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Old 09-03-12, 16:18   #1
 
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No Idea Smoker Trades One Addiction For Another



October 1, 2001, was the day my father took his last breath.

A smoker for 50 years, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in April that year. I recall how he continued to smoke cigarettes while pushing an oxygen trolley around his kitchen. When it became clear his final ride to the Haywood County Hospital was at hand, he reached for one last smoke. The irony was that his brand was “Lucky Strikes." There was nothing lucky about a father of eight whose last days would come during his 63 year of life.

“Do you regret that you smoked all your life, Dad?” I asked. “On the contrary, son,” he said without hesitation, “I enjoyed each and every one.” A short time later, he accepted a pill and a cup of water, gave us all hugs and said he loved us. It took about five more minutes for him to make the trip to the other side. It was truly one of the worst things anyone should ever witness.

At the time, I had been smoking myself for about three years (I started when I was 29). And since I had been inside the hospital for several hours, I was “nickin” for my next smoke. Before I could get to the elevator, I was approached by a young lady asking me for approval of my father's organ donation. I knew he was a registered donor and had no issues with approving the request. As I signed the paper, I discovered his corneas were the only organs undamaged and available for donation. I quickly worked my way down to the lobby and then out front where I promptly lit up.

Such scenarios, for lack of a better term, happen daily across America and the world. The question I kept asking myself was, “How can I continue smoking after seeing that?” In fact, I asked myself that for another 10 years. Apparently, witnessing my father's premature death due to lung cancer coming as a result from smoking did little to influence me to stop smoking myself. Why? Obviously, I had placed the enjoyment of smoking above all else. No regard for my personal health. No regard for my family's health. No regard for anything detrimental from smoking.

During the 10 years following my father's death I forced myself to quit. Actually, I tried five creative ways to quit and succeeded each time.
But, I never remained smoke free. So, what makes me think this time around is going to be any different?

Well, for starters, I just know it. Honestly, I probably have an edge on just about anyone else who is trying to quit, being that I'm a member of the CNN Fit Nation team this year. The new exercise regime and support coming from everyone involved with my training for the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon has been keeping me pretty busy. So, I've learned to replace smoking with exercise, among other things...

About five weeks ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to commit to becoming and staying smoke free during an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on national television. After I did that, I realized that there would be no going back this time around. How would I be able to face myself, or the rest of America, should I fail. So, that's a very important advantage. But, more importantly, this time I've become educated.

Yeah, I went to one of those “useless smoking cessation classes." Well, that's what I thought of it in the past. You know, “My name is Rick, and I'm a smoker”... “Hi Rick.” It was nothing like that. It was more of returning to high-school for one day a week than anything else.

Called the “Freedom from Smoking” program, I can tell you that if you want to quit - and I mean really want to quit - you gotta get involved with this program. I don't care if you are 15 or 60, you are going to discover exactly why you smoke, why you have continued smoking regardless of how many friends and loved ones have succumbed to cancer, and ho
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Old 09-03-12, 17:20   #2
 
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Default Re: Smoker Trades One Addiction For Another

Useful info I certainly need it and thanks Freak
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