2009 HOF Speeches

End Of An Era – HOF Speech

braden avatar1st introduction to chew – 5th grade. Stole a pouch of Levi Garrett and took it to school. Didn’t go well. Ended up with principal and no chew.

2nd attempt – 7th or 8th grade. My brother’s really cool friend had my sniffing cope. What could go wrong there???g It does say snuff on the can after all. He also got me to take a chew. Again, didn’t go well, got sick and didn’t care for my sinuses being loaded with cope.

3rd run in. Now this was different. Freshman year (I was 14) and a buddy stole a can from the convenience store (they used to fit nicely under the lip on the bottom of the old Big Gulp cups). I couldn’t even do it right (had to pack paper on both sides of the chew to keep it in place), but that didn’t matter…I felt the buzz. Not only was I being cool, but it felt awesome too. 20-some years later, here I am. At the end, I was chewing a can to can and a half a day of Copenhagen (usually long-cut). Seems crazy now, but as most of you were, I was the guy that had one in at all possible moments.

100 days ago, I did something I have done once or twice before, but this time it was different. Out of nowhere, I stood up, walked to the toilet and flushed 3 brand new cans. Didn’t give myself time to think (or the nic bitch time to talk), just did it. The funny thing was, 5 minutes before that, I didn’t REALLY think I could ever quit. Oh, I said I would. Told my wife I would. Even lied about being quit a couple times when half-ass quits fell apart. Kept one quit lie going for a remarkably long time. Sounds a little bit like an addict, eh?

The trigger for me this day was reading that the Winston Man died from cancer. Are you kidding me? How unreal is that. I am choosing to put something in my mouth that I flat out know is going to kill me. That is insane. While the other quit attempts were just that, attempts, I knew this was different. I was done. Period. Apparently the Winston Man spent the last years of his life trying to undo some of what he felt he had done. Sad.

For me, it took a long time for things to add up. But eventually, you get tired of the guilt – When using you know you’re hurting you family, you know you’re screwing your kids and wife. It’s just not acceptable to do that to innocent people that you love and are supposed to protect. Tired of being ashamed and afraid – Is today the day I find something on my gums? How far down can my gums go before my teeth start falling out? Wonder if I will ever go to the dentist again? Not to mention, at times it REALLY hurt. Can you believe you would throw a chew in on gums that are already in pain from chewing? Tired of the embarrassment – being caught off-guard by someone when you have a mouthful of spit…nice. Seeing the look on my wife’s face when I talk to someone with a chew in. Tired of being a slave to a can – are you kidding me? This crap owns me. I am at the mercy of a frickin’ can of chew. What happens if I can’t get a new tin tonight? What if I run out? It is totally ridiculous and really sad the crap I/we did and put up with for tobacco. I really believed I couldn’t do anything…couldn’t live my life without it. That is both crazy and sad.

Screw the tobacco companies. How do you sleep?

Today I am proud. No longer will I be a slave to that crap. No longer will I deceive and rob my wife and children of their husband and father. Never again. Not even one.

Made it to 100 because of two main reasons: 1 – Sheer determination (especially early on) and 2 – KTC. I cannot thank KTC, the organizers and all the members enough. It is your support that made the difference, period. Thanks to all of you, and especially those of you that I got a little closer to. Thanks to June and Yammer – every one of you no drama brothers and sister Aneokly make me proud. There were a lot of KTCers that helped me throughout. You know who you are and I appreciate your support!

For anyone on the fence or considering quitting: You can do it. Do it for yourself. Don’t be too proud to let others help. I know it seems different for you, you’re case is special…any other excuse you can think of. The truth is there are tons of guys in here who had it as bad or worse than you and some that had it easier. The point is they all did it and you can too. It is one of the best decisions you could ever make. Not only are you saving yourself, but you can feel proud of yourself about doing it.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member braden

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