A 360 degree (compressed, to fit it all here in just 925px) of our Father-Daughter camping site in May 2010.

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6 Months Today!

6 months ago today, I quit smoking for good. I have been quit for 5 Months, 4 Weeks, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 59 seconds (181 days). I have saved $924.52 by not smoking 2,719 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 6 Days, 5 hours and 13 minutes of my life. My Quit Date was 6/7/2007 11:20 PM

2,719 cigarettes! Just picture that. In only 6 months, that is the number of cigarettes I haven't smoked. Forget about visualizing what that number of butts looks like in a bucket, or how big a room filled with the smoke of 2,719 cigarettes would have to be, just think about the time I've saved not carrying around and managing 2,719 cigarettes over the last 6 months!

I was a smoker for more than 25 years, since I was 15 years old. Wow, 25 is a scary number when you use it in the same sentence as smoking. I wasn't planning on smoking that long! Over the years, I went from a high of maybe a pack and a half a day (Canadian packs - so that's about 37 cigarettes per day) to a low of about 8 cigarettes per day. I was arrogant enough to think that I had my addiction under control when I was smoking only 8 per day, but I seem to have spent most of my life at the 15-20 cigarette per day mark.

Prior to this, I've quit smoking about 30 times. I've used Zyban, inhalers, the patch, the gum, and combinations of everything. I even spent $100 on that useless Lifesigns device about 15 years ago. Once about 12 years ago, using a combination of cold-turkey, and some serious rationalization, I managed to quit for 3 years. I'm still proud of that because I managed to more or less quit, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. Aside from that one-time, I did quit for 5 months a few years after my daughter was born - just as she was starting to understand what it is I was doing with those cigarettes. In the end, I found it was much easier to simply hide my smoking from her rather than actually quitting. And aside from that, the other 28 quit attempts were barely one day affairs.

I think the kicker to quit smoking was my turning 40. That, and one day about a year ago, my daughter walked up to me and said: "Daddy, you know that thing we are not supposed to talk about? Well, you left a pack of them on the floor in the kitchen..." Some secret.

So 6 months ago today, I quit smoking for good. I consider myself a "smoker's ex-smoker" which is to say that I empathize and sympathize with the plight of the modern smoker. You can (maybe) smoke in my car if it's a long drive and you crack the window - but I myself have honestly kicked the habit. I have absolutely no desire for a cigarette any more. I'm still relieved that I was finally able to quit and I sure don't want to do anything to jeopardize that.

April 2016 - I'm still a non-smoker. It CAN be done. I owe everything to Joel Spitzer, a name I will never forget.

6 Months Today!
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