scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: Smoking - longish, personal
Sat Apr 15 2000 - 17:43:52 CDT
I gave up a 3 pack a day "Jones" on Tuesday May 27, 1997
after 30 years as a smoker. This was also the date of the
memorial service of a good friend and fellow scouter, Ron
Godby. Some on the list may have known Ron.
Ron and I both smoked and would steal off "into the woods"
together to grab a quick smoke at Camp, Executive Board
meetings and other Scout activities. With Ron's passing, I
decided to quit since there was no one that I wanted to
accompany for an illicit cigarette anymore :-/
I quit "cold turkey."
During the ensuing 2 weeks, I took on an "icon" of the
Scouts-L list in a flame war regarding "merit badge sashes"
and simultaneously lit into all the Woodbadgers on Doug
Gentry's Jambo list, about "insider" jokes. It's in the
archives. It was not a pleasant time. I found it best not
to attend Meetings. I avoided calling on clients. I was
not good to be around. I had "hot flashes", "night sweats,"
chest pains all of the classic withdrawal symptoms.
I gained 35 pounds. I still have most of it. In addition
to severe physical withdrawal symptoms, quitting after 30
years has an effect on your metabolic rate. Removal of a
stimulant, you know.
After 3 years, I now only think about lighting up a
cigarette about once every couple of weeks instead of once
every day. Smoking is a habit. Smoking, since the 60's, has
come to be perceived as a *bad* habit. Nicotine is a drug.
Nicotine is physically addictive.
It is also legal.
How I quit is not nearly as interesting as how I started. I
became an official, legal smoker on my 16th birthday, in
1966, as a member of the staff at Camp Alliquippa, Yohogania
Area Council, BSA. Yep, the camp sold cigarettes in the
trading post. If you were 16, you could by 'em and smoke
your brains out if you wanted. This was the same year that
the Surgeon General's warning was required on all cigarette
The way I figure it, the B.S.of A. owes me a lifetime pass.
Doesn't matter what kind of ban on smoking on BSA property
is legislated - I get to smoke 'em if I got 'em.
The only thing is - I've quit. However, I think I've still
got at least a 30 year pass to smoke on BSA property so, I'm
going to lend my pass to any smoker on the list who wants to
slip outside, away from the boys, and have a smoke. Tell
them Rich said it was OK - you're using his pass :-) They
won't understand but believe me, I will.