“SMOKE ! SMOKE! SMOKE ! THAT CIGARETTE” …1947
How many of you “old timers” remember that hit record by “Tex” Williams ? It was written in 1947 by Merle Travis and is a rambling song with many stanzas but the chorus is the part that most people my age remember. It goes like this:
“Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.
Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait,
But you just gotta have another cigarette.”
I was just 14 at the time but I loved that song. I also loved the movies and couldn’t wait to emulate the sophisticated ladies with their long cigarette holders. Ah, the elegance of it all !
By 1955 I was out of college and on my own. Smoking was a “rite of passage” and I joined the crowd. I never did get the long holder but I felt very stylish as I puffed away.
In 1957 I caught the flu bug & was terribly ill for about 5 days. I remember that the first thing I did when I felt better was to light a cigarette. It immediately sent me into paroxysms of coughing and set back my recovery for about 2 more days. As a result I decided to quit smoking and I did. Lucky me !!
It would be approximately 40 years before any real inroads were made regarding a ban on cigarettes. It is incredulous to me when I think that it was actually condoned in the ER where I started working in 1978. Now that same Hospital is 100% smoke-free
Now it is 2011 and I know there are still die-hard (pardon the pun) smokers out there who resent the bans on smoking, but, I, for one, can breathe easier … and I hope you can too !