I was a smoker most of my early life, although I didn't actually start smoking until I was tenty. I gave it up several years ago, but I fell back into it early this year. I thought it might be OK to smoke a cigar on New Year's Eve, it wasn't I was bumming smokes off random people the next day and by march I was buying my own.

I made the mistake of going along with all my lovely "born again" friends and their habit of smoking cigars on special occasions.

Well, last weekend marked two months smoke free. Not patches, no pills. It was always really embarrassing to me. I always did it in private. I was always afraid someone would find me out.

For those of you who recently did quit. You really can't just have a cigar or one cigarette. It gets you started all over again. I have learned this lesson not once, but twice (albeit the first lesson only lasted a month, this one had me smoking for six months).

Since I mentioned my "born again" friends in this message, I will clarify my own personal religous belief on smoking. I don't believe smoking is a sin by itself. It is only when it becomes destructive and takes over your life (pretty much 95 percent of smokers) that it becomes a sin. According to scripture it also becomes a sin when it negatively effects another brother in the faith.

The idea of negatively affecting another brother or sister sounds like it is a minor idea, but I believe that is the area where almost all the smoking related sin is sewn. Heck, I want to smoke just writing this.

Some people have the ability to smoke without negative side effect. Those who did not begin the habit until their 7th decade, people who have been smoking for decades without effect, or even people who have no family left in their downline.

I don't fall into any of those categories. I am unmarried (have not even met my mate yet as far as I know), thus I must guard my health closely for the sake of my future mate. So lets celebrate my lack of smoking, eh?