Thursday marks the "Great American Smokeout," the American Cancer Society's annual effort to encourage smokers to quit or make plans to quit.

I'm blessed in that regard, because I didn't grow up around cigarettes.

For the first five years of my life, my grandfather lived with us and he smoked a pipe and cigars, not very often and never away from his smoke stand. My mother got rid of it right away after Grandpa passed.

And while I had some uncles and cousins who lit up, my dad never did and for the most part I took after him except for the kind of experimenting kids do.

College was worse, though, and woe to the nonsmoker who had a roommate in the dormitory  who smoked. All of their clothing would smell like cigarette smoke.

So while I can't identify with nicotine addiction, I do sympathize, and I've seen people in the midst of trying to quit.

A radio station co-worker many years ago made an effort on "Smokeout" day, but he was an absolute bear to be around, so it was no fun for any of us.

Society and the law are not on the side of smokers any more, so I'm all for anyone who tries to quit, either because of the "Smokeout" or for any other reason.

Good luck, and may the better health be yours.