Friday, April 21, 2017


That was a hit record for Tex Williams. It had many stanzas but the part that most people remember is the chorus. 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.”

That was 70 years ago but it came to mind last night while chatting with a bunch of AA members. One of the “old timers” compared the smoke filled meeting rooms of the past to the pristine ones that we meet in today and how ironic it is that many got and stayed sober ... only to die of lung cancer soon after.

Another irony is the fact that so many AA members actually find it harder to quit smoking than alcohol. They tell us that the commercial ways recommended to stop the habit, such as nicotine replacement therapies (gums, inhalers, sprays) and medications such as Chantix and Zyban just don't work for them. However, when they apply the One Day at a Time concept, learned in AA, it often works like a charm.

I remember so clearly when I first heard that. I'd complained that I doubted I could quit drinking for the rest of my life and I was confused when I heard them say: “We never told you that.” I thought I was getting a reprieve and then they went on to ask me if I could just not drink for that day? Of course I could do that ! What a relief it was and lo and behold, I've been doing it now, One Day at a Time, for more than 27 years.


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Congratulations, Ginnie! One day at a time! Wise words!

2:13 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

And you deserve all the best congrats, Ginnie, and yes I have heard that smoking is often more difficult to stop than drinking. Fortunately, I haven't had to battle either of these, but admire people who have overcome addictions to both.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I was told that same thing about cigarettes from my AA sponsor and he was right. Alcohol was much easier for me to quit than cigarettes. Interesting, in my Cancer support group, all but one of us were former smokers. Sure do love the clean air of today.
Now if I can only get that darn song out of my head.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Of course you know that I think you amazing.

3:04 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

No one ever tried harder to kick the smoking habit than my mother. She died of bladder cancer in her mid-sixties...a cancer related in many cases to cigarette smoking. I recall her attempts to quit smoking as far back in my youth as I remember. She managed to quit once again while she stayed with us for the four months after her surgery. After she died and we were clearing out her house, I found every stop-smoking aid that was available at the time. She truly tried but became severely depressed without her cigarettes. I wish some of the new drugs and treatments were available then.

5:00 PM  
Blogger possum said...

You are so right! What a struggle to quit smoking... no, wait, it was easy to quit. I did it almost daily! But, finally, 32 years ago, the head of our English dept and I decided to quit together - with the first one to light up again having to give the other $100 for their favorite charity. I had so little faith in my ability to quit and STAY quit, I just called St Jude's children's hospital and gave them my credit card number. sigh.
We quit the day before leaving for Christmas vacation... ground out our last cigarettes in the faculty room, the band director gave us a drum role. Room full of witnesses! But, stubbornness became a virtue for me - maybe both of us - neither of us ever lit up again.
Everyone said it was a crazy time of the year to quit - but, actually, it worked out for me. I bought up every little candy cane I could find and "smoked" them for almost 3 months. LOL!
Today I am grateful I can go into meetings and not come out smelling like the bottom of an ashtray. I really notice how smokers stink! Funny, most of us grew up never noticing the smell.
Fun post, Ginnie!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Dick Klade said...

I smoked for 50 years, and quitting was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Been clean now for 17 years, but I occasionally still get the urge to buy a pack and light up when I see folks smoking in tv shows or movies. I'm proud of you and all others who have succeeded in finding a way to live with an addiction.

3:26 PM  
Blogger joared said...

I quit several times. Was told once that you never stop smoking, you just stop buying cigarettes, as the friend kept urging me to "borrow" one of hers. Misery loves company. I'm not trying to be facetious, but what worked for me was, in fact, not trying to stop smoking, but to stop buying cigarettes -- and I didn't "borrow" them any more either.

2:38 AM  

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