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Recently, a friend asked me when was the last time I smoked a cigarette and I couldnâ€™t remember. I found this interesting because, although I was not a pack-a-day smoker, I did like to suck down a few grits when drinking alcohol.
However, most of my alcohol consumption takes place at home -- where I do not smoke -- or in bars -- where I can no longer smoke. And so, guess what? I donâ€™t really smoke anymore. And it didn't require anything. Not a patch, not gum, not pills. Just one law.
Iâ€™ve discussed this with fellow former social smokers and decided that because weâ€™re not hardcore smokers, weâ€™re unwilling to stand in outside in frigid temps. Plus, most social smokers do not have a nicotine addiction. Sure, we might have an emotional addiction to cigs or some other unhealthy relationship with them but it makes simply stopping way less of a physically painful process.
I canâ€™t decide if I should just go purist and say "I no longer smoke." The older I get, the more I realize I donâ€™t care for labels. Iâ€™d rather not be a "smoker" or a "non-smoker," and even though I have not eaten meat since September, I refuse to call myself a "vegetarian." Itâ€™s funny, when I was younger, I was all about asserting myself as this or that, but these days, I like the freedom to shamelessly be my undefined, sometimes hypocritical self is an integral aspect of my self-acceptance.
But enough about that.
From a health perspective, the death of social smoking is a good thing. Even though I canâ€™t say I feel much healthier on a day-to-day basis, I know I probably am. Plus, I donâ€™t get smoke hangovers anymore from either my own cigs or the dozens that burned around me at bars.
But on the other hand, I miss social smoking. Itâ€™s walking a fine line, I know; it's a slippery slope. Itâ€™s like dipping one little toe in the swamp and pulling it out before the ravenous crocodile chomps it off. But itâ€™s fun.
I'm so proud of you guys, don't let the mild spring air draw you back to the dark side!
Hopefully one beautiful summer day in Milwaukee I won't have to worry about strategizing to select a table outside up-wind of someone smoking only to have someone else light-one-up anyway, right in the middle of my drink or meal.
I just mentioned this in the other talk back. The smoking ban has totally killed the social smoker. I don't care enough to go outside when it's freezing cold to suck down a dirt. Now, summer time and tailgating at Miller Park might be a whole nother monster to tackle. But I haven't smoked for awhile now. But I still don't consider myself a total non-smoker. I find it's a nice little mind game I play with myself. If I tell myself I can't have something, then I want it. So, by not calling myself an official non-smoker, it's easier to not smoke. If that makes any sense.
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