Smoking - A quitters diary.
May 3, 2002 5:42 AM   Subscribe

Smoking - A quitters diary. Recommended reading for those wanting to quit, those who have quit and those lucky people who never started and could do with understanding the 'ordeal' of giving up.
posted by Frasermoo (76 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
those who have quit and those lucky people who never started

Actually luck has nothing to do with why people smoke. It is a foolish decision a person can make to start smoking, and luck has nothing to do with it.
posted by Keen at 6:09 AM on May 3, 2002


blows a smoke ring at keen, watches with pleasure as he gags foolish, huh...
posted by bittennails at 6:17 AM on May 3, 2002


I lost all respect for heroin addicts, back when people started claiming that cigarettes are more addictive than heroin. The hype about the addictive properties of cigarettes is just as overblown as the hype about the addictive properties of drugs. Its easy to quit smoking. You just quit. Then shut up about it, and don't expect any medals.
posted by Faze at 6:25 AM on May 3, 2002


Here we go again...

...and yes, you just quit.
posted by adampsyche at 6:26 AM on May 3, 2002


Sure, it sounds good if it works for you, [ie: you are mentally superior.] But what of the other type(s) of people, you decide for them?
posted by bittennails at 6:34 AM on May 3, 2002


Thanks frasermoo. I readying to make the big divorice from the stick and stuff like this helps.

Good link.
posted by lampshade at 6:40 AM on May 3, 2002


Quitting smoking sounds easy compared with quitting cracking your knuckles. It is a gross habit and I have cut back quite a bit but it is extremely difficult to quit. Heres why: after years of cracking your knuckles, if you stop for awhile they start cracking spontaneously! It's like trying to quit smoking with the added problem of lit cigarrettes unexpectedly appearing in your mouth every so often!
posted by plaino at 6:40 AM on May 3, 2002


blows a smoke ring at keen, watches with pleasure as he gags foolish, huh...

My, look at how openly hostile these smokers can be. Trying to gag me!

Sure, it sounds good if it works for you, [ie: you are mentally superior.] But what of the other type(s) of people, you decide for them?

Some people are mentally superior to others. Maybe the mentally inferior people should listen to the mentally superiror. After all, they are mentally superior, so they might have a better idea of what they are talking about than the inferior ones.
posted by Keen at 6:50 AM on May 3, 2002


Me, hostile, relax man, have a fag, I do, see it's easy to calm down, just light up.
posted by bittennails at 7:00 AM on May 3, 2002


I am not saying it is easy to quit, but it is quite simple. There is a difference. Maybe if you spent less time being sarcastic, you would have the mental energy to figure out how to quit. It's not like additional resources aren't available to you, such as Smokers' Anonymous and other support groups of people who have quit and who can tell you how. I went that route, but I am sure that it works for those who are having a tough time quitting.

Nice how threads concerning smoking turn to condescending and rudeness by the second post.
posted by adampsyche at 7:02 AM on May 3, 2002


Whatever gave you the impression I was trying to quit? As for condescending, try the first comment.
posted by bittennails at 7:07 AM on May 3, 2002


blows a smoke ring at keen, watches with pleasure as he gags foolish, huh...

Actually, he was being kind. The proper word is "stupid."
posted by rushmc at 7:11 AM on May 3, 2002


Disclaimer: this post seems directed at those who are trying to quit. I do not care if you want ot quit or not. I don't think that anything in this thread is concerned with whether you should quit or not, or whether it is better to quit, or anything like that. I didn't see any moralizing in this thread (yet).

This thread so far seem to be concerned with a web site about someone quitting, and that fell into a debate about how easy it is to quit. Your comment:

Sure, it sounds good if it works for you, [ie: you are mentally superior.] But what of the other type(s) of people, you decide for them?

...was concerned with how easy it is to quit. That's what we were talking about.

