For years I have travelled and lived in different countries but there was one place where I was immediately at home wherever I went: Smoker Land.
It was a great place. Lots of fun and cameraderie. Can't even begin to count the number of people I met and chatted with from Boston to LA, from Lille to Barcelona, from Tokyo to Bangalore outside of restaurants and airports because we had one thing in common - cigarettes - the ultimate international ice-breaker.
On November 17, 2008 I decided to quit. I am 43 years old and constantly playing the Cosmic Crapshoot of Life by consuming a pack + per day was getting a bit perilous. I was also starting to feel some of the negative health impacts - shortness of breath, lack of energy, trouble sleeping and so on. And, finally, while I had deluded myself into thinking that I had voluntarily applied for a residency permit for Smokersville, I discovered that it was less a choice of a nice destination and more of a prison state that is damned difficult to get out of.
But I did. And the best part is that I am not alone on this trip. Many many thanks to the leaders and participants at the About.com Smoking Cessation Forum who have been invaluable in helping me to take up residence in a much nicer and healthier (and just as intellectually stimulating) place.
QuitMeter Counter courtesy of www.quitmeter.com.