’s it been?
Congratulations on making it through forty days, Husband! Here’s to the coming of your forty YEAR anniversary of not smoking! I am looking forward to celebrating it with a healthy 68 year old you.