LETTER: I’m sorry, Surrey, for smelling like cigarettes all those years

If I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self to put down that cigarette, I would, reader says

The Editor,

This is something I should have written years ago, so first of all, I should apologize for waiting so long to say the words, “I am sorry.”

I will start by telling you a story that happened to me a while back at a walk-in clinic in Cloverdale. I was on a break from my job and decided I would go to the clinic to see a doctor.

I never got a chance to speak to the doctor about my problem. He walked into the room, and immediately said, “There is no way that I can remain in the room with you because you stink of cigarettes so bad I can’t stand it, please go elsewhere!”

Frankly, I was shocked at what he said to me, but of course, the first thing I did was get into my car and light a cigarette.

It was not until about five years later that I finally quit smoking and that was due to being in the hospital for more than 45 days (half of those days spent in intensive care). I finally realized that I did not want a cigarette anymore when I could smell the nurses when they came in from outside after smoking. The door outside was right by my room and the smell was quite nauseating.

SEE ALSO: U-Haul International to stop hiring smokers in 21 states

After I was discharged from the hospital, I never again picked up another cigarette. I was proud of myself but realized that I quickly became that doctor out in Cloverdale and could not stand the smell of anyone who smoked a lot.

I decided it was time to write this apology to everyone that I came in contact with while I smoked, especially because I had to leave my doctor’s office a few days ago and go outside because someone came in and they really stunk like cigarettes.

I cannot believe that I smelled so bad for so long and walked around offending everyone in my wake, so I am so sorry for my smell. It is one thing for people to tell you that you smell like a cigarette, but until you experience that smell, it just does not sink in.

I smoked for 38 years and was just diagnosed with emphysema a few weeks ago, so I guess you could say, I got my comeuppance.

They say that you don’t realize just how bad the smell is until you quit smoking and that ex-smokers are the worst complainers about the smell.

I am really so sorry for the bad smell that everyone that came into contact with me had to experience.

If I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self to put down that cigarette, I would.

S. Jane Stevens, Surrey


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