No Smoking Signals

Right off the top, thanks to everyone who has written responses to my blog. I know it takes time and effort just to read this — and even more effort to write back. Of all the blog entries I have written ( from my taste in music to newsroom hijinks )none has gotten more response than the one I wrote about my wife’s efforts to beat the addiction of smoking.

Sharon has made it five weeks – and seems to be winning this difficult battle without becoming a bear. While it’s her determination and effort that make it possible, you have had a major impact. Thanks to all of you who that have written messages of encouragement, suggestions and even your own personal stories. I have given all of these to Sharon and she has not only been touched, but has become even more determined not to lapse back into the habit.

One e-mail particularly touched us. A woman by the name of Lisa wrote to me and told me she had been on the verge of quitting. She said my frank discussion about my wife’s battle finally got here to take action. Lisa is now smoke-free for a month. It’s not only wonderful to hear Lisa is kicking the habit, it’s flattering to know my wife’s decision helped to get her in motion. Way to go, Lisa!

However, I read something yesterday that left me angered and disturbed. It was reported that tobacco companies have actually increased their nicotine content in recent years. No doubt an effort to retain the smokers they do have and get youngsters addicted at a faster rate. As a journalist, I’m never supposed to take sides, but I find this strategy insidious and hope the government will stand up to big tobacco and prosecute these “drug pushers in businesss suits” to the fullest extent of the law.

Good luck to all of you fighting to beat this addiction — and thanks for those of you who have helped the person in my life succeed in kicking the habit.

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