Alison Rataj’s Tobacco Story

Growing up, my father always smoked. In fact, when I was very small he would buy me candy cigarettes and we would “smoke” together – mind you, I had to hide the candy cigarettes from my mother in my Hello Kitty purse, otherwise she would have thrown them away and told my father he was a bad influence. I remember we used to take walks together and he would get winded after 10 minutes, and he was always coughing.  As a teen, I asked “why do you smoke?” he said “it’s a habit” I said “that’s it?” He quit on Father’s Day that year and has stayed tobacco free for 11 years and now warns me about the dangers of smoking claiming that his “lungs have been rejuvenated”. I don’t use tobacco not only because of the side effects but because if my dad is that strong, I can be too.