Trying to Quit Smoking? Check out this giveaway!!

October 19, 2011 at 7:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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It’s the first anniversary of my most famous post, which was all my feelings on smoking.  The post received a ton of attention thanks to being Freshly Pressed, and it wasn’t all positive attention.  Some smokers were angry and felt the need to defend smoking.  In rereading the post, I can positively say what I thought to be true.  I never commented on smokers or how they became smokers (and still are).  So to be clear, I don’t hate smokers — just the act of smoking, or really the actual smoke in the air.  I understand the idea of addiction.  We all have our addictions and quitting addictions is really hard!

So this giveaway is for all those smokers who are trying to quit.  I was contacted by Vapor4Life, a leading electronic cigarette company.  Vapor4Life sells electronic cigarettes in a variety of strengths and flavors.  For smokers who are trying to quit and want the sensation of smoking, this could be a good place to turn.  The product looks like a cigarette and even lights up at the end when you inhale.  You inhale vapors that have nicotine and flavoring in them to complete the experience.  For a non-smoker like me, I can see the comparisons between the cigarette and this, particularly when you use the basic cartridge (or what they call cartomizer) that doesn’t have a fruity flavor. The ones with the fruity flavors remind me of hookah.  Though I can’t speak on the effectiveness of this as a quitting strategy, I would say anything is worth a try!

And now, the giveaway.  The winner of this giveaway will receive a battery, a set of cartomizers, and a charger, valued at approximately $60!  All you have to do is comment on this post by Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 to be entered in the drawing.  The winner will be notified by email.  So get commenting, and tell your smoker friends!

The Grandfather I Never Knew

December 23, 2010 at 7:36 am | Posted in Family Ties | 6 Comments
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In just a few short weeks, I will become an aunt for the first time. This is very exciting for me and my family. The first grandchild. But I have to imagine that this is a particularly important moment for my father. He will have done something his own father never did — become a grandfather.

My grandfather died seven years before I was born, four years before my brother. He had been a smoker all his life and succumbed to cancer before ever reaching 60. He left behind two sons and a widow who would live almost another 20 years and would never marry again.

My father is a very emotional and proud man. It was a common occurrence growing up to catch him swelling with pride when one of his children scored a goal in soccer, performed in the school play, got an A on a really hard test. It was common to hear him say, “I wish Daddy were here to see this,” and shake his head as if to fight the tears away.

It is true that my grandfather missed out on a lot. But for someone I never met, I feel like I knew him well and that’s thanks to my father. He kept his memory alive with stories and would always tell me how he would react as situations came up.

My favorite story of my grandfather is one where my father paints him as a true hero, and it’s hard to really see it any other way. He had done some legal work for President Hoover, who was quite grateful and told my grandfather he owed him a favor. When World War II ended, my grandfather used this favor to find any relatives who had survived the Holocaust to bring them to safety. He used this favor to save lives.

Of course, not all of the stories my father tells me are quite this triumphant, and many of them are simply intertwined in my memories and difficult to separate from memories of moments I actually experienced. I know my grandfather was a simple hard working man that, despite bad habits, loved his family. And I know he would have loved me. In the pictures I’ve seen of him I see so much of my own father it’s hard to picture him as anything other than amazing.

I’m so happy my father gets to experience meeting his first grand child, and we all can’t wait to spoil him. I plan to spend my time instilling the same kind of memories in this child so he knows what an amazing bloodline he comes from. My grandfather would be proud.

Thanks for Not Smoking

October 19, 2010 at 7:55 am | Posted in Life and Living | 204 Comments
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Last week, I arrived late at night to a hotel on a business trip.  I couldn’t wait to get into my room and just relax.  On the first try, they sent me to a room that was already occupied by my photographer (somehow they thought we were sharing a room and I was not about to share a room with my male colleague, though it did make for an interesting story the next day)  So they gave me another room.  At this point, it’s about 11:30 at night and I had a meeting at 8 AM.  I just wanted to shower and go to bed.  Turns out, this room was a smoking room.  They still have those?  Apparently!  I couldn’t bare going back downstairs to ask for another room, and I reasoned with myself that I wouldn’t be in there that much, so I sucked it up… and it sucked!

I’m not a smoker.  Never have been, never will be.  And quite frankly, I don’t understand people who still are.  I can’t imagine paying $9 a pack for something that will slowly kill me.  I was thrilled when smoking was banned in restaurants and bars, and I’ve gotten so used to not breathing in smoke, that when I walk down the street I get offended when somebody six feet away from me is smoking.

But I wasn’t always so against smoking.  I had a lot of good friends and boyfriends that smoked (some eek — still do), and many people assumed that I did too, probably because of the company I kept.  Kids my age smoked when they hung out, when they drove around, when they went clubbing or bar hopping. Smoking was “cool.” And of course, I had to try it.  How could I make an educated decision without trying it?  I think trying smoking is a rite of passage.  It’s when you make the right decision not to be a smoker that you can be declared a responsible adult.

So sorry mom and dad.  I tried smoking for the first time in 7th grade.  I was hanging out with friends in town when we came across an abandoned pack, probably left behind by other teenagers scared off by lurking cops.  Over the years, I would have a cigarette on occasion, but there was never any commitment.

I think there can be a time and place for smoking; a rare time and place when you are just so hammered or hungover nothing will help except a little inhalation.  I do credit cigarettes with helping me recover from an alcohol-induced upset stomach on occasion (hey, we all have our remedies). Of course, at the point I was already doing a ton of damage.

But all in all, I can’t stand smoking.  It’s amazing to me the change in the culture of smoking that has taken place in my lifetime.  It’s certainly been a long time coming!  It’s great that my kids won’t have to inhale the stuff everywhere they go like past generations.  Now, if only smoking was banned in hotels, I would have slept much better.  One day, I’m sure.  One day.

Want to hear from a reformed smoker?  Click here!

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