He quit once, for over a year, about ten years before he died. He wore a nicotine patch for six months. He had his entire wardrobe dry cleaned, and then paid a professional to purge the stale cigarette smell from his car. He swore he would never go back.
Then, there was a beautiful woman at a party. He was shy. He needed a reason to approach, a way to strike up a conversation: Hey, can I bum a cigarette? Light the cig. Inhale deep. Exhale smoke. Then, turn and say: Thanks. My name is Sang. Sang Lee.
“After all,” he told me on the phone, later that night, “I figure, it’s been over a year, ya know? I can just smoke one.”