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Thank You For Not Smoking

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I have never been a smoker. During my teenage years, I tried it like most kids mainly due to peer pressure. I didn’t like the taste. I couldn’t stand the smell. I didn’t feel “cool.”

Of course, it is hard to look cool as you are coughing uncontrollably and gasping for air. Your body knows. It fights the things that are not good for you.

My home was smoke-free. I never had to come home to the smell of stale cigarettes lingering in the air. My mom never smoked. Maybe it was because her mother, my grandmother, did.

We were learning about the dangers of smoking in school. As kids, we were already being taught to never start this addictive habit.

I have a very vivid memory from when I was six or seven years old. I was sitting in a restaurant with a few family members, including my grandmother. I was sitting across from my grandmother who was probably already on her second cigarette, as we waited patiently for our food to be brought to the table.

I began my little kid lecture about not smoking, begging her to stop because I cared about her. She looked at me smugly from across the table and took a long drag off her cigarette.

Her mouth twisted into a tight “o” and her cheeks concaved in as she sucked in all the nicotine that she could in one breathe. Her eyes never left me. With her elbow on the table, she withdrew the cigarette from her mouth, leaned forward and blew every ounce of smoke that she inhaled straight into my face.

The cloud of smoke surrounded my face and hair before floating up over my head like a dirty halo. I coughed. My eyes watered. And I never approached my grandmother about quitting smoking again.

I hate the smell of cigarette smoke. I hate how people think that a spritz of perfume can mask the stale and rotting odor that cigarettes leave on their hair and clothes. And I hate how the addiction of this drug takes people eventually away from the ones that love them.

As a parent, a smoke-free home is just one more gift you can give to your child.
Thank you for not smoking.

Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.