The Zucchini Patch » A Slave to Cigarettes

The Zucchini Patch » A Slave to Cigarettes

Jessica of The Zucchini Patch wants to quit smoking. This is my comment. It deals mostly with the money aspect of smoking. They don’t talk about that much in the anti-smoking ads. They talk about cancer only in very vague terms. They show little pictures of the particulate matter that coats the lungs. They don’t talk so much about the reality of drowning in your own putrefying lungs.

Oddly enough, they also don’t talk about the 20% of women with lung cancer who never smoked at all. The politics of the anti-tobacco movement is another story for another day.

Wow. I remember in 1979 saying I’d quit when cigarettes reached 75¢ a pack.

Let’s see…
$3.50/pack × 2 packs/day × 365days/year?
Thats over $2500 a year!

So your first year’s savings are the down payment on a new subcompact car. Each monthly savings after that is the car payment.

Not sure how much daycare costs. Save your savings in a college fund for Marco. In 15 years at 9% interest, the long-term average growth for the stock market, you’d have $65,536.67. (Don’t worry, he’ll get loans and grants for the rest of the cost.)

Or how about taking a week-long yoga retreat at the Omega Institute? Mmmmmmm… 🙂

A trip to Paris even with the abysmal exchange rate!

20 steak dinners. Real, digestible steak, not the USDA Choice shoeleather they sell at the supermarket. If you don’t eat meat, give the steak to the dog and enjoy a decadent dessert, a mango souffle perhaps. Heck, fly me up there and I’ll eat your steak. I’m not proud.

See, this is what the cigarette habit is denying you.

I’m having a brain bubble over where you live. I’ll do the tax numbers based on my locale. Federal tax on cigarettes is 39¢ a pack so I’d pay around $280 a year. I wonder whether I can deduct that on my income tax? If Congress manages to raise the tax to $1 a pack (to fund children’s health insurance, they claim) then I’d be paying $730 a year. Hey, it’s “for the chillrun.” My state cigarette tax is $1.35 per pack, for a whopping $980 or so per year. My state income tax is less than that!

Does it seem to you that if the government actually banned cigarettes they’d be losing a big source of income? Hmmmm… almosts makes you want to think. 😉

Ok, now for the real problem with quitting smoking. Nicotine is a powerful anxiolytic and antidepressant. When you quit, you’re not only back to your pre-smoking anxiety levels, but you also have a rebound effect. The HedWeb Good Drug Guide has a lot of excellent information on brain chemical tweaks in general, and nicotine in particular. Here’s a good place to start:
Biopsychiatry.com:: Antidepressants : Nicotine

Both major depression and depressive symptoms are associated with a high rate of nicotine dependence, and a history of major depression has an adverse impact on smoking cessation.

In other words, when you quit smoking it will feel as if you’ve quit psych meds cold turkey. Have you ever made that mistake?

So please don’t beat yourself up if it takes several tries for you to quit. It’s not a moral failing, it is brain chemicals. I’d wait until after the stressful holidays to quit.

I could go into the nuts-and-bolts of how I finally quit in 1986 or so – lots of crying, mostly – but there is plenty of good information available on the web. Email me if you want to hear about it. 🙂

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