Smoke Signals

This was my brand. Sometimes, I really miss them, I mean really miss them. When I quit a little over 3 years ago, I was smoking approximately 1-2 packs a day. Cigarettes are priced lower in Oklahoma. Anyone can purchase (as long as your over the age of 18) them or any tobacco products at the ‘Smoke Shops’. These are little stores ran by Native Americans who are tax exempt and able to deal cigarettes at a much lower price. Tribal smoke shops make up 4 percent of the cigarette retailers in the state. They sell 50 percent of all the cigarettes in Oklahoma. That means each smoke shop sells 25 times more cigarettes than each nontribal retailer. But, these smoke shops that sell 50 percent of the cigarettes contribute less than 13 percent of total tobacco tax revenue. I hear a lot of grumbling from our state’s leaders about these facts. And, our state’s leaders are primarily white men.

There are good people who run the smoke shops in my area. They are not out to cause lung cancer, hook kids on smoking, or rip anyone off. Typically, one smoke shop is ran by a family, supporting all of the family members, and thier children as well. I frequent The Trading Post in my area, not for cigarettes anymore, but because I like the little store with its drive thru window and always smiling workers. It is right on the main highway, easy on and easy off. A person can get .50 cent cans of ice cold soda, in any brand, candy bars, various snacks, and much more without ever having to leave your vehicle. Or, you can go inside and shop in store area of Native American goods and other intersting stuff. I try to avoid this because then I end up spending a lot more money! Also, a favorite at the drive thru window-they give out dog biscuits, our little bitty dog, Elvis loves them and when I have my 2 year old son along, he gets a free sucker on a rope.

Yesterday, I had the worse intense craving for a cigarette, to the point of distraction that lasted about 2 minutes. At that point, I snapped to my senses and wondered why I wanted to feel that slow burn into my lungs and feel the gradual, sweet nicotine rush fill my limbs. Then I remembered how awful they smell, what a dirty habit they are. I kept convincing myself of these facts as I was driving all the way to town. Luckily, I have a new car, brand new when I bought it in September ’05 and I refuse to allow smoking in it, this was another factor in my favor since I was pressed for time and did not relish the idea of pulling over and toking on a Marlboro(after purchasing a pack!). Sometimes, I really miss this dirty habit but I will not start again! My husband has never smoked, dislikes being around second hand smoke, and can be the nag from hell at times. So, to keep the peace, and to keep him off my back, I’ll use everything I can to keep my willpower strong.

Feeling such an intense craving from one’s body is frightening. I cant imagine the people out there fighting alcoholism, heroin, or just any addictive drug. I am so thankful that nicotine is the only thing I am truly addicted to and had to kick………….

p.s.

3 months after I quit smoking, I bought a brand new saddle with the money I saved from NOT buying cigarettes. It is a very nice saddle and I love it.

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