One year ago today, it was Saturday, and I was at Piratz Tavern with a bunch of CSHers for Nate Nordfelt’s going-away party. And I had my last cigarette. I bummed it from a woman who was dressed like a pirate.

I’ve smoked tobacco from hookahs three times since then, but haven’t even touched a lit cigarette in a full year.

I was surprised to find at five months that I still had cravings, but here’s the dirty little secret nobody tells you: even after a year, I STILL crave cigarettes once in a while. I’ve mentioned this to some fellow former smokers, and they all said the same thing. It’s hard to rationalize, because no part of me wants to smoke - by now, I think they smell awful, and my chest tightens up when I just think about actually inhaling smoke. Does a nicotine dependence really linger that long? And I only smoked for five or six years - is it harder on people that quit after decades of smoking?

It took me about a dozen tries, but I think I quit for good this time. This little pangs of desire come every month or so, but they’re not that bad. In retrospect, there was absolutely nothing good about smoking, and I wish I hadn’t wasted so much money on cigarettes during those years. And that’s pretty much what every other former smoker told me at the time, and what I’ve told every current smoker I’ve talked to since, but ya know what? We just don’t listen.