Photo by Alexander Magurean of Getty Images

Today is the day for the Great American Smoke-out sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Every year at this time I look back to my own experience.

I used to smoke. I used to smoke a pack-and-a-half a day. I was hooked. I admit it. But I also enjoyed it. There was nothing like a cup of coffee and a cigarette in the morning or a cigarette after a big meal. I knew it wasn't good for me but I enjoyed it. I rationalized it. "There's a lot of other things I could be doing to myself. This is my only vice. If I quit smoking I'll be perfect and we wouldn't want that would we?"

When my oldest daughter Sarah turned 2, she started walking around, holding a crayon up to her lips saying "Like daddy do! I'm like daddy!" You can imagine that didn't go over well with my non-smoking wife. That year she told me, "You deal with it."

So, 23 years ago on a Great American Smoke-out I quit. It wasn't easy. In fact, it was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. I used Tootsie Pops and sugar-free gum to help with cravings. And, this was important and I highly recommend it, I kept spending the money. I took the money I would have spent on cigarettes and put it aside and at the end of the month I bought myself something. Something just for me. Try it!

If you smoke and you try and quit for the day I wish you luck. You can do it!

Check out the Cancer Society website for help.

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