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Newsflash:
Thursday, 22 March 2001

Quitting for The 39th Time

Written by  Michal Cohen

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I just quit smoking.

I remember the day I started so clearly, though it was 18 years ago (aaagh!). Kay Turner, the coolest girl at Youth Club was making friends with me, I felt so honored, and when she offered me that first cigarette (Consulate, Menthol - yuk!) - there was no way I was going to turn her down.

So that's my sad reason for starting a life long habit - to look cool. I remember how I must have looked, getting through packets of them when I never really needed to. How I have wished over recent years (especially since my mother died from cancer) that I had never got hooked, like some lucky people. Some people are lucky in a way, they can have a cigarette every now and again - I can't. If I have one, I have a pack. And so it goes on, year after year, feeling smelly & miserable about my repeated failures to stop.

I just quit smoking (it's been at least five minutes now). For the 39th time - and the last time. What makes this one different? Well, I just found myself in the bathroom, in front of a mirror, and decided to watch myself. I have never done this before - I have tried everything - nicotine patches, hypnosis, and will power. Nothing as powerful as watching yourself inhale poison - the way your mouth and face contorts.

I was transfixed - I looked awful (I was prepared to overlook the smell!)

Another powerful thought struck me as I watched: I couldn't really love myself very much if I was doing this to my body - of my own free will!! I thought that was really sad. Maybe even the reason I am 32 and single (hey, you never know, I'm exploring all possibilities!!)

It was right then & there that I decided that this cigarette would be my last one (for the 39th time - and the last!) I decided to share this with you for two reasons:

  1. Sara (Teen Center Director) has been hassling me for ages to write an article about giving up smoking, and she can be real pushy!!

  2. I'm counting on your support - hey, I just quit smoking (7 minutes!) in front of thousands of people!!

Once I had the idea about writing this down, I started to rush my cigarette - can you believe it - the last one, the most savored, relished, slowly smoked Marlboro, I rushed it, because I just quit smoking, for the 39th time and the last!

Last modified on Monday, 11 April 2011 12:00
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Michal Cohen

Michal Cohen is the General Manager of an online radio station and a DJ.

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