Friday, October 23, 2009

Justin: I QUIT

It began with a thought yesterday morning. By mid-afternoon it became more of a feeling. And last night, standing in a Starbucks with Boyfriend Joe, I turned to him and said, "okay, I'm going to say this to you because if I don't, I probably won't go through with it."

He eyed me like I was about to tell him I had been sleeping with his roommate (which would be doubly funny since his roommate is a girl.)

I held up my half-smoked pack of cigarettes and said, "this is my last pack of cigarettes. I quit."

And that was it. Why did I quit? Because it's been long enough, I think. And by NOT nagging me and NOT giving me a hard time, Joe, in his silence, has put more pressure on me than all of my family and friends combined.

I have been a smoker since sophomore year of college, with about a year break in the middle before I fell back into the habit. As recently as yesterday I was a pack a day smoker. I chain smoke often. Nothing is better to me than standing outside, book in one hand, cigarettes in the other.

My name is Justin, and I am an addict.

I began my smoking career with camel turkish golds. From there I went to camel turkish gold 100s. From there to parliament lights. To parliament light 100s. Back to parliament lights (because they did a lot of buy 2 get 1 deals last year). To marlboro light 100s (as a silent protest against parliament for when they ended all of those deals.)

My biggest addiction isn't physical, though. It is mental. It is a way for me to say "time out!" on my life, step out of the world, and just stand somewhere. It is something I do while out walking. Every time I would walk out a door, I would light up. When things got too crazy at the bar or club, I would step out. It was an excellent way to meet other people - smokers can usually be so friendly.

My name is Justin, and I wish that there was something non-deadly, more inexpensive thing you could smoke.

Nicotine doesn't make me feel magical. It doesn't cheer me up. It doesn't calm me down. I just like the action - the pulling in a drag, and blowing it out. I like the time out from my day.

But I don't like the price. Here in New York City, a pack of 20 cigarettes costs $10.50. TEN FIFTY. That's more than I spend on meals. That's the same price I spend on dropping off my laundry. And I pay that out the nose EVERY DAY. $74 a week. Almost $300 a month. That's more than $3,600 a year.

On killing myself. And making my clothing stink. And worrying everyone from my family to friends to exes.

So it stops here. I'm not quitting. I quit. That's it. If not now, when? Never. I've put this off for too long. And for what? Wasted money and a disgusting deadly habit.

It ends here. This is Day 1.

And no, I don't feel like I need a cigarette. I'm sure it'll be hard, but I've accomplished harder things. And I'm always down for a challenge.


  1. 'I've accomplished harder things.' hahhahahaah you said 'harder things'. That makes me laugh.

  2. Have you ever read "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking?" I own it....and I hear it's great. I read the first chapter and it said, "Don't finish this book until you're ready to quit smoking. And keeps smoking until you're done." I bought the book in 2006, and haven't finished yet.

    Good luck! Stay strong!

  3. You gonna be such a bitch in about 6 days...

  4. Glad to see that your realize that your smoking's effects go beyond just you.

  5. I have been thinking of quitting smoking too. As of Oct 1 the whole state of Montana is smoke free in public buildings, including bars. i have been saying that when the smoking ban goes into effect i would quit, and yet i am still smoking. i never thought it would actually come into effect. this is in a state that had no open container law until a few years ago. thats right you could drive down the street while drinking a beer. maybe after this pack of camel lights is finished i will quit too.