Cigarette Smoking

 

When I began smoking cigarettes, sadly when I was a teenager, there were no warnings about health problems; countless members of my family were smokers and I never imagined that one day it was going to become considered an addiction.  A surprising number of our friends who lived in Richland smoked and at the time, those who did not smoke did not complain about those who did.  It was only after we moved to Milledgeville that I became aware of the rights and wishes of non-smokers, and it was then that I began to realize that one day, I needed to commit to stopping smoking.

 

Way back when, there was no such thing as smoking and non-smoking sections; designating areas were still years away, there were no signs saying that you could not smoke and there were cigarette machines in various stores and businesses.  Probably the last machine I remember vividly is the one that was in the lobby of the Shoney’s Restaurant located in the mall square in Milledgeville/Baldwin County. 

During the early 1990s when Otto and I frequently traveled up 441 north, we stopped right at the Georgia-North Carolina state line and purchased cigarettes much cheaper than we could find them in town.  We bought several cartons each and stored them at home in the freezer to keep them fresh.  By these days though, there were warnings on the packages but we thought they were warning someone else; we were both addicted to cigarette and the warnings were not meant for us.

After Scott and Arlin both married and because I hoped that grandchildren were in our future, I became convinced that it was time to rid myself of this terrible habit.  My dad was a friend of Dr. Douglas Kavelman who practiced medicine in Lumpkin and during a weekend visit back home, I decided to stop by his office and consult with him about the newly introduced nicotine patches. 

Because of research I knew that insurance was not going to pay for the patches but Dr. K. encouraged me to make the commitment and offered to write the prescription with no charge.  I smoked my last cigarette during the drive from Richland to Milledgeville where I filled the prescription and began the treatment.  I was determined to succeed but secretly stored a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in the trunk of my car, just in case. 

The patches did help but I have to admit that this was a difficult journey.  There were times that I dreamed about smoking and smelling fresh smoke made me crave a cigarette but the smell of a dirty ashtray convinced me even more that I was doing the right thing for my overall health. 

This chapter in my life story occurred nearly twenty five years ago; after weeks of intense prayer and encouragement from friends and family, I finally took the cigarettes out of the trunk of the car and deposited them into the trash and gave the lighter away. 

Brenda S. Brown 

 

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