By DAVID GREEN
After the first six months have passed, it gets easier. That’s what a Morenci resident named Doug was told about breaking the addiction to nicotine.
Don’t believe it, he now says, because it isn’t true.
“It was better than day one,” Doug said, “but it wasn’t easy.”
Doug had the satisfaction last August of making it to his fifth smoke-free anniversary. He thinks he has nicotine licked, but this wasn’t the first time he quit.
“I quit once for six months,” he said. “I guess I wasn’t ready.”
Doug used a nicotine patch the first time he tried to give it up. That was back in the mid-1990s, and after the six months passed, he went another seven or eight years—laying out a lot of cash to keep the habit going.
The cost of smoking was an annoyance, but not so much to force him to quit. Doug went through the price increase routine that many smokers follow.
“When it gets to $2 a pack, I’ll quit,” he remembers saying.
But he never did, at least not until Aug. 1, 2002, when an increase in the Michigan tobacco tax would push the price of a pack to $5.
That wasn’t the only factor. His wife said she wanted him to be around for a long time and she wished he would consider quitting.
“I think I had three cigarettes that day,” Doug said, and he hasn’t had one since.
No patch, no support class, nothing but will power and a true desire to quit. He knows that’s what was missing before.
“This time I made up my mind that I was all done,” Doug said. “I went one day at a time and it’s stretched into five and a half years. I’ll bet it was three years before my hand stopped going to my shirt pocket after lunch for the cigarette that was no longer there.”