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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