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Smoker's Prayer

Dec 22, 2007
I am a nonsmoker and much of my work is dedicated to helping smokers become nonsmokers, but my father Julius Saltz smoked from the age of 11 until his death at 74.

This article is written in his honor and in his spirit, as I recall our conversations about smoking. It is based on what I think he would have thought, felt, and believed had he lived long enough to see smokers shut out and vilified as they are today. May we all learn to abhor the habit and, yet, love the people....

Lord, let me find a place I can smoke any time I need one today.

Let there be one bar or restaurant that will turn a blind eye to nonsmoking regulations.

If I must smoke outside, let it be mild; if it is raining, grant me an awning or overhang.

If it is snowing, let it be a flurry; if there is wind, let me find respite long enough to light my cigarette. And if I manage to light it, let it stay lit.

Stave off all rainstorms, snow storms, tornados, and earthquakes while I'm sneaking my smoke.

And may my significant other have poor olfactory capacity so he or she cannot recognize my indiscretions after swearing I've quit.

May my lighter never quit, my matches never run out, or may there be a kind smoker beside me who will offer me his.

May the drugstore or liquor store where I buy my cigarettes be open 24 hours, everyday, for the rest of my life.

May the people who don't know I smoke never find out. And if they do, may I be lucky enough to learn that they are closet smokers. (And may they smoke my brand.)

And may those who smoke always have one for me when I run out. Ditto for a lighter.

And may my employer be a smoker. And any workmates in close proximity.

May my office, desk, or partition be close to the exit, or to a drafty hall where no one ever wanders.

If I do discover that I have emphysema or lung cancer, or any one of the many illnesses that often affect smokers, may my friends and family have the good sense and kindness to say nothing about it. Including at my funeral.

May my children, grandchildren, and any kin from the younger generation never take a single puff, ever.

And if they do, may I be declared "not guilty by reason of insanity" should I wallop them a good one.

May I be forgiven for any negative influence that was mine.

And may all who know me know this: that I started long before it was common knowledge that smoking kills, sickens, damages and wounds. Takes away husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends and beloveds, comfort, and a sense of safety.

Forgive me, please, my denials and lies, my trail of second-hand smoke, my sour breath, yellowed fingers, premature wrinkles, and my inability to smell the lovely fragrances worn by those I love. Turn a blind eye, please, to my reluctance to sit through any school play, movie, wedding, christening, bar mitzvah, graduation or concert that they may have invited me to.

It wasn't that I didn't appreciate the event or the occasion, or their love, it was just that I was...addicted.

And may every smoker everywhere get the help they need. 2007By Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz is a mind coach who uses hypnosis and other techniques to help people break unproductive habits and create productive ones. Based in Chicago, she specializes in smoking-cessation, love attraction, and career fulfillment. For more info, visit http://www.nonsmoker4life.com and http://www.hypno-attraction.com.
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