I quit smoking – nipōni-pīhtwān. Cigarettes and cigars have ruled my time between activities and everything else. I had been smoking since I was twelve years old. I blogged about my past experiences with smoking in Nov 2020 (Smoking on the Rez and Other Places). I had attempted to quit smoking many times.
The last time I smoked was Feb 21, 2022, it is now May 21, 2022, three whole months. My previous best was about three weeks in 2019, but my trigger, which is driving and smoking, got me right back into it. It is becoming less and less of a trigger.
I recently had an appointment with an eye specialist, and he was glad I quit smoking because as a diabetic, smoking significantly increases the risk of my eyes getting damaged. I have told several people of my accomplishment but hearing the doctor’s elation about quitting, made me proud. 1
My blood pressure has improved and I feel more energetic. There is one setback, I gained about 11 pounds. It is because food is now so delicious from my healing taste buds. Spices and sweets have come to life and I end up eating more than I should.2 It is something I need to work on. Plus I need to exercise more but one step at a time.
I recently found out that the brand of cigarettes I smoked, have gone up in price again, they are now over 17 bucks a pack. This is at the rez store with a treaty card.
It pains me to see many young people starting to smoke, they do not know what they are getting themselves into. While things may have improved nationally, it is still an ongoing problem.3
nipōni-pīhtwān– I quit smoking, the literal term might be “I stopped smoking,” but most people I know would say the Cree term, to mean they had quit smoking.
The following Cree words came from Itwêwina: Plains Cree Dictionary – https://sapir.artsrn.ualberta.ca/cree-dictionary/ We basically say it the same way.
pîhtwâw (Verb) – s/he smokes. MD
pîhtwâhkâsow (Verb) – s/he pretends to smoke CW
ciscêmâs (Noun) – Tobacco
1Vision Loss, Blindness, and Smoking – https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/vision-loss-blindness.html
2Stopping smoking has many immediate and long-term benefits. It’s worth pushing through the tough times – https://www.quit.org.au/articles/seven-things-happen-when-you-quit-smoking/#:~:text=Food%20will%20start%20tasting%20better,for%20that%20Sunday%20roast%20%E2%80%93%20YUM!
3Tobacco and Vaping Use in Canada: Moving Forward https://cpha.ca/tobacco-and-vaping-use-canada-moving-forward#:~:text=In%202018%2C%203.2%25%20of%20youth,aged%2018%2D19%20years%20smoked.&text=Among%20the%2019%2D24%20age,of%20age%20reported%20regular%20smoking.