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I am amazed from time to time when I recall the bad old days, where any meeting was smoke-filled, and all clothes had to be cleaned after attending a meeting. Where restaurants stank of cigarettes, even if there was a separate no-smoking section. Now, if someone is smoking on the sidewalk 50 feet in front of me, I notice the stench and wrinkle my nose. Even someone smoking in the car ahead of me at a red light stinks.

I grew up around smokers. Started smoking at 18 but experimented earlier.

When non-smokers wrinkled up their noses I thought they were being melodramatic. I had no idea that smoking smelled bad.

One of the many times I stopped smoking I recall sitting at my desk smelling something "funny." It was everywhere and I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Finally I took my suit jacket off and went to someone else's office or just down the hall. No funny smell. It was thus I discovered the smell was my suit jacket which hadn't been dry clieaned since my most recent quit.

But still I went back. Finally a friend and I quit together. We had both quit so many times that we decided this was the last time. It got harder every time and I just didn't think I could go through it again. I wanted a cigarette every minute of every day for about 3 years. I followed smokers down the street (not hard to do in NYC), I sat in the smoking car on the train (there were still such things), until one day in ~1989 I smelled something terrible which I'd never (honestly) smelled before. I followed it. It was a burning cigarette. I was cured.

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