The first comment was not condescending at all. In fact, I think it was direct and to the point. If you found it rude, that is another matter, but I don't think he was being condescending at all. Look up the word.
posted by adampsyche at 7:15 AM on May 3, 2002


People start smoking because they're stupid. They don't quit because they're weak.
posted by websavvy at 7:17 AM on May 3, 2002


10 months off the cancer sticks coming up on the 11th of may! best news is the trail of mutilated corpses left in my wake is diminishing. hey, what YOU lookin' at?!?!?!
posted by quonsar at 7:21 AM on May 3, 2002


You know, your behaviour is classic, "I quit, it's easy, see I can do it...etc etc" superior drivel. Go find another rabid dog to bite, and stop assuming all of us agree that smoking is a terrible thing to do. Ciao.
posted by bittennails at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2002


websavvy: eliminate weakness and stupidity and you solve most of humanity's problems. what's your point? or did you just need to feel superior?
posted by quonsar at 7:23 AM on May 3, 2002


a guy who calls himself bittennails probably
NEEDS to smoke.
posted by quonsar at 7:29 AM on May 3, 2002


"Recommended reading for those ... lucky people who never started and could do with understanding the 'ordeal' of giving up"

My point is that non smokers aren't "lucky".

Here's an analogy (that will surely get shot to pieces). Let's imagine that some new variant of Russian roulette is invented, where the gun handle is painted with an addictive drug, that makes you want to play more. If you knew this, and played anyway, because it was "cool" or "adult" or it "gave you something to do with your hands", you'd be an idiot, plain and simple. Not unlucky, just stupid.
posted by websavvy at 7:30 AM on May 3, 2002


I'd like to give some advice to anyone who wants to quit.

I recently got some great information from my doctor. She said that the cravings can be greatly reduced with Zyban (which I'm now taking), but the best approach is to also combine Zyban with the nicotine patch to help with the withdrawal. Nicotine withdrawal can take up to three months. So a good idea is to try the patch at 21 mg strength for one month, then step down to the 14 mg strength for a month, then the 7 mg strength for two to four more weeks, all the while taking the Zyban. This will be my approach.

If you live in Massachusetts, call 1-800-try-to-stop for a listing of places that offer the patch at a subsidised price.
posted by acridrabbit at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2002


The reason cigarettes are so addictive has less to do with any physical properties--I'm less than enamored with theories of purely 'physically addicted' explanations, but that's another story--than with the mode of delivery.

It delivers the mildest, in terms of physical sensations, drug in common use, and then there is what Emerson once observed:

The belief that we are doing something when we do nothing is the first illusion of tobacco.

Mild pleasant sensation + doing nothing is very powerful a reinforcement.

Lighting a cigarette is simple, the dosage known and quantified, the delivery to the bloodstream and, hence, the experience is near instantaneous, lasts but a brief time and the whole ceremony is reinforced by all sorts of social and cultural associations. It all makes for an easily, all too easily, repeated procedure and insiduously becomes a habit so very hard to break for that same ease.

But then, on a more intense level, this may be the secret of crack's mythical addictive powers: instant delivery, social ceremony and temporally limited experience, leading to infinite repetitions.

Of course, pleasant sensations + doing nothing just about describes any drug experience.

Thanks to all for the advice. I'm struggling now with quitting myself.
posted by y2karl at 7:35 AM on May 3, 2002


I don't think my use of the word lucky should be the basis for the discussion here.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:43 AM on May 3, 2002


I don't know about that y2karl. I used to be one of those annoying social smokers - you know the sort, they never buy their own - and I only ever smoked when drinking. This was because I only ever got the craving when I was drunk. So smoking was never a habit for me. One drug triggered a craving for another and that must have something to do with chemicals.
posted by Summer at 7:44 AM on May 3, 2002


Hit the nail right on the head, quonsar :)
posted by bittennails at 7:46 AM on May 3, 2002


or, for all you schizophrenics out there, you can light-up and smoke out the voices like i do :)

(and yes, smoking does help relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia)
posted by Aleph Yin at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2002


It's weird. I smoke about a pack a week. I never smoke at work or during the daytime. I just don't need it. But give me a few beers and I immediately start craving cigarettes. It was the same way with coffee, which I had to stop drinking. It's not the physical addiction that's the problem (I can go from Monday to Friday if I don't drink during the week), it's just that cigarettes go so damn well with beer or coffee.

I really like the act of smoking. Plus, all my friends are doing it. That makes it okay, right? Even though I don't smoke all that much, I don't think I could quit if I tried. Anyone else hooked on the the routine and not the nicotine?
posted by Samsonov14 at 7:53 AM on May 3, 2002


Please don't forget how enjoyable smoking is. That's the main reason people smoke. People who don't are healthier and I hope they never start. But it's undeniable they're missing out on one of the big pleasures of life.

