Why I Decided To Quit Chewing Tobacco

When I lived in Flagstaff, I drove down to Phoenix quite often, usually when I would get out of work around 11:00pm. That drive is pretty brutal at night and to fight off the sleepies I would throw down a fat chewber [or three]. This became the beginning of my [mostly secret] inconsistent addiction to chewing tobacco. One that has taken me along time to talk about openly.

Over the last 3 years I have occasionally bought a can when the stress was high or the need to indulge in a secret was overwhelming. See, I get it… having a secret is exhilarating – the chance of getting caught drove me to be sly and at times encouraged my indulgence. Recently I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment – Although not improbable, the chance of me getting mouth cancer from my non-daily use of chewing tobacco isn’t high, and the chances of me having my jaw sawed off were even less likely. But, there was still a chance. There is always a chance that we will be the small statistic – that we will be the 1% where something gnarly happens. And that is no longer a risk I am willing to take.

I know what it is like to lose parents to selfishness; I lost both of my parents to individual battles with selfishness. My mom died at 44 from lung cancer because she was a smoker for more than 1/2 of her life. My dad died from a stroke because he was an alcoholic and heroin addict for more than 30 years. And I will not do that to my kids!

Publicly I bear this secret, apologize to my wife and say goodbye to a friend that kept me company on numerous drives up and down the I-17 and gave me a social thing to do.

What do you need to stop doing for the benefit of your family, so you don’t become the 1%?



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