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How I swore I would never puff again

Like most ex-smokers I'd given up a few times before I finally committed to being a tar-free zone. I had my first puff when I was 15 years old and I was hooked from the get-go. I vividly remember my 'first time'.

We were on a school lunch break and cobbled enough coppers together for a bag of chips between us and then went down 'the lane' to scoff them. My pal lit up afterwards and I was curious so I bummed one off her. This started a habit that lasted more than a decade. There was a five-year period when I abstained, but part of me always knew I'd be back on them at some point -- I simply didn't consider myself to be an ex-smoker.

I'd love to say that health was my reason for the change in my mindset but, actually, it was the awful smell on my clothes, hair and skin, coupled with the increasing cost.

The week before I gave up I lit up consistently inside my home -- the stink when I got back from work was enough to convince me how disgusting the habit is.

Which is why New Year's Day at the end of that week was my official 'never smoking again' day. I quit only with willpower and focused on not being moody towards those around me -- plus I started walking -- A LOT!

I shall put these words in print in case I am ever tempted -- 'I will never smoke again'.

>dee o'keeffe