Everything addictive is enjoyable. To say otherwise is like thinking "Just say no" is an effective deterrent to taking drugs, drinking and what have you.

If nicotine was all there was to smoking why would people be so fussy with brands? I don't smoke cigarettes - only cigarillos and cigars - and I'd rather go without than smoke some old stogie.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:54 AM on May 3, 2002


You know, your behaviour is classic, "I quit, it's easy, see I can do it...etc etc" superior drivel. Go find another rabid dog to bite, and stop assuming all of us agree that smoking is a terrible thing to do. Ciao.

I don't see anyone acting superior here. I didn't see anyone saying (much less I) that smoking is a terrible thing to do. Did you not see what I said?

this post seems directed at those who are trying to quit. I do not care if you want ot quit or not.

Smoke your brains out, I don't give a shit. I don't consider myself superior, and how could I, if I did the same fucking thing for over ten years? I know this much: it is terrible for me. Whether or not it is terrible for you is up to you. Stop acting like those of us who have quit are automatically thinking they are superior, your jumping to conclusions doesn't do much for you at all. [snark]Remember: just because you are paranoid, does not mean that all of us former smokers are not out to get you. [/snark] Give me a break. If your "fags" are so relaxing, you have yet to demonstrate that.
posted by adampsyche at 7:59 AM on May 3, 2002


OK, so there was some superiority complex in this thread. Not from me, though.
posted by adampsyche at 8:01 AM on May 3, 2002


Congrats, quonsar - continued good luck with it.

I ended up in the hospital with some pneumonia/asthma thing 7 years ago and had to quit. Getting deathly sick was the best thing that could have happened or I have no doubt I would still be smoking 2+ packs a day. I still want one ocassionally - I'll be driving or reading or cleaning or something, and all of a sudden I'll be overcome with the urge to go buy a pack of cigs. And I haven't had one in 7 years, so yeah....the craving sort of stays with you. Yep.
posted by iconomy at 8:02 AM on May 3, 2002


I don't smoke cigarettes - only cigarillos and cigars - and I'd rather go without than smoke some old stogie.

Funny, I've been smoking ciggy-treats for years, but have yet to appreciate or understand cigars. I've smoked cubans, nicaraguans, dominicans, and they all taste like Philly Blunts to me.

I go for the nicotine and oral fixation, if I wanted something tasty in my mouth I would suck on Werthers Originals ( caramel hard candies for those outside the US )
posted by remlapm at 8:03 AM on May 3, 2002


Wow, with all this name calling, I shudder to think of the Puritanical reaction that will go down when the Second Prohibition banning alcohol goes down.

Not everyone who smokes is necessarily stupid. In fact, most of us smokers are pretty damned cognizant of the fact that we're slowly kililng ourselves. Or do you honestly think that we aren't aware that arsenic is within the damned cancer stick and that this stuff involves cancer or emphysema. Do you really think we're that moronic?

The decision to start doesn't necessarily occur because it was a "hip" thing to do or because we're emulating Humphrey Bogart. It often occurs because we innocuously try one, wanting to see what all the fuss is about, as the cancer stick is handed to us like forbidden fruit and we in our youthful folly confess to ourselves, "Hey, this isn't so bad. Actually, this is pretty damned good," and then another one and another one, and before we know it, we've obliterated an entire pack. Then we're smoking a pack a day. Then we realize the social advantages of cigarettes and most of the negative factors (and what can you really say when some yahoo coughs visibly in front of you, demonstrating his "refinement" by adopting what is undoubtedly the easiest slam dunk sides of just about any argument circulating the planet but failing to adopt a stance on any REAL issue like the homeless, what's going down in the Middle East, etc.) it entails. Then we reach a point in which our clothes start smelling of the stuff and we add more detergent to our laundry. But we don't care because, dammit, we need the cigarette every hour or so. The cigarette is our friend.

