Monday, August 22, 2005

Ignorance is bliss … Marlboro Manslaughter

I forgot where I found this ad. I clipped it out of some periodical about four-years-ago. While rooting around in my overhead storage, I rediscovered it this morning, next to my 3D glasses.

When I first saw it, I was dumbstruck. I have been a smoker since I was 14-years-old. Sheesh, that's 41 years of poisoning myself with nicotine and tar and whatever other polysyllabic chemical additives are in those portable nicotine-delivery devices. I smoked Marlboro Reds for about 30 years and then had to face the decision of being able to breathe or smoking that particular brand. I opted for Marlboro Lights, then (and now) Marlboro Ultralights. As if any nomenclature is better for you than another.

I spend $35-$40 a carton every week. Shit, just shit. "Just do the math, you dumbass," I say to myself. $40 x 52 weeks a year is $2,080 annually and who knows how much closer to death this terribly addictive habit is bringing me.

Stomps With Foot wants to quit. So do I. I should just freaking do it, and be done with it. But I find it very difficult to even ponder the question of stopping. I have feelings of abject terror whenever I find myself running low (2 packs left). There has to be a way to do this, I just have to have the will to do it.

And finding this public service ad, with the Marlboro Man (who by the way, died of lung cancer, just click this link for proof) has hit home once again. Will I ignore it again? My granddaddy died from emphysema, as did my mother's sister, my dear Aunt Mary. Granddaddy quit smoking 20 years before he died. I vividly remember talking to him about smoking and remember to this day, his final words on the subject, "You know, I still want a cigarette, even after 20 years."

I don't smoke around the grandchildren, I go outside. And Stomps With Foot asked me if I would go outside to smoke when she quits. Hard-headed, selfish me said, "Ummmm … No." Does this give you an idea of what I am facing? Of course, I will go outside to smoke (except for that first one in the morning, in the bathroom). Exceptions are ironic, and stupid.

Give me strength, Oh Lord.