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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Entering a new country

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 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.

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