Even so, to describe cigarettes as a harrowing addiction comparable to heroin seems to me the mark of a weak-kneed nut. As the old adage goes, "It's easy to quit. It's difficult to stop." I've quit many times, but there are too many stressful and contributing factors that get me to puff up again. Granted, this is an excuse that will have no sympathy for the beleagured anti-smoking vigilantes here. When I reach a certain point in my life in which these factors are considerably lesser than they are, which I estimate will occur in about three to four years, then I will throw all my Zippo and Bic lighters away and proudly shout to the gods, "No more cigarettes." Hell, maybe sooner. This decision has been carefully calculated with Excel spreadsheets, rotating three-dimensional models, endless treatises written about the state of smoking and careful mathematical formulas which involve binary values of me in the process of smoking a cigarette and me not smoking a cigarette and an endless series of conditionary ramifications.

But you know what? It's my goddam decision. And I'll be damned if I'll be harangued by some upstart who doesn't understand one goddam thing about smoking or who insists, after I've politely not smoked around him or anywhere near him because he's sensitive to second-hand smoke, to barrage me with more facts he's culled from TheTruth.com. Wow, what a fucking hero for decency! What an amazing guy! Of course, the blowhard doesn't understand that this is something that is up to the smoker to figure out.

I plan to quit eventually or die trying. I've just been too busy to fuck up my routine, which, goddammit, involves a lot of cigarettes while writing. So sorry for being a chronically busy spoilsport.
posted by ed at 8:18 AM on May 3, 2002


My father has smoked since long before I was born. My brother has smoked since he was 12 (he's 27 now) and seems to have mostly quit or at least seriously cut back recently. My Grandfather, who smoked like a chimney, died of lung cancer. Frasermoo, I think your use of the word "luck" is a basis for discussion. I don't smoke. I tried it in high school and there is no luck about why I never got past the first one. It was a choice made by me. It was also a choice, albeit a different one, made by my relatives listed above. They weren't simply "unlucky", they chose to smoke regardless of motivation. As did bittennails apparently. That's part of why I take issue with things I've read recently about "oppressed smokers". I have no problem with those who smoke just so long as its not near my food and somewhere I can avoid if I'm not interested in shortening my life through second-hand smoke.

I image, as lazy as I am, if I were a smoker the ordeal of quitting might keep me smoking, though.
posted by srw12 at 8:32 AM on May 3, 2002


As habits go, smoking is the queen of habits. It is a magnificent pleasure, a wonderful stimulant, a grand relaxant, a promoter of amiability and good fellowship. Nothing is more enjoyable than a cigarette and a good book, nothing promotes good writing more than a lit cigarette dangling from your lip, and, of course, a cigarette after a meal (or other activity) is delicious. Smoking is more than fun, it is a fulfilling vocation. However, as anyone in health care can tell you, smoking does really, really, really bad things to you, that catch up with you much faster than you expect. So you quit. It's annoying to have to give up an activity that's so deeply enjoyable. But it's not a struggle. Not compared to, say, the slow self-suffocation of emphysema.
posted by Faze at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2002


For those who never did start smoking: good on you, it was a wise decision.

Congratulations on those who have quit smoking. It takes strong will and determination, and you should be recognized for it!

For those who are quitting, I suggest you take it one day or even one hour at a time; if you can delay fulfilling that craving for another hour, you're one step closer to being off the cancer-sticks.

And the die-hard smokers out there... well, "a hard death" is probably in your future. Can't imagine why you'd willfully choose to increase by an order of magnitude your chances of dying slowly and painfully at a young age. Short term gain for long term pain.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 AM on May 3, 2002


Watch any Dean Martin Roast and then tell me smoking isn't the most hip thing ever. I mean really; Michael Landon with those aviator glasses and a Chesterfield burning like a fuse in his lower lip? Shiat..

Seriously, it sucks to be chained to these things. Some day, some way, I'll be off em' but for the time being? Man. I need to light up.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:04 AM on May 3, 2002


Cardoso: Everything addictive is enjoyable. To say otherwise is like thinking "Just say no" is an effective deterrent to taking drugs, drinking and what have you.

well that's a non sequitor, but I'll bite anyway.

First of all your first sentence is a broad generality that's not true. Okay.

and secondly, "Just say(ing) no" is an effective deterrent. Most people just don't want to say no. I just say no consistantly and it's worked so far -- I've never taken any drugs or smoked a single cigarette.

I don't think I'm superior.
posted by palegirl at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2002


Smoking is more than fun, it is a fulfilling vocation

You get paid to smoke?
posted by plaino at 9:50 AM on May 3, 2002 [1 favorite]


Not everyone who smokes is necessarily stupid. In fact, most of us smokers are pretty damned cognizant of the fact that we're slowly kililng ourselves.

