Well, since you asked, Ocean
. . . .
Actually, my motivation to smoke is a better story than the one to quit.
A good buddy of mine was having difficulty in high school. He was supposed to write a report for class. He had already flunked once, so he brought his problem to me.
Out of all the choices of topics he had been given, he had signed up for researching and reporting on the ongoing attempt to decrease the danger of cancer from smoking cigarettes. (This was mid-sixties.) He chose that topic because (wait for it) his father smoked, and he thought he could just write down whatever his father said. (When he tried to have a conversation with his father about cigarette smoking and lung cancer, his father threw him out of the house, and so I inherited him.)
My portion of his report was collecting ten years of reports on tar and nicotine testing of different brands of cigarettes, and how various efforts like filters and high porosity paper had affected those brandsí output.
For example, I can still remember one cigarette Ė Winchester Ė that had double the tar AFTER they had added a filter. (I presume they used poorer quality tobacco to pay for the filter.)
My buddy, who was squeamish about any research which involved a library decided to try to gain empirical knowledge by swiping a few cigarettes from all his relatives who smoked different brands, then compare them himself.
When it came time, he graciously invited me to join him.
A first we just puffed smoke about the room, and tried to see if we could discern any difference. We quickly learned that the difference was more noticeable if we inhaled the smoke. Then we both got as dizzy as a goose, and had to quit.
I suppose I donít have to go any further. You can easily tell what happened, even if it was a complete surprise to us.
As it was my later teens, and there still was a misplaced cachet of glamour around smoking I continued to smoke until I went further out into the world.
At various times while trying to obtain an advanced education, and while surviving my first several jobs, the cost of my habit was born in on me. The occasional cinder burns in clothing was no cause for delight, either. The smell on my clothes (and presumably my breath) was disheartening.
It was when I first started working as a writer (third continuity writer in a 50,000 watt AM station) that I decided I should quit.
When you write, you smoke. Usually while I was typing like I had missed a deadline, a cigarette was slowly turning into a long ashen corpse in the ash tray. If I stopped to think, I instinctively reached for a cigarette, even if it was only to find, when I set it down in the ash tray, that a half-burned companion was already there, waiting.
For the first three years, I shared an office with another writer who was forever quitting. Monday morning he would announce that he had quit Sunday night, and it was now eighteen hours since he had smoked a cigarette. He would remind me at the nineteenth hour, the twentieth hour, and the twenty hour and thirty minute mark.
By noon he was bumming cigarettes from me.
Even if he did get passed the first day, he would crow so much about his accomplishment that I would begin to wish that he would start bumming again, and not give me such an earache.
It was at that time that I decided that when and if I ever quit smoking, I would never tell anybody about it, until I was certain that it had taken. So, even when I tried to quit, and had gone for a few days without, someone would join me, light up, and seeing I wasnít smoking, offer me one of theirs.
It was many years later, when I changed to a new job where I was unknown, and I learned that they enforced a smoke-free office policy that I decided to give it one last try.
I had a month before I joined them, so I contacted my doctor and asked about patches, or some other aid, since I had never managed to quit on my own hook. He recommended one of two varieties (three months, each monthís patch a step down from the monthís before, until I could stop cold turkey).
When I started my new job, I had been a non smoker for two weeks.
I donít know if anybody ever noticed that occasionally I would reach for my inside coat pocket, or my shirt pocket if I was in shirtsleeves. If they did, they never mentioned it to me.