On the beat

My name is Jim Bucher, and I’m a smoker

By Jim Bucher
Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I picked up the disgusting smoking habit again.

Don’t ask me why, but – I’m sure like alcoholics, drug addicts, et al – you tell yourself, “how could one hurt?”

Trust me here, DON’T DO IT!

Back in my post high school years I began smoking. Like most, it was one, then two, then a pack a day, etc. As I recall, that first round of cigarette smoking lasted for maybe eight years. Then at 29, when I got married, I quit.

Occasionally though, stress would happen at work, or I would be out with friends (those were the days you could smoke in restaurants) having an adult beverage, somewhere, and somehow the pleasure receptors in my brain kicked in and the craving for nicotine turned on like a light switch. (Or a flame from a lighter.)

Now we jump to 2015 and after not touching a cancer stick for almost 20 some years, thought I could handle one cigar.

(OK, to be brutally honest, I’ve relapsed several times, but nothing like this current situation which is stretching over eight months.)

DON’T DO IT!

That of course led to another cigar, then another and eventually a pack of cigarettes.

“What are you doing?” the little angel on my shoulder said in my ear. “You really need to stop before you can’t.”

“Naw,” said the guy on my other shoulder in the red suit with the long tail and horns. “You just go right ahead and smoke away!”

Gosh I really I like him, but all sorts of things pop up in your mind.

My father died from lung cancer – blamed on smoking.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with emphysema, which contributed to her death.

Friends who smoked all their lives are no longer here. The list goes on and on.

I’m sure there are all kinds of theories out there on why one picks up a bad habit and, as they say, it’s easy to begin a bad one, difficult to shake off.

Right now I’m a few days clear of a smoke.

If you’re struggling to kick the habit, I would love to hear from you via my email or comment section below if you’ve dialed up on-line.

So tell me, did you quit? If you so, how’d you do it?

Send your thoughts my way.

Here a few things I’ve done to quit again.

(An important side note here, my tips are in no way to be construed as a medically endorsed plan. Check with your family physician before starting any smoking cessation program.)

Electronic cigarettes – work for me although the jury is still out on how well it assists in kicking the butts!

Nicotine gum – isn’t the greatest tasting and please by all means again check with your doctor especially if you have high blood pressure, but it takes the cravings and edge away for me at least.

A straw – this may sound weird, but for me putting a straw in my mouth apparently signals my brain that an oral fixation is achieved.

Food – this is a tricky one, because food will start tasting better, plus back to that oral fixation thing, you may begin eating more. Watch your weight. It’s sort of like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Here’s a big reason to call it quits.

$$$ – have you seen how much cigarettes will set you back? If you smoke, you know already. Around $6 a pack!

Let’s do the math.

Say you go through a pack a day, that’s $42 a week, around $160 a month, over $2,000 a year.

Holy up-in-smoke Batman, that’s a bundle of dough! That should be incentive enough to quit.

All the data and health risks are there plain and simple. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, plus a host of other issues, but for some reason the old brain – or lack thereof – rationalizes, “that will never happen to me.”

Take my advice, quit now, don’t wait, but you have to have your mind set in the right place.

Mind over matter as they say.

Friend of mine quit cold turkey, another laid out seven envelopes, naming each a day of the week. Monday was 7 cigs, Tuesday, 6, and so forth until the following Monday. Done!

As a current non-smoker, my clothes don’t stink, no butts to pick up in the backyard, I feel better and am not out of breath.

But reality is, I’m a smoke-aholic. A work in progress.

Cheers and good luck, no “butts” about it.

Buch

A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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