The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on August 24, 1975 · Page 150
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August 24, 1975

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 150

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 24, 1975
Page 150
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Page 150 article text (OCR)

Trying to kick ^f ^^^^ • the habit One hand dapping... By JOHN KARRAS Quit smoking? Nothing to it. Anyone who's ever quit will gladly tell you that, even if you don't ask. A simple matter of win power, they say. Just put your mind to it and do it, they say. Perhaps. But not for everyone. As mentioned hi this space before, I came to the conclusion some tune ago that my cigarette habit of 90-plus years was vile, antisocial and insane, and decided to quit. I decided that in June. In June of 1973.* It has not been an easy two yean. My attempts to quit smoking have become a low-key office joke. The methods I've sometimes pursued, have strained credulity, not to mention my colleagues' funny bones. And each time one of my little exercises in self-deception failed, I'd lapse into a small depression and console myself with cigarette fumes until another self-deception appeared to lure me along a new path. I tried quitting cold several times. The first effort lasted three days, the next (a year later) lasted six, and the most recent, eight. At the start of this two-year odyssey, going without a smoke for as little as two hours (except when asleep, of course) would send me into a panic. Recently, just before I finally quit, I could go unsmoked for several days without extreme psychological discomfort. But it's hard to believe some of the things I tried. Beyond attempts to quit cold, I tried the customary substitutes — candy of every variety, toothpicks, tablets that are supposed to satisfy the desire for a nicotine fix. None of them worked. I also tried tapering off. That went along all right off and on, but tapering off is not quitting, and quitting Is what I realty wanted. In desperation, I even tried hypnosis (the modern search for the magic fix), but to no avail. But those were just some of the commoner approaches. Some of my other efforts can only be considered to be bizarre. For example, at one point I thought I might be able to back out-of the habit. I started smoking in 1943 at the age of 13 by rolling my own with Bull Durham. A year later, I'd become so good at it that I could roll a cigarette with one hand. So I laid in a supply of Bull Durham a few years ago and went at it. The reasoning was that I'd smoke nothing but Bull Durham, taper off on it and finally, as far as smoking was concerned, become 12 yean old again. Great idea, maybe, but all that happened was that I became realty good once again at rolling cigarettes. An amusing sidelight is that whenever I rolled one all the young folks in the office would look at each other and snicker. At another point, I promised myself things if I'd only quit smoking. A new camera lens, a new bicycle, that sort of thing. All that happened was that I bought the things anyway and smoked on. Then I started giving cigarettes away. I'd buy a pack, smoke one or two, curse myself for a fool and give the rest of the pack to a friend, vowing never to smoke again. I kept one friend in cigarettes for the better part of a month that way. Variations on this theme involved throwing packs of cigarettes from the windows of moving can, and crumpling packs up and throwing them into wastebaskets. More than once I found myself pawing through a wastebasket in search of a discarded pack of cigarettes hi order to have "just one more" before taking the final step. Ignominious? Believe it. But by far the most imaginative, as wen as the most hilarious (judging from the reaction of throifice wags), of my antismoking inventions was the plastic bag trick. Briefly, this involved whipping out a plastic bread bag and breathing into it whenever lack of cigarette smoke brought the urge to kill dangerously close to realization. And it actually worked. For six days. Then I had to give a commencement address in a cap and gown, which blew my mind, my resolve and my plastic bags. Along the way, however, all my friends made great sport of the plastic bread bag trick. One friend asked if I preferred rye over pumpernickel. Several others asked me to breathe into it until I passed out. There was a lot of rib elbowing and sniggering and such. And it hurt, believe me, it hurt. But all of that's behind me now. I've got the thing whipped. I've finally put this vile habit of 32 years behind me for good. Thereisrof course, one small problem. In getting rid of this vile habit I've actually traded it for one even more vile: I now chew snuff. Spittoons, anyone? If runaway interest rates forced you out of the new home market...welcome back! IfilVannual percentage rate, THE MARYLAND 1908 sq. ft., four bedrooms, 1V? baths I.I f *,.—ii THE MICHIGAN THE NEW HAMPSHIRE Kaufman and Broad Homes announces the return of 8% (annual percentage rate) financing available to qualified buyers everywhere. No closing costs. No hidden surprises. Custom building your new pre-cut home (we erect it on your lot... you handle all or part of the finishing details) can make it even more affordable. Do-it-yourself families across the country have saved small fortunes by building our custom way. How about quality? Actually it's our long suit: the fact is, we use materials and techniques that exceed the toughest building code specifications in the country! Our FREE catalog spells out the entire, small-fortune- saving story...a story that begins with our free design service and could end with your family in a beautiful, pre-cut homer-There may never be a better time to find out. Why not send and see. A MlimN \NDBROADptES *••* America's Largest Multi-National Home Producer Kaufman and Broad Homes NW Financial Center 7900 Xerxes Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55431 Please send me your FREE Home Planning Catalog. Phone City County State Z'P I own a lot. Q I can get a lot. D ' P' an to Duild soon I LETS BUILD SOMETHING GOOD TOGETHER DCS IMMNES SUNDAY MEOISTEft/AUO. 24, 1979 • 17

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