It has been a month of not smoking. Can’t say it’s always been easy but nothing I couldn’t handle. I am still chewing the nicotine gum. Some may say that’s cheating but it keeps my mood in check and keeps me from eating everything in sight.

Ahhh Wendy's.

That being said I am craving a big giant greasy burger and fries would be awesome right now. The hardest moments so far have been after eating or drinking caffeinated beverages, there again that’s the reason for the gum. Next trick is to wean off of the gum. The next step in quitting is to go from 4mg to 2mg. I probably still have two weeks worth of the 4mg stuff. After a week or two of chewing the 2mg slow it down, instead of one piece every hour go to one every two hours, etc until I’m off of the gum too.

Me & Vikki

There are more good moments than hard after quitting. A few good ones I can think of at the moment starting with I’m not always looking for a way to get away and smoke. For instance no more need to make special trips to the store. Now I can come home without feeling like I have to keep 10 feet away from the kids. Just to add I talked about it in my last post, lung capacity increases more than you’d ever believe. This is another reason to think about quitting, think about how insurance companies like medical and life will compensate tobacco users down the road.

Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images

Maine used to have one of the highest tobacco tax rates in the country. Not anymore. Keep in mid the figures listed in the link are just the tax rates not the actual price. You have to add on the Federal tax and sales tax, plus the price of the product. Southern New England is now at about $8 to $9 a pack for premiums and New York City is well over $10 a pack and that’s if you can even buy them in the city with Michael Bloomberg as mayor. I kid about Mayor Bloomberg, mostly. Not really advocating for higher taxes on cigarettes because it seems the largest numbers of people who smoke are the economically challenged. I will say more should be done to discourage our youth from starting. I was 15 when I started smoking I bet if I were say 22 smoking wouldn’t be as hardwired. Okay, now I’m sounding like your dad but you know what I’m trying to say.