Monday, July 28, 2008

As The Smoke Clears...

Old habits die hard. Habits that have been ingrained in daily ritual for years, for over forty years to be exact. How do you go about changing forty years of reinforcement?

My father succumb to the habitual addiction of smoking, over forty years ago. I will have to inquire as to the when it all started, I am almost positive he started smoking when he was in the Airforce. Smoking unfiltered Pall Malls to top it off. The label is imprinted in my mind, red with white lettering, some bizarre crest in the middle of the pack. Occasionally in the last decade, he'd go cold turkey and quit, but I don't think it ever lasted longer than a few months.

As with any addiction, the choice to stop ultimately has to be of one's own volition. Even if we know that addiction can kill you, age you beyond belief, stress out your organs, and permeate the smell of your hands, breath, clothing, and home. Aah, it's just a smoke, right?

Two weeks ago, my father quit smoking. He recently fell ill, so sick that he knew it was time. In a moment of weakness his mind convinced his ailing body, there's got to be a better way. His words spoke of seeing his granddaughter's growing up.

After spending a couple of weeks distracted by my father's health, we now know he's going to be okay. The beauty of this health scare is an opportunity to heal and live a fuller life. A life in a body not being polluted by chemicals and nicotine time and time again, through out the day. A life with out Pall Malls. Good bye little red pack. Good bye waste of money.

All my positive thoughts are being directed at keeping him on track. A box of special treats decorated by the girls, with some of his favorite quotes from them, adorn the labels of hard candy packages. A reminder that seeing his granddaughter's grow up is a wonderful thing.
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I had to share these two ads from 1951 & 1954, mind boggling really: ---

16 comments:

  1. Good for your dad for wanting to quit! That is a very hard thing to do. My dad was a smoker too and did the cold turkey route. He chewed a lot of cinnamon gum. It's great that you're sending him candy packages for encouragement.

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  2. Encourage him to try teas that will aid him with his nerves: Valerian, chamomile, etc. Valerian was a good one for me in the early days of sobriety, but it will put you to sleep :)

    Congratulations to him! Maybe he should start a "Quit Smoking" blog to chart his progress. I would leave comments ;)

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  3. Good luck to your dad! I'm glad something good came out of this, and I hope the qutting process goes well for him...

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  4. good luck to your dad, i know my stepdad always had tictacs with him when he quit so when he felt like one he would have atictac instead. Glad he is doing well too.

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  5. Good luck to your dad. That is a tough road to go down but it sounds like he is ready now. Having your beautiful girls for support will definitely help.

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  6. Good luck and congrats to your dad on the first step! My dad quit when he found out my mom was pregnant with me (some 30 odd years ago) and although the first day was the hardest, he says the temptation is still there. The stuff is so so addictive!
    And the ads kill me--I wonder if our grandkids will make fun of the Splenda ads ;)

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  7. Those ads are chilling. Makes me wonder what common fads today will be revamped in the future.

    I think it's so sweet that you're sending treats to your dad during his difficult time and I hope he reads your post.

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  8. I have been smoking since I was 18. I've "quit" more times than I can count. I keep trying. I keep searching for that cure. I'll keep trying. I hope your dad is successful.

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  9. Good luck to your Dad:)

    What a trip those old ads are!

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  10. Guard AGAINST throat scratch?! Huh. Funny thing, my throat scratch went away when I quit. Silly me. What was I thinking?!

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  11. I'm glad he has finally quit. My mom has smoked for almost 50 years and nothing I do or say seems to make a difference!

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  12. Oh that made me cry. Only because my dad was a serious smoker as well and died when I was eight. He never even got to see ME grow up. I truly, truly hope he is successful. I'm sending you my good thoughts.

    I wrote about my dad here:

    http://mamagingertree.blogspot.com/2008/03/thirty-seven.html

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  13. I love how you and your girls are supporting him with such heart-wearming encouragement. He's sure to smile every time he reaches for that box of treasure you made for him. What a lucky grandpa!

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  14. I'm glad your dad is doing better and on his way to good health. And healthy choices.

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  15. With you and your girls behind him, I bet he can do it. Those old ads are amazing. Old movies always get me too - everyone holding cigarettes.

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  16. Good job for your dad! I'm so happy to hear that he is doing this. Those ads are crazy.

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!