Smoking Cessation

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independency day nor is it a holiday in the U.S. of A. but this day in 1988 is the day I last ceased smoking.  I had quit several hundred if not thousands of times before this.  Quit for the entire year of 1975 on a New Years resolution and wanted a cigarette continuously for the entire 8,760 hours of that year.  Spent several hundreds of dollars to drive from Camp Pendleton to San Diego for each day required to receive the Schick Center Aversion Therapy which worked great in 1976!  Unfortunately I began chewing Copenhagen with my fellow Artillerymen and then later when receiving radiation treatment for testicular cancer at Portsmouth Naval Hospital I was not allowed to chew but could join others in the urology ward smoking in a special room and so I did.  Subsequent attempts to stop lasted only two or three days and I became suicidal seeing that that little stick had a hold on me that was greater than I could handle.  So I took a walk into the Pinto Basin of the then Josh Tree National Monument with no provisions and no intention of returning to anywhere that tobacco was near.  After several hours I looked back and saw that my plan to die somewhere in the hills was clearly untenable having only made less than a small part of the hike to the hills and though my car was just a speck in the distance the hills had not grown nearly close enough.  I would die less than half way through the basin.  So be it.  Then God spoke to me saying I could return home and would have no more problems with tobacco.  I laughed out loud, went home and in the years since have rarely been tempted again.  When I have been tempted I just recalled these horrors and the urge quickly vanished.  That was 1988 and I rewrite this story every few years to make sure I remember it well.

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