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The Pact

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He stood at the cash desk in torment, stuttering, turning red, a huge battle raging in his head.

He wanted a cigarette more than anything else – except not to be the one sitting in a diaper at Citta’s.

So, he walked away with a pack of gum. The craving passed and his dignity was saved for another day at least.

Another one has developed a small Nicorette habit. He popped about 12 at that first party and seemed a little on edge for the whole night.

His habit has gone before "council" and a debate has raged there but the others decided that if chewing Nicorettes is going to keep him from smoking, then it should be allowed. The goal, after all, is to kick the habit.

The bet is past the fourteen day mark, it’s still hard.

There are constant reminders of their former habit like driving in the car, or having a beer, their morning coffee breaks or an after dinner smoke.

Quitting smoking is more than just weaning your body from the nicotine. It’s breaking a daily routine revolved around smoking.

By the time this story goes to print they will have collectively saved about $1,000. To put that in Whistler terms, that’s almost a ski pass.

The pact, a silly as it seemed to the rest of us when it was being sealed, has really helped these guys.

What they unwittingly accomplished so far, when they are not drinking and trying to coax each other into smoking, is create a support group for themselves to encourage them in their admirable goal. Oprah would be proud.

It’s a proven and effective way to kick an addiction. It’s helped alcoholics and drug users and gamblers and pornography addicts, and it’s helped other smokers before them.

When other people are in the same boat, the challenge doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming. There’s always someone sympathetic to talk to and listen.

In fact, they say that everyone who knows about the pact has been supportive and encouraging, especially former smokers who faced the same challenge.

As any former smoker will tell you, it’s one of the hardest things in the world to quit. It’s been said that nicotine is more addictive than heroin so these guys still need all the encouragement they can get.

For now they’re just taking it one day, one hour, one coffee at a time.

Hopefully though you won’t see any of these guys walking around the village in a diaper but if you do, you’ll know he broke the pact.