Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


February 23, 2014

Smoker no more

So, I quit smoking.

Of course, just admitting that I once smoked is almost sinful in this day and age, akin to admitting I used to sell heroin to orphans, but it’s different now than it was when I started. Back then, smoking cigarettes wasn’t a moral issue, just an intelligence issue. Of course, back then I could get a pack of cigarettes for less than $2.

I wasn’t ever a heavy smoker, seldom exceeding two packs a week, but I did it for a really long time, more than 20 years.

And then late last year, my health insurance company said they’d pay for something if I quit, so I quit and then they changed their minds in a “psych,” kind of move, like when you pretend to throw a ball for a dog and the dog runs off, all excited and quits smoking.

Yeah, kind of like that.

Anyway, even after I figured out it was a dirty trick I refused to start again because smoking is kind of dumb and expensive. And more than that, it was hard to quit. Really hard. Like imagine giving up eating hard.

I also had to give up some really long-held habits, like smoking in my car.

I started smoking in my car, and for about 10 years that was the only place I smoked. A friend used to joke it was because my own driving made me nervous.

And now with no cigarettes I’m forced to sing and half-dance in my car, which isn’t the same at all. Smoking was much cooler. Or, at least the way I sing and dance, which is badly. And it’s probably less safe than smoking, given how spastic I am when I dance.

My no-smoking thing has also begun to affect the dogs. They see less of me. I’ve never smoked in my house, so even in a blizzard I’d be out on my back porch trying to light up, but now I seldom go onto the porch, which makes the dogs sad. They always took a smoke break as an opportunity to get their ears scratched or to get petted. Now, they have to catch me on my way into the house or on a walk. They miss my smoking more than I do.

Of course, my dogs don’t care how long I live, so long as I live longer than them and am healthy enough to pour the kibble.

So, to summarize: I’ve saved my lungs and heart, but my dogs hate me. Truly, life is a trade-off.

Unless I crash after steering my car off a bridge while singing “Roar,” with Katy Perry, in which case it will just be pathetic.


Janet Jacobs is City Editor of the Daily Sun. Her column appears on Saturdays. She may be reached via email at Want to “Soundoff” to this article? Email:

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