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Recently, a friend asked me when was the last time I smoked a cigarette and I couldn’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 don’t really smoke anymore. And it didn't require anything. Not a patch, not gum, not pills. Just one law.
I’ve discussed this with fellow former social smokers and decided that because we’re not hardcore smokers, we’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 can’t decide if I should just go purist and say "I no longer smoke." The older I get, the more I realize I don’t care for labels. I’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." It’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 can’t say I feel much healthier on a day-to-day basis, I know I probably am. Plus, I don’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. It’s walking a fine line, I know; it's a slippery slope. It’s like dipping one little toe in the swamp and pulling it out before the ravenous crocodile chomps it off. But it’s fun.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.