Your second sentence would seem to successfully argue against the truth of your first.

I've quit many times, but there are too many stressful and contributing factors that get me to puff up again. Granted, this is an excuse that will have no sympathy for the beleagured anti-smoking vigilantes here.

You're right. Since millions of people manage to successfully deal with the stress in their lives without resorting to smoking, it is a demonstrably unnecessary (though perhaps, for some, useful) aid.


five fresh fish - Best Post in the Thread.
posted by rushmc at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2002


You get paid to smoke?
When I used to smoke 2-plus packs a day, I felt like smoking was my job. It was as fulfilling than my then-current vocation. Jerome K. Jerome or some similar writer once filled out a form to say "Smoker" when asked for "Employment."
posted by Faze at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2002


I just say no consistantly and it's worked so far -- I've never taken any drugs or smoked a single cigarette.

Ahhh. Never underestimate the power of denial.

And the die-hard smokers out there... well, "a hard death" is probably in your future. Can't imagine why you'd willfully choose to increase by an order of magnitude your chances of dying slowly and painfully at a young age

Slow and painful? Please. I've got my appointment with Jack Kevorkian all set up. I am a polite smoker after all.

Everything will kill you if you do it long enough. Everything.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2002


So you quit... But it's not a struggle.

I quit for just over a year before starting up again, and I found it to be quite a struggle. Thinking about smoking three, four, five times a day for a year, changing your lifestyle to avoid trigger activities and people, trying to find a reason to get out of bed and embrace your new smoke-free life every morning for those first few months -- these were difficult things. Nothing that can't be accomplished with a lot of willpower and outside support, but difficult nonetheless.

While I think those who never picked up the smoking habit are more fortunate/clever/whatever than those of us who did (remember, most of us started when we were fifteen or so, and didn't understand the lifetime decision we were making), if one has never experienced a serious chemical and mental addiction, it's probably very difficult to understand what it's like.
posted by jess at 10:21 AM on May 3, 2002


I equate the non-smoker "I'm better than you" rhetoric to the affluent intellectual who believes himself to understand the commonweal or the man of the streets, but who has not once set foot in the gutter. How little he realizes how much of a fool he is in talking about a sensation that he fails to understand, suddenly declaring an expert on it by reading the writings of someone who has lived through it.

And palegirl, of all the nonsmoker lunatics running around this particular thread, yours is the most judicious and sensible. Thanks.
posted by ed at 10:33 AM on May 3, 2002


By the way, I'd like to point out that people who don't take up smoking in the first place are not necessarily more clever than the rest of us. In fact, people who take up smoking in the first place are usually the most talented, intense, sociable, brilliant, tortured and creative people out there. They need to smoke becuase life is full of contradictions, and they are aware of them, and smoking helps smooth all fo that out. Tolstoy actually wrote an interesting book called "Why Do Men Stupify Themselves?" that addresses why people smoke. Here's a quote:
The cause of the worldwide consumption of hashish, opium, wine, and tobacco lies not in the taste, nor in any pleasure, recreation, or mirth they afford, but simply in man’s need to hide from himself the demands of conscience.... For man is a spiritual as well as animal being. He may be moved by things that influence his spiritual nature, or by things that influence his animal nature.
posted by Faze at 10:34 AM on May 3, 2002


For those who have never smoked, you really have no leg to stand on aside from your moral stone throwing. What I don't get is no matter how many smoking areas you create, no matter how freaking polite we try to be, and go out of our way, you still manage to get churchy as hell about the whole thing (with a few exceptions in this thread). It seems the original article was about the struggles of someone quitting. One of those struggles is having to deal with the likes of some temperance movement wannabe preaching from some imagined higher ground.

Thank you. I'll stop my preaching now.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:47 AM on May 3, 2002


Very well put Faze and ed.

The only thing that has ever really bothered me in these type of discussions is the non-smokers attutude of "quitting is easy, you just stop". I believe that even they know that it truly isn't that simple (but enjoy trying to make others look like weak fools). If it was that simple wouldn't any smoker who was concerned about their health simply quit immediately. So, for those non-smokers who like to simplify quitting in that manner please really think about it or talk to someone who truly is addicted to something before you continue with that logic. Maybe you'll actually gain some perspective on a subject you don't have first hand experience of, instead of belittling others and acting as though your moral strenth is clearly much better than the addict.
posted by m@L at 10:48 AM on May 3, 2002


"I quit for just over a year before starting up again, and I found it to be quite a struggle."

