Cigarettes? Pot? Gummies? No thank you

Apr 20, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

I don’t smoke. I dabbled in pot when I was young, because it was expected of me, but I had a couple of bad experiences with it, and so I steer away from it now.

Even gummies or edibles are a no no for me. I’d rather have a glass of wine or two. With alcohol, I can predict what’s going to happen. Although there are many studies that say, smoking pot is not bad for you, I still don’t think it’s a good idea. Ingesting something into your lungs, besides oxygen seems problematic.

Besides, I have lung problems as it is, so why exacerbate the situation?

Back in the 50s and 60s, our parents had no idea about the ramifications of cigarettes. There were no warning labels on the packs of cigarettes, and besides, it was a fashionable thing to do. How many movie stars did we watch who made smoking sexy? But as we found out later, it wasn’t sexy. It was deadly. Here’s what happened to my mom.

A cloud of smoke used to follow my mother from room to room. She was thin as a pipe and didn’t have time to smile. Cigarettes were one of her few companions. Alone for five minutes, she would take a long draw, park the cylinder in the corner of the room, and continue trying to parcel out the day.

I can still see that wavy blue haze drifting through the living room like a faithful friend, as she made the best of what little she had, too proud to utter a complaint. She took her cigarettes everywhere. When she would drive, there was always a cigarette punctuating the ashtray. One day, we almost got into a wreck as she glanced down, preparing to take a drag. As we skidded through the intersection, she dropped her cigarette onto the floor. It was a close call. But that didn’t stop her from smoking in the car.

My mom continued to smoke until she was 65 when her second husband convinced her to stop. But by then, it was too late. Eventually, lung cancer claimed another victim. But the smell of a cigarette is still a comfort to me. When I pass someone on the street, often I linger to inhale the memories of my youth. The aroma gives me some comfort, taking me back to my mother, with her thin forced smile and bitter tears.

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