Kicking the Habit

Many years ago anti-smoking philanthropists contributed a large sum of money for an anti-smoking campaign.

They bought billboards all over town. They were ubiquitous, huge. They could not be missed.

A heavy smoker for over 30 years, I developed tongue cancer at the edge of my tongue, excisable. In a “bit of sanity” I gathered up all of my pipes and threw them into the garbage can.

“Morrie, what are you doing?” Betty, who was watching, said. “Tomorrow you will be buying new ones.”

“Not this time,” I said. “I’ve had it.” I never, despite my urge, ever smoked again. Whenever I desired a cigarette, I put a slice of gum in my mouth.

I am told by doctors that quitting smoking is harder to do than heroin. I tried giving up smoking many times. It didn’t work. This time it did.

For over 80 years of not smoking I can say I “liked the habit,” a dirty one. With the smell of tobacco in my breath I wonder how Betty could have accepted it. Betty never smoked.

I became a fanatical anti-smoker since. Smoking is an expensive filthy habit.

I once did the math on how much money I saved – unbelievable. No wonder I have lots of dough.

(November 14, 2020)

Author: Morrie Markoff

Centenarian (born in 1914) who lives in Los Angeles, and is also a metal sculpture artist and the Author of "Keep Breathing," available on and other book seller sites.