Congratulations to all you folk who decided to quit and succeeded!
I've been smoking since I was about 10 years old and tried to quit a few times, but I'm still puffin'. What really helps me to cut down is to restrict myself to smoking outside only. I'm down to about 10 a day now, and I'm grateful my home doesn't smell like a dirty ashtray anymore. I also have more money in my wallet these days.
All the 'propoganda' against smoking brings out the 'rebel' in me I guess. Not very mature, probably, but I've been putting up with unsolicited advice about smoking all my life and it just brings up all the old "DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!" feelings.
Also, I've always enjoyed excellent health. I hardly ever get colds or flus, and when I do it's usually because I'm overtired and been around sickly non-smokers. That's the honest truth.
I'm sure NOT encouraging anyone to start or continue smoking, but here's a little story that comforts me when the propoganda gets to me and I'm down on myself for not quitting (yet).
Last year I was driving up a mountainside near Hope, B.C. An elderly fellow was pedalling an old bicycle up the mountain ahead of me. He got my attention because his hair was so silver, he was laden down with back-packs and gear strapped onto the bike, and that was a very long and steep grade. I was thinking "way to go, old man! I'm a few decades younger than you and I don't think I could do that!" But when I passed him, I got a real surprise. He was puffing on a pipe, smoke billowing all around him, and at his age still pedalling up that mountain. I wished I had my camera!
I thought THAT would make an excellent poster to counteract all the anti-smoking propoganda. Keep telling people that they are going to get sick, and eventually through the power of suggestion they probably will. Cancer is big business in Canada!
Tobacco is a mood-altering plant that the North American native peoples viewed as sacred. They use it in their ceremonies and prayers much as Europeans use alcohol. They believe the smoke carries their prayers to Great Spirit, and they offer it to their elders and healers - and musicians - in exchange for their services and advice.
IMO, using tobacco in a sacred manner, with respect for both oneself and the plant too, does not endanger one's health. The Indians, quite a physically healthy lot compared to the white folk at the time of 'first contact', did not smoke chemically-laden cigarettes just for pleasure until the Europeans arrived. Then the sacred use of be plant began to change to an economic one, and smoking became an addiction rather than a prayer/offering, and the health risks became apparent.
Maybe that was the 'karma' the Europeans earned for introducing the native peoples to deadly alcohol and firearms!
Anyway, again "way to go!" to all you folk who have given up what has become a dangerous - and certainly not 'sacred', habit. And now I'm going out for a smoke. Then I'll stretch out and do my daily half-hour 'power-walking'! Gotta keep those lungs exercised ...