I don't believe anyone truly quits smoking: they just delay it for another day. I think it's a powerful approach to "quitting." It means you don't have to beat yourself up when you slip up. You just keep working to extend the time between smokes by yet another day.

Smokers I talk to inevitably admit to the "urge" to smoke in certain situations: social situations or smoke-filled bars. Some of them give in to the urge; others manage to delay by the hour to get through it. It's a struggle for most of them, to be sure.

Keep trying. It's worth it!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 AM on May 3, 2002


So, for those non-smokers who like to simplify quitting in that manner please really think about it or talk to someone who truly is addicted to something before you continue with that logic.

I always ask people who blithely tell me to "just quit" if they've ever tried to quit masturbating.

Either it will give them pause for thought or expose more of their personal ethics regarding denial, pleasure, and responsibility. Intelligent discussion usally begins at that point.

Usually.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:13 AM on May 3, 2002


condescending: to assume an air of superiority. I think that "I'm smart and other people are stupid" pretty well fits the bill. What was the meat of Keen's comment if not that, what insight or idea to share with people who might wish to converse on the subject of quitting? Waste of pixels. It's not *smokers* who turn every smoking-related thread into a debate about whether or not smokers are substandard human beings.

As for smoker hostility---let us just pretend that Keen's second comment was not, in fact, totally disingenuous---you pinklungs would be hostile too if every snarky, smarmy nosey-parker in the U.S. of A. felt qualified to preach to you on the evils of your bad personal habits, whether he knew you from Adam or not. ---yes, we're also pretending non-smokers *have* bad personal habits.

It is surely the most visible and the most bothersome success of the War On Perfectly Legal Tobacco Products: that everything your mama ever taught you, or should have, about minding your own affairs has gone, quite literally, up in smoke.

Now watch me make a doomed attempt at discussion, as preferable to mud-slinging: An aunt and uncle of mine have tried everything to quit smoking. They had the most success with hypnosis, of all things. Anyone here tried it? And what do they do? "You ... are ... getting ... verrrry ... stinky."
posted by Sapphireblue at 11:17 AM on May 3, 2002


I stopped smoking in December of 2000. I guess I was ready. I only had to read the introduction of this book to "get it". After reading the entire book, I can recommend it. One of the keys to quitting, oddly enough, is to embrace it.
posted by gnz2001 at 11:31 AM on May 3, 2002


smoking is bad for you.
not everything that's addictive is enjoyable.
crack is bad for you.

mefi is addictive AND enjoyable.
posted by captain obvious at 11:33 AM on May 3, 2002


Everything will kill you if you do it long enough. Everything.

Yep, you're a master of denial, all right.
posted by rushmc at 11:45 AM on May 3, 2002


I believe that even they know that it truly isn't that simple (but enjoy trying to make others look like weak fools).

That may be true for some. All I can say is how I did it. I just quit. FFF's comments were very good, the one day at a time, or one situation at a time thing helped. For the record:

con·de·scend Pronunciation Key (knd-snd)
intr.v. con·de·scend·ed, con·de·scend·ing, con·de·scends
To descend to the level of one considered inferior; lower oneself.
To deal with people in a patronizingly superior manner.


I think it was the patronizing that I was referring to in this post. And I do believe that the only people who can talk about how hard it is to quit are those who have quit. Not those who have never smoked, and not those who smoke (after all, if they haven't quit, how do they know how hard it is?) I quit three times for 9 months before quitting the last time. I know it can take anything to go back, but thankfully I have not.
posted by adampsyche at 11:46 AM on May 3, 2002


trying to find a reason to get out of bed and embrace your new smoke-free life every morning

And that doesn't tell you that you have a problem?? I think that if one cannot see the problem with deriving the very reason for their existence from smoking, they are beyond help.
posted by rushmc at 11:47 AM on May 3, 2002


They need to smoke becuase life is full of contradictions, and they are aware of them, and smoking helps smooth all fo that out.

In plainer words, a chemical crutch to help them hide from reality and its nature and consequences? I'll stick with the "cleverer" hypothesis, thanks.
posted by rushmc at 11:48 AM on May 3, 2002


I always ask people who blithely tell me to "just quit" if they've ever tried to quit masturbating.

