Great American Smokeout – Quit Together. Win Together

This post was sponsored the American Cancer Society. All storytelling and opinions are my own.
I started smoking when I was 12. Yeah – that’s not a typo. All the cool kids were doing it, so… I now wonder if my having been adopted and exaggerated need to fit in may have contributed to that first puff. Great! That just occurred to me – one more thing to worry when the twins are older…
But I did one of the best things I ever could have done for them way before I ever met them – 2 years before they were even born. I quit smoking. And when I did, I got my life back. And I eliminated one of the biggest risk factors that they will start smoking as teenagers – having a parent who smokes.

July 2010 was actually the second time I really quit smoking. Like any smoker, I had tried to quit so many times. Unlike most smokers, I feel like I successfully quit twice. I know what you’re thinking, how successful could the first quit have been if I started again. Well, let me ‘splain it to you….
I quit smoking in August 2003. We were going to start our family soon, and I wanted to quit smoking well before we starting “trying”.
I actually tricked myself into quitting, if you can believe that.
I had set the day we were moving into our new apartment as my quit date – circled it on my calendar, the whole deal…. About 10 days before my quit date I worked from home all day. Around 6pm it dawned on my that I hadn’t smoked all day. And I wondered if I could go the whole day without smoking. I did, so I decided to see if I could go the next day without smoking. I did. Mind you, I hadn’t quit smoking yet, my quit date was set and I wasn’t there yet. I was just seeing if I could not smoke for a couple of days.
After 3-4 days of not smoking, I told SuperDad that I hadn’t had a cigarette in several days. I cut him off when he started to congratulate me – I hadn’t quit yet, I just hadn’t smoked in a few days…
By the time I got to my quit date, I hadn’t smoked in 10 days, so it was really no big deal at that point. Fast forward to 2006 when I finally accepted that ever being a mom just wasn’t in the cards for me (at least I thought so at the time). As some kind of stupid, childish, short-sighted “screw you” to infertility, I made a conscious decision to start smoking again. Now, how freaking moronic is that??
As I said, I quit again in July 2010, actually before we had even decided to get re-licensed for foster care. I was sick of sounding like Bea Arthur hacking up a hairball every morning. I couldn’t stand the smell of my own clothes. And burning up that much money was killing me – literally AND figuratively.
Ever since I first laid eyes on Lady Bug, every time I’ve thought about lighting up again, I just look at the kids and think about all they stand to lose if I started again – a mommy that is able to run around with them and not get winded just looking at a bicycle, a mommy that is present and will be present for a very long time, no exposure to second-hand smoke… I could go on, but I think you get the point.
If I can quit twice, you can do it once, right? Join the Great American Smokeout (800-227-2345) on Thursday, November 20th and win YOUR life back. November 20 marks the American Cancer Society’s 38th year of the Great American Smokeout (GASO), an initiative to encourage smokers to commit to quit or make a plan to quit on that day. By quitting, even for one day, smokers will take a critical step to a healthier life that can reduce the risk of cancer.
It’s a cheesy cliche, but I promise your family will thank you and you’ll be SO glad you did it. Make sure you check out the Quit for Life Facebook page and the American Cancer Society’s Guide to Quitting Smoking and make a commitment to “Quit Together. Win Together”

It has recently come to my attention that not all of my readers can easily tell when I’m being sarcastic. That is truly unfortunate, so finding a solution was imperative. ^Obviously, the easiest answer is to assume that if something can be read with sarcasm, it should be;^; but that’s not really workable, I guess. After reviewing several options for a “sarcasm font”, I’ve come up up with my own system. Whenever you see italics inside carrots (^snark^), that is my “sarcasm font”.

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