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[P]
What non-smokers don't know about cigarettes

By termfin in Culture
Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:31:18 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

How many of you have seen a smoker watch an anti-smoking commercial on TV and within minutes they are puffing away at a cigarette? How many of you have listened to a smoker give a detailed explanation of why they shouldn't smoke while smoking a cigarette? Non-smokers might be surprised by such behavior, but smokers aren't. What non-smokers don't understand is that trying to get a smoker to quit by telling them smoking kills, is like trying to cure a schizophrenic by telling them they are mad.


Most smokers know all the reasons why they shouldn't smoke. It isn't just the longer-term dangers of lung cancer and other illnesses, it is waking up in the morning with a throat full of tar, having a year-round cough, feeling lethargic all the time, and all the other effects of feeding your body with a steady stream of poison.

The problem is that knowing all of this doesn't seem to discourage most smokers from smoking. Why? Because the perceived benefits of smoking seem to outweigh the risks, at least during the 30 seconds it takes to light-up a cigarette. So what are these perceived benefits? Well they include:

  • Relaxation
  • An opportunity to socialise
  • A distraction
  • A feeling of satisfaction
So, lets say you want to persuade a smoker to stop smoking - what is the best approach? Well, most of the commercials one sees on television focