Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on April 8, 2016


– Quitting is not easy.

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I have smoked cigars for over 45 years, starting with a White Owl Classic behind my friend’s house in Chicago. I smoked at least one a day, mostly a strong blend with a Maduro wrapper, a cigar-smoker’s cigar. Smoking helped me concentrate on composing an article, working outdoors on my lawn, fly-fishing in a cool stream, or just sitting and hobnobbing with friends. I richly enjoyed it, but on September 10th, 2015, I took my last puff and stopped cold turkey.

I hadn’t planned on stopping that day, I just did. It wasn’t because of the anti-tobacco wackos on television, or because of any disease, something inside me simply said it was just time to stop. I’m now coming up on seven months without smoking and my friends are amazed at my will power. Sure, when I smell the aroma of a good cigar I would love to puff one, but those days are gone.

I understand the worst anti-smokers are former smokers, but having come from a family of smokers, I certainly do not look down my nose at anyone who enjoys tobacco. Interestingly, friends act embarrassed when they want to light up a cigar or cigarette around me, but I assure them I am not offended and request they enjoy their smoke.

People have said to me that quitting cigars is a lot easier than cigarettes. Maybe, but I can assure you it still takes considerable will power to stop.

I have known only two other people who quit cold turkey, my father and father-in-law. My father smoked four packs of cigarettes a day for years, until he suffered a mild heart attack and finally quit. We were all amazed by his will power to stop. Then again, a heart attack can be a strong deterrent. He particularly missed it after dinner over a cup of coffee. Likewise, my father-in-law smoked a few packs of cigarettes a day, and he also quit, not because of any health issue, but because, “They (the cigarette companies) have gotten enough of my money.”

Other friends have told me how hard it was for them to quit. They’ve tried the nicotine patches, gum, e-cigarettes, even hypnosis, all to no avail. However, when they do manage to drop the habit, most have fond memories of smoking but glad they are finally off of it.

You may remember one of our Bryce’s Laws that states, “Never trust a person who doesn’t have at least one known vice (e.g., drinking, smoking, swearing).” I may have given up smoking, but two out of three isn’t bad.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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5 Responses to “MY LAST PUFF”

  1. Francis Dryden said

    For about 12 years I got into the horses and attended the track every day and even travelled. I studied handicapping for the first year without a bet and did very well financially at the track… But it took an awful lot of my time so I quit. Period.

    When I discovered it was coffee that made me have stomach cramps similar to a woman in labor… In 1998 I quit coffee. Period.

    I drank booze every day and although I never got “falling down drunk” I had an experience I really didn’t like so in 1999 I quit drinking without AA. Period. To keep myself in control, I have had one glass of wine about every week or two with a meal. One. Period.

    In 2000 all the rules were coming down of where you could and couldn’t smoke and I new when someone tried to enforce those rules on me I would go ballistic. So, I quit smoking. Period.

    I realized later that the order was important in that I was NEVER in the position of when I had a coffee or a drink, I needed a smoke to go with it.

    In retrospect, I spent about $40,000 to $45,000 NET after tax dollars per year on these “pastimes” and never would have been able to retire to Mexico otherwise even though money had nothing to do with it… In the 10 years of the above before moving here I did not spend about half a million on these, in retrospect, shenanigans.

    Some ask me of the four vices I packed in, which made me feel the best physically… And without a doubt it was coffee and not having stomach cramps every bloody morning by half way through my first cup.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An M.S. of Cedar Falls, Iowa wrote…

    “You now know three who quit cold turkey. I gave up cigarettes in 1973 (a two-pack-a-day smoker) and never looked back. And damn glad I did.”


  3. Tim Bryce said

    A G.E. of Independence, Missouri wrote…

    “I never smoked cigarettes (they always tasted nasty to me), but did enjoy a cigar now & then. I even gave up cigars for ten years, but have returned to partaking now & then. I still recall the aroma of the old King Edward cigars my uncle used to smoke. I applaud you in your decision & can understand it, though for now I will continue to puff away every now & then for the sake of memory & relaxation.”


  4. […] one year since I smoked my last cigar. Some of you may remember me writing about it in my column, “My Last Puff.” Here is what I have learned along the […]


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