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Our View: You can keep smoking ...

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

If you’re a smoker who’s tired of people telling you to quit, get used to it.

People are going to keep bugging you about your habit, but you don’t have to listen. In fact, if you’re not ready to quit, you shouldn’t bother.

You can keep shelling out $7 or more for every pack of cigarettes you buy. You can continue to worry whether you have cigarettes and a lighter or matches every time you leave the house, or experience the moment of panic that comes when you realize you don’t have one or the other.

You can keep excusing yourself from work, from your seat at the table or from the party, so you can go outside for a smoke.

Smoking is still allowed in cars, at least. Just keep making sure not to drop your butt while you’re driving so you don’t burn another hole in the upholstery, or in your pants. As of Jan. 1, you’ll have to stop flicking your butts out the window, too – tossing cigarette butts will be considered littering then and you could be fined up to $1,500. You’ll have to start using your car’s ashtray – if it even came with one installed.

You can keep trying to hide the fact that you smoke cigarettes from the children in your life, or if you don’t bother with that, keep coming up with ways to deflect their questions about your habit.

Even if you do choose to keep smoking, please don’t expose children to secondhand smoke. They’re not old enough to make their own decisions, and secondhand smoke can harm their health. Having a parent who smokes – and cigarettes in the home – can also increase the chances that children will become smokers.

Nicotine addiction can have a powerful grip on people, and cigarettes are a legal product that is readily available. Many smokers make several failed attempts before they quit for good.

Today is the 38th annual Great American Smokeout, though. A day when people are supposed to try to get through a whole day without cigarettes, or even commit to quitting for good.

It’s certainly the healthy choice for your body. Despite all the inconveniences of smoking, in some ways it’s the harder choice, too.

But quitting smoking, for however long you can, is worth doing, for yourself and those who love you.

Not everything worth doing is easy.

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