Yesterday, my husband (affectionately known as the Thriller, because he has a rather well-known name) embarked on a quest I never thought I’d see.
After 40 years, he is giving up cigarettes.
Of course, I’ve never known a time when he didn’t smoke. He started the year he graduated high school (1969), and with the exception of one brief period — during which his family begged him to please go out for a cig before they all lost their minds — he never stopped. Until yesterday afternoon.
I don’t understand the pull of nicotine addiction, having never experienced that particular craving. But from what I have seen from Thriller, my sister Mavis, and many other members of my family (I come from a long, long line of habitual smokers), it is intense. I have been a smoker myself in the past, but had no trouble laying them down. And since they’re now up over $6 a pack (and in some locales, as much as $7.50), lots of people are laying them down. From an article in the Nashville News:
Come April 1, the federal tax on a pack of cigs increases to $1.01. Add in a state tax increase to 62 cents a pack, and a pack of Camels or Marlboros will soon run you $6.75. Parliaments and American Spirits will jump to about $7.50.
To keep smokers from retreating to more cost-efficient grounds, lawmakers also raised the tax on roll-your-own tobacco by a stunning 2,200 percent. The federal tax on a pound will go from $1.09 to $24.78.
Yikes. Suffice it to say that the Thriller’s decision to quit (based mostly on the fact that, as he said, “I’m killing myself,” but also on the ridiculous price hikes) has my respect and admiration. I can only imagine how difficult it must be.
He is using his pipe to help him through the first few days. That’s fine, especially since he predicts that the constant messing with keeping it lit will be such a massive pain in the hind-end that he’ll give it all up, sooner or later. Sounds like a plan to me. Anything is better than his former pack-and-a-half-a-day habit.
It will be a challenge and a long haul for him, I’m sure. But there are those of us who want him to see his grandchildren grow up. He knows it’s worth it. So, shout out to the Thriller if you’ve a mind to. He’ll need all the encouragement we can give him.