Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today is the Great American Smokeout Day, a day that encourages smokers to quit this nasty habit for just one day, and I'm reminded of my Dad's quest to help us avoid smoking all together.  My Dad was an avid reader and clipped more articles than was probably necessary. A previous smoker himself, he knew how hard it was to quit and the more he read the more he found out the longer you can abstain from smoking in the first place (i.e. the older you become), the less likely you are to ever pick up the habit.

So he made a $1,000 bet with each of his kids.  If we could make it to 18 without smoking he would pay us a grand. After confirming that this only applied to cigarettes (you never know) we each agreed. Of course, we were allowed to try five puffs, but the sixth one would cost us. I think he knew that if it was completely forbidden we would be too tempted. Knowing we had that buffer made it easier. We were each on the honor/guilty conscience system. So four puffs I had, never making it to that sixth costly puff.

When each of us made it to 18 he approached us with a double or nothing offer to 21. Being that I wasn't interested in them at all, I accepted. And with my $2,000 I went to the local Mac store with my dad and bought myself my prized laptop.

Still smoke free, there you have one man's successful attempt at helping his kids avoid such a costly and deathly habit. A legacy I plan on continuing with my kids. And it doesn't have to be $1,000. Whatever you can reasonably afford that will be a significant incentive, keeping in mind it will inevitably save you money in the long-run.


  1. Your dad was smart to make that bet. Both of my parents smoked, making it hard for me to abstain.

    Nicotine is the nastiest chemical ever sold by corps. I started when I was 13

    To anyone reading this who want to quit:

    Please read book "Switch Down & Quit" it worked for me. It slowly breaks the nicotine habit. Basic info here:

    Tried 10 years to quit when I found book. -- advantage is you continue smoking all u want but reduce addiction over time. It works!

  2. Thanks for the tip Anonymous001. Quitting is one of the hardest things to do. If you can avoid it altogether that's great, but for those who weren't able to (for whatever reason) this book sounds really helpful!