This arresting sentence leaped out at me from a billboard as I was driving down the highway on my way to pick up a friend. “Wow,” I thought, “addiction needs a willing participant in order to have any kind of power.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse is costly to our Nation, exacting over $600 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.
I know just how debilitating addiction can be. I let go of the smoking habit almost 30 years ago because I had come to a crossroads in my life. I knew instinctively there was a better, freer way to be and live, and participating in this habit and living this better way could not coexist. Something had to give. But the decision to quit, and the life changing transformation that followed, didn’t happen overnight.
For a few years prior to this, I had felt very conflicted about smoking – deeply desiring to be free of it yet not feeling strong enough to do so. But I had been studying a book called Science and Health and one day came upon this sentence, ”Puffing the obnoxious fumes of tobacco, or chewing a leaf naturally attractive to no creature except a loathsome worm, is at least disgusting.” This really made me laugh and grabbed my attention because the last thing I wanted to be was disgusting.