I've recieved a lot of email about quitting smoking. Most of it has been great and supportive and I thank all of you (and will eventually return the emails).
A few people wrote to say how evil the tobacco industry is (in response to my distaste of the truth.com commercials, I suppose) and that I should read that book or see this movie or read some website to find out how I've been lied to, taken advantage of and poisoned by big tobacco, the government and some clandestine cabal of fringe groups and covert operatives.
Listen carefully: I have no one to blame but myself. I knew when I was 13 and took my first drag off of a cigarette (my cousin's Winston) that what I was doing was bad for me. I knew when I bought my first pack of Parliaments (55 cents) that smoking was terrible for my health. I knew when I smoked a pack of Marlboros a day at 19 that I was destroying my lungs. I knew this when I quit smoking in 1983 and I knew it when I started up again in 1996 and went straight back to a pack a day and then onto stress-related chain smoking almost two packs a day. I knew this when I watched my aunt attach herself to an oxygen machine 24 hours a day. I knew this when I had bronchitis and held my inhaler in one hand a cigarette in the other.
I don't blame big tobacco or the government or Joe Camel for my addiction. The blame rests solely with me. I willingly picked up a habit I knew was destructive, costly and disgusting. And not just once. I quit and went back a few times, knowing full well what I was doing.
I don't blame McDonald's for my weight gain. I don't blame the makers of M&M's for my cavities. I don't blame my parents for my shortcomings. I don't blame Judas Priest for my crappy hearing. And I don't blame RJ Reynolds for my expensive, lung destroying habit.
So I won't read the book or check out the website or watch the movie or give another chance to truth.com because I am the only one responsible for my actions. And I'm not a big Russell Crowe fan, anyhow.