Has anyone ever had a reason to?
posted by adampsyche at 11:49 AM on May 3, 2002


The only thing that has ever really bothered me in these type of discussions is the non-smokers attutude of "quitting is easy, you just stop". I believe that even they know that it truly isn't that simple

And yet, many, many (tens of thousands? hundreds?) of people DO quit in just this way. Which proves that it IS possible and, for some, just that simple.
posted by rushmc at 11:51 AM on May 3, 2002


Has anyone ever had a reason to?

Oh, I dunno, hairy palms, acne, blindness, social stigma, no sperm left for children because it was all 'used up' due to excessive wanking (anyone know what the female equivalent to this old saw might be?), burning in hell, graham crackers. None of those things stopped you, did they?

Yep, you're a master of denial, all right.

I don't deny that. Next?

And yet, many, many (tens of thousands? hundreds?) of people DO quit in just this way

And many of them are broken, bitter people, who don't even have a 'Buttsmokers Anonymous' group to go to where they can sit around and drink coffee, eat donuts, and talk about how much they miss smoking. I wonder how many of them will die of a broken heart.

Let's get down to cases, peeps: How many of you have successfully quit smoking? Now, how many of you no longer associate with people who smoke? Now, how many of those people are your friends? I'm sorry, WERE your friends?

I've lost far more friends to people who can't tolerate smoking--for whatever reason--than I ever have or will to those from cancer or emphysema caused by smoking (which, to date, have been none, and I'm including three generations of smokers in my family here). I'm curious as to whether or not my experience is unique.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:17 PM on May 3, 2002


rushmc: have you ever smoked? tried to quit? the physical act IS simple (you don't put a lit cigarette in your mouth anymore). my point, if you read the full quote, is that it is not "EASY". at least not mentally. but thanks for the condescending attitude.
posted by m@L at 12:20 PM on May 3, 2002


iconomy: it wasn't noble determination on my part. having a heart attack at age 48 scared the marlboro reds right out of my mouth. and i know the rest of my life there are going to be times when a cigarette seems like the best idea ever. it's one of those rock/hard place decisions that suck so much - smoke or live to see my latter decades.
posted by quonsar at 12:23 PM on May 3, 2002


And many of them are broken, bitter people, who don't even have a 'Buttsmokers Anonymous' group to go to where they can sit around and drink coffee, eat donuts, and talk about how much they miss smoking. I wonder how many of them will die of a broken heart.

And how would you know? Poor argument. Someone does what you won't can't don't do, and you gotta go and make fun of them. Bravo. How would you know what they talk about?

Oh, I dunno, hairy palms, acne, blindness, social stigma, no sperm left for children because it was all 'used up' due to excessive wanking (anyone know what the female equivalent to this old saw might be?), burning in hell, graham crackers. None of those things stopped you, did they?

Are you trying to make a point? Or are you just shooting off your mouth?

I've lost far more friends to people who can't tolerate smoking--for whatever reason

I can think of a few reasons...
posted by adampsyche at 12:38 PM on May 3, 2002


hands shaking, sweat drips off body, pools at crotch, must defend quitting smoking, must must must....


....see what happens when you quit.
posted by bittennails at 12:49 PM on May 3, 2002


Well. I never said non smokers had no bad habits. Its just most the time their habits don't involve buying a product that not only is made to kill you quicker, but also makes your clothes stink as well.

My original comment wasn't meant to look down at all smokers, just to say that smoking isn't due to luck. You have to go out and buy the products. I don't care if as one person said you are 15. You can make plenty of good and bad decisions at 15. There is no luck about it.
posted by Keen at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2002


And many of them are broken, bitter people, who don't even have a 'Buttsmokers Anonymous' group to go to where they can sit around and drink coffee, eat donuts, and talk about how much they miss smoking.

Um, this is your idea of a fun and/or productive time?
posted by rushmc at 3:07 PM on May 3, 2002


my point, if you read the full quote, is that it is not "EASY". at least not mentally.

I don't think anyone has ever claimed that it was "EASY," only that it was beneficial.
posted by rushmc at 3:09 PM on May 3, 2002


ed: Quit now. It will never be easier than it is now. It will only get harder.

