Naturally, my first reaction was #*&%$#!!!!%. It's not that I haven't tried to quit smoking. Boy have I tried. Each time I start out feeling optimistic but nervous, the optimism quickly fades as I become a little cranky, then a lot cranky until finally I turn into a venom-spewing, head-spinning character out of the Exorcist (well, maybe not literally). That's when I cave and light a cigarette.
It's not that I don't recognize the danger--we all know the litany of health risks associated with smoking: Heart disease, lung disease, a variety of cancers and increased risk of stroke to name just a few. Then there's the expense. It's obscene. Where I live, cigarettes cost $5.75 a pack. I smoke at least a pack and a half a day. I'm no math wiz, but I know my habit adds up to thousands of dollars a year. And, oh yeah, cigarettes are gross! No wonder those of us who still smoke sneak our cigarettes, we hide our habit so we don't have to answer to those who ask "Oh, you still smoke?!" I can't ever imagine that cigarettes were ever seen as glamorous.
So I have accepted the challenge, bring on the assignment. This time will be different. I can do this. I will do this.