Today is day 100 in my post-nicotine existence.

After 20 plus years of sucking on sin air, I’ve finally bitchslapped the nico-demon and embraced a life of sweet inhalations. Yup, 100 days in and I feel…well, like shit, actually. But, I can breathe, which is good. I no longer emit the whiff of cheap bar floor, which pleases my wife. My fingers have shed their jaundiced veneer and my throat no longer feels like a corkscrew scabbard.

All of that’s good. But what’s best of all (and relevant to crimespace in case any of you were wondering) is I’ve decided to reward myself for 100 days of hardship by ordering books to the tune of the money I’ve saved on the non-smoking thingamajig. Meaning a whole herd of neatly pressed pages to pile up on my TBR tower. Mostly, the books I’ve ordered are from members of this site, authors whose books aren’t available down here on the southern tip o’ Africa.

So, thanks Daniel, for this place. And if you get an invite to be my friend, be nice. Rejection's a bitch to a newly-hatched non smoker.

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Nice work. I quit seven years ago after about twelve years of smoking. It's good to take your life back, yes?
This is great news for you, Dennis, and your family! You're through the hardest part and you've done the best possible thing you could do for any of them.

Both of my parents smoked. My mother told me that she smoked with all three of her pregnancies. She couldn't smoke with morning sickness, but she tried a cigarette every morning until it didn't bother her anymore. All of her babies were over 8 pounds. Finally, she and my Dad quit when I was about ten. I started up when I was thirteen--finally quit at 27. It wasn't dire tales that made me quit. I am hopelessly vain. I had yellow teeth, bad breath, smelly clothes and a smellier apartment. Also, I made the most disgusting hacking noises in the morning that I'm sure still ring in my poor first husband's ears. But it's been 17 years and I've had nary a puff. Sadly, I still think smoking looks cool. Then again, drugs are fun, too. I tell my kids that (oh, and also that people who do them are stupid). I mean, why lie? But there are just some things that shouldn't be done, you know?
ROck on, Dennis... You are there!

I smoked over two packs a day. Really. Finally quit 19 years ago cold turkey. (I could probably tell you the day, month, and hour). I bought a box of bar-straws and used them for about 3 months to chew on and wave around between my fingers. To this day, quitting is the thing I'm most proud of in my life. It might even beat getting published.
Way to go Dennis. The good news is it does get better. I smoked up to 3 packs a day from 1963 to 1984. Quit cold turkey and now absoutely can't stand to be around any tobacco smoke. Based on my experience, you'll have at least one more rough time in the next few months and then, its behind you forever.

Smoke free and happy.

Alabama Jack
I smoked for a few years, back in my misguided youth. The best thing I've ever done for myself was quit. For many years now, I haven't been able to abide the smell of tobacco smoke. You may still feel the urge, but in time it will pass and you'll never want cigarettes again. Books, OTOH, are a much harder addiction to shake. Be careful about feeding that habit. You might end up living in the garage because the books have taken over every inch of the house.

Don't worry, man. It gets easier. I'm just shy of one year stick-free, also after 20. Hell, I don't even feel the need to decapitate people anymore just for saying 'Good Morning'.

And yeah, this breathing easier thing's a kick, isn't it?

Steve Mandel
I smoked from 16-29, but only wimpy menthol cigarettes(and less wimpy cigars)
It wasn't hard for me to quit- I was purely a social smoker. You know the type- one pack lasted me Sunday-Thursday, and then I'd smoke a pack in the pub on Friday or Saterday night.
I quit when I met my husband(a non smoker). I quickly realized that if I wanted to get any 'closer', I would have to quit.
Keep up the good fight, Dennis.
Whenever you're tempted? Think about burning a ten dollar bill.

Thank ya all for the well wishes and the anecdotes. Yup, kicking the habit's been tough. Maybe not as tough as Joe Pike or Mr Reacher, but tough. Best motivation received yet - I was whingeing about wanting a smoke when my four year old daughter said, but daddy, I don't want you to die. Guess she's still waiting for the best seller I've promised her - her inheritance don't amount to spit in a bucket right now. Smart kid.
Congrats :) As a smoker, I do envy people who have such a strong will that they can quit. Good job, man :) Have fun with the books and let us know what you think of them :)

Though my alter-ego's photo is always got a smoke in his mouth, I quit a few times, finally for good (practice makes perfect)

What I found helped the most was varying your routine. I always smoked in the car, for example, so I found something else to do. It's impossible to smoke when you're trying to sing along to the Dropkick Murphys.
That is a fact-they sing to damn fast to ever get the smoke up to your lips.
Good on ya, Dennis. Keeping track of money-saved and rewarding yourself - a great idea.


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