Prior to my mother’s decision to stop smoking in 2010, she smoked every day. Virginia Slims were her favorite. As a child, I remember standing next to her in many drug stores as she asked the sales clerk for “a pack of Virginia Slims Light Menthol.” The all-white carton with green detailing was a package I had grown to know too well.
She tried quitting. Twice. But the after effects, to her, seemed worse than the consequences caused by smoking. She attempted to quit cold turkey, replacing her slim white sticks of nicotine with Red Hots candy. That didn’t work. She tried the patch. No luck. Each time she quit, she gained weight and experienced mood swings that were not only hard for her, but also the people around her, to deal with. Her final attempt to quit smoking was a plea from one of her closest friends. When my godmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she asked my mother for one thing — to please stop smoking. My mother hasn’t consumed a cigarette since.
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