The amount of stress in your life is irrelevent. There will always be some stress, and, until you find some other way to deal with it, you will smoke.

Don't get me wrong: I loved smoking when I did it. But, at some point, you stop smoking cigarettes, and they start smoking you.
posted by electro at 3:55 PM on May 3, 2002


I smoked for eleven years and quit in July 2000. I was 30 that year and had come down with monster mononucleosis. Breathing was hard for a few days and smoking was out of the question. I just didn't start again after that. I quit because it was the right thing for me and the right time to do it. I still miss smoking, but it's just not part of my life anymore.

I think the author in this quit-smoking diary is walking backward. He's still focused on tobacco, just the lack of it instead of the need or presence of it. It's not a good mindset for quitting. You can't be someone who doesn't smoke if you're busy being an ex-smoker. Why count the days unless you're expecting to slip and want to know how far you made it this time? Stop talking about it, concentrate on everything else, and cigarettes just stop being part of the picture.

(wondering if that makes sense to anyone else)
posted by swerve at 5:27 PM on May 3, 2002


Stupid things I did when I was a teenager: drove drunk, drove high, wrecked a car, tried cocaine, heroin, acid, mescaline, PCP, barbituates, overdosed on valium/alcohol, slept with my best friend's girlfriend, had unprotected sex as often as I could, dropped out of high school, set a house on fire, attempted suicide, started smoking. Now twenty-five years removed from my teens, I only really regret the last one.
posted by TimeFactor at 6:01 PM on May 3, 2002 [1 favorite]


Makes great sense to me, swerve. But then, I'm just a clueless non-smoker.
posted by rushmc at 6:29 PM on May 3, 2002


So, was it an empty house?
posted by y2karl at 6:30 PM on May 3, 2002


Oddly enough, I managed to get through my teen years without doing a single ONE of those things, TimeFactor! Vive la difference.
posted by rushmc at 6:31 PM on May 3, 2002


Likewise. And twenty-five years removed from my teens, I regret being such a tightass...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on May 3, 2002


Why count the days unless you're expecting to slip and want to know how far you made it this time?

I smoked for eleven years and quit in July 2000.

(wondering if that makes sense to anyone else)


Yes.
posted by bittennails at 9:06 PM on May 3, 2002


But then, I'm just a clueless non-smoker.

OK, rushmc, we won't argue that one anymore.
posted by y2karl at 9:55 PM on May 3, 2002


At the risk of sounding like some granola-munching twelve-step touchy-feely new-age group-discussion moderator, the real trick to quitting to smoking is unequivocably deciding to quit.

Not the "you know, I probably should cut back some" deciding to quit, or even the "damn, I wish I could give these things up" deciding to quit, I'm talking about the "that's it, I'm not ever going to smoke another cigarette again as long as I live" deciding to quit.

I smoked two packs a day for nearly ten years before I decided to give them up, and quitting was without a doubt the most difficult thing I've ever accomplished. Nicotine withdrawal is only half the battle, the real bitch is breaking the familiarity of habit and taking your mind off the craving. Disassociating smoking's pleasure with activities like writing or drinking was my greatest hurdle.

Eventually, however, just like one day realizing that your heart is no longer broken after a lover leaves you, the maddening desire to light up subsides, growing smaller and more insignificant over time, until finally the urge to even bum one has faded. I confess that this sounds easier than it actually is.

For those still in the cigarette's luxurious embrace, I say enjoy them as long as you and your lungs are able. Life is too short not to revel in its pleasures. But for those who've decided to send their habit packing, I can only tell you that it gets a little easier every day. Good luck.
posted by johnnyace at 7:40 AM on May 4, 2002


Newly publicized smoking research:

Passive smoking dents kids' IQ
Secondhand smoke shaves points off kids' IQ, a study of over 4000 American children suggests. Even those exposed to small amounts of cigarette smoke have slightly lower cognitive abilities.

As little as one nanogram of [nicotine breakdown component] cotinine per millilitre of blood appeared to reduce IQ scores by an average of two points. One parent smoking less than a pack a day could produce that level in a child.
Even a Little Smoke Affects Children, Study Finds

A Lesson for Parents?
Secondhand Smoke Hurts Test Performance in Kids, Adolescents


This seems strongly relevant to this discussion.
posted by NortonDC at 7:57 AM on May 7, 2002


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