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Monday , 23 May 2022

Editorial: Quitting smoking has been a lifelong struggle for me

Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Trust me I have tried umpteen times.

I recently wrote an editorial about how I can do anything that I put my mind to having just completed the Dry February Challenge for the Bonnyville Health Foundation. Well, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and try once again to quit the one thing that really controls my life. Smoking.

I have tried to quit four times in the last four years, but with this demanding career as a journalist, I always told myself I would quit when I was less stressed. The truth is nicotine addiction causes stress. Cravings for nicotine feel stressful because your body begins to go through withdrawal. I admit when the deadline push is on I smoke more, especially when my daily diet mainly consists of coffee and cigarettes. The two go hand in hand for me.

I remember when I started smoking. At a young age, I worked at Woodman’s Sea Products in the fish plant in New Harbour Newfoundland, back-breaking labour with very little break time. Unless you were a smoker. I admit it’s a silly excuse, but everyone would explain to me you don’t need a break because you’re not a smoker. We did get breaks, but it seemed to me that the smokers I worked with took more time outside during the day than the non-smokers.

From age 12 I smoked regularly until I was about 16 and when cigarettes’ were $5.25 a pack. I quit at age 16 until I was 19, and then picked it back up and continued right up until last night. That’s a lot of cigarettes and a lot of money. The kind of cigarettes’ I smoke is currently $19.59 a pack. Yikes.

I grew up in a non-smoking home, my parents both worked in healthcare and were not smokers, so it’s not like I was born into this dirty habit. However, my brother and sister both smoked growing up so the temptation was always there. Especially when my sister would sneak downstairs during the night and smoke with the furnace door open so our sleeping mom and dad didn’t smell it. Sorry, sissy for outing you. My siblings actually quit smoking years ago and yet I continue. Until today!

No Smoking Day is celebrated on every second Wednesday of March, this year, March 9. Ironic, because I didn’t know this. The global event strives to raise awareness about the ill effects of smoking, thereby reinforcing the benefits of quitting smoking. I read the benefits and they drastically outweigh any reason for wanting to smoke.

The 2022 theme for No Smoking Day is “Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be stressful.” Well, I’ll be the judge of that and so my journey begins.

I’m ready for a change, I’m tired of being a slave to nicotine, I’m tired of stinking like smoke, and I’m tired of spending money on a habit that’s ruining my health.

I can do it Lakeland, I believe in myself, and it’s time for me to hang tough and don’t puff. I already saved $19.59 today!

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.