Quitting Cold Turkey

LV Steinhoff pipes 09-23-2015Buried back in a corner of the attic was a pipe stand and a bunch of Dad’s pipes. They hadn’t been used since one New Year’s Eve when he pitched all his cigarettes in the fireplace and quit smoking cold turkey.

I was a little late coming home from my date with Shari Stiver that night, and the next morning he gave me an uncharacteristic chewing-out. I mean, I wasn’t THAT late, so I was surprised.

A lack of smoke in the air

LV Steinhoff smokes at kitchen table March 1961Over the next couple of weeks, we noticed he was sucking on a lot of hard candies and was crankier than usual, but we didn’t notice the lack of smoke in the air.

Finally, he told us what he had done. “I didn’t want to say anything until I was sure I could do it,” he said.

Most of the pictures we have of him showed him with a cigarette in hand. It wasn’t unusual for him to be puffing on one, have one smouldering in the ashtray and be reaching for a fresh one to light.

He said it was fairly easy for him to quit because “I had become disgusted with myself: the way my clothes smelled, the way I had burned holes in everything… I no longer LIKED to smoke.”

It sure made shopping for him a lot harder when Christmas and his birthday rolled around. We bought him a lot of smoking paraphernalia like those pipes and stand over the years.

4 Replies to “Quitting Cold Turkey”

  1. My Dad quit cold turkey in 1959 after his first heart attack. When he was in his eighties, I asked him if he ever wanted to smoke after he quit and he said about every day!
    When I was in the fifth grade over my Mother’s objection, he made sure I didn’t start smoking by “teaching me to smoke like a man”. You do turn “green” when you get sick from smoking!

  2. I quit in 1989 by getting hypnotized. Even now I sometimes get an intense craving for one but it doesn’t
    last long. 3 packs of Kools at the end. Don’t think
    I could afford smoking today.

  3. I loved the picture of the pipes and stand. We had one of those when we moved from Florida in 2006. Jerry used to smoke pipes and cigars. Christmas of 2000 I bought him a box of his favorite Dutch Masters cigars. He had neglected to tell me that he had vowed to quit smoking on January 1, 2001. He had retired in 2000 and found out how much more his health insurance would cost as a smoker. He was still 8 years from Medicare so we had to buy our own insurance. I found his unused pipes and stand when we packed up to move to Georgia. The stand went into the carport sale we held and he moved the box of cigars up here. I think he finally smoked the last one a couple years ago when one of our sons was visiting. They were smart; they brought their own cigars.

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