I’m not blowing smoke

Cigarette holders really made it chic

I started smoking when I was 17 and a freshman in college.  I smoked more and more every year. By the time I was 37, I was religiously making my way through two and a half packs a day. My clothes smelled of smoke, my fingertips were tinged with yellow and my teeth were none too white. Goodness knows about my breath.

When I was an airplane passenger, I’d sit with my unlit cigarette positioned in my right hand, waiting anxiously for the no smoking sign to stop glowing. I smoked up a storm in the finest restaurants, before, during and after the meal.  I’m not sure I tasted anything but the smoke during all that time.  I smoked when I was pregnant. I swore I couldn’t write a word unless I had a cigarette in my mouth or near it.

If I ran out of cigarettes in the evening and the stores were all closed, I’d rummage through the pail for salvageable butts. My former husband, who didn’t smoke, kept secret stashes of cartons when I reached a state of desperation.

One of my oldest FOF friends developed cancer of the larynx when she was in her thirties.  It was a result of excessive smoking and drinking. This was the same friend who introduced me to martinis.  I drank plenty of those, too.  Fortunately, my pal caught the cancer in time and she’s still with us.

When I think back, the only cigarettes I truly enjoyed were the ones after each meal and with the first drink. It didn’t much matter.  I was an addict.

I stopped smoking 25 years ago.  I vaguely remember my little son telling me to, but I’m not sure if that was the impetus. I went to one hypnosis session and haven’t touched a cigarette ever since.  It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. If you’ve ever smoked as much as I did, then stopped, you’d probably agree.

Although my chest x-rays look good every year, I still worry that I’ll develop lung cancer as a result of my nasty habit. I also wish my daughter would stop smoking but I know she’ll have to decide that herself. There are some pretty gruesome anti-smoking campaigns on TV now. I’m not so sure they would have influenced me.

Which leads me to this thought:  If I were First Lady, I’d create a national initiative to prevent young people from ever smoking in the first place. It wouldn’t do to make cigarettes illegal, but if I gathered the right FOF women who feel as I do, I’m pretty sure we’d come up with a really smart plan.

0 Responses to “I’m not blowing smoke”

  1. Geri says:

    Hi g,

    I don’t think it’s crazy at all. Marijuana is far safer and I’d rather see my kids (28 and 30) smoking it, too, although not excessively.


  2. g says:

    Oh, that would be a wonderful thing for Michelle O to do, given that her husband is an occasional smoker and shouldn’t be.

    Watching films or reading literature about the 30’s – 60s – or watching Madmen – it blows me away to see how much people smoked. Can you imagine how they smelled?

    I’ve never smoked, but know hundreds who do. Smoke never used to bother me, now it does intensely. I’ve noticed my son, who is 21, smoke with his friends sometimes, and I told him that, while I didn’t care if he smoked marijuana on occasion, it really disappointed me to see him with a cigarette. Is that crazy or what?

  3. Geri says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I love what you’re doing and will put your blog on my blogs i love list. Our website is launching on February 18th and women over fifty will be recommending their favorite beauty products, books, restaurants, designers, shops, etc. to each other. But you’ll be allowed to join since we won’t be checking birth certificates 🙂


  4. cindy@beautifully50.blogspot.com says:

    Geri – I just found your blog and love it and I agree completely with your thoughts on cigarettes. I have an 8 year old son and, at least right now, he believes cigarettes are simply not smart. Believe me, I hope he continues along those lines…I also got my mom to quit smoking by simply refusing to be in the same room as her!
    I just started a blog – beautifully50 – my journey to getting there as fabulous as you are! It’s fashion, beauty, tips on longevity and more for those of his in our mid-life. Check it out~

  5. Geri says:

    Hi Slices of Beauty,

    You may not be OF but you’re definitely F to send such a lovely comment to me. I took a look at your beautiful blog and will mention it in my blog. Thank you for writing to me.


  6. Slices of Beauty says:

    Thank you for sharing!
    You can make a difference and save lives with posts like this.

    Far from fof yet, lol, but wanna be as fab as you when am there!
    Happy 2010.


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