Today is the great American Smoke Out. I just posted to this thread on Metafilter, and thought I should keep it here, as well, for future reference.

Two years, two months, 21 hours, 49 minutes and 26 seconds. 31716 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6,010.57. Life saved: 15 weeks, 5 days, 3 hours, 0 minutes.

I quit too late, though. I’m 33 years old and I have kidney cancer. One of the main causes of renal cell carcinoma is cigarette smoking. On December 1st, I’m having a radical open nephrectomy. And hoping and praying that there are no mets anywhere else in my body as kidney cancer is a killer, there is no chemo or radiation to go along with the surgery.

Quit now, don’t think it won’t be you, don’t think that lung cancer is the only way smoking will kill you.

The damn cigarettes are not worth what I am facing right now. They are not worth it, I didn’t know it when I was 11 years old and I first picked up a cigarette. I didn’t care when I was a 15 year old with a chip on my shoulder. I thought I would live forever when I was 18.

I knew I would quit when I promised my fiancee, at 22 that I would quit before our wedding. At 23 I was still smoking, and married. 25, I was still promising, all the way until I was 31, I sat down one night, at 2 am, realized I couldn’t deal with the coughing and the stench anymore and put them down.

I’m too late to not get cancer but that doesn’t mean you are. Put the damn cigarette down.