This photo is the banner for the true story "I Quit Smokiing When I Was Five Years Old" by A. J. Windless.
I Quit Smoking When I Was Five Years Old
My father was a chain smoker, he smoked about three packs of cigrarettes a day and coughed so hard that it sounded quite painful. He wanted to quit and with the backing of my mother tried everything he could think of. Then he had back surgery and was laid up in bed for a long recovery. He begged my mom to go buy him cigarettes but she refused. By the hand of this fate he finally controlled his demon. As for me, I started smoking when I was five years old. My brother, Paul, who was ten, snitched my dad's cigarettes and we went down into the woods to smoke. We brought our next door neighbor with us. He was only four. Now we didn't just smoke cigarettes, but Paul and Carl managed to get us cigars and pipes as well. Paul warned me that mom would smell the smoke on my breath, so he told me I needed to brush my teeth after smoking. One day as I came out of the woods and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth my mom found it strange that I would be brushing my teeth in the middle of the day. It didn't take much effort on her part to assess what was going on, and to get me to stop she decided to make me smoke nonstop in front of her until I got sick. (She says she found out later that was quite dangerous, that I could have gotten nicotene poisoning.) Some people have asked me if smoking until I got sick cured me. I think it was more the getting caught that cured me, and having to smoke in front of my mother seemed to put the exclamation mark on the "You're not hiding anything from your mother!" They had cigarette ads on TV pretty often  in those days, and I remember chiming in with one or two of my siblings, "Eiwww! Cigarettes!" I am grateful that my smoking came to a resolution at a very tender age. Had I been a teenager when I started smoking I would probably have gotten away with it long enough that there's a pretty good chance I would still be smoking today, and croaking my lungs out the way my father did, and the way his brother did until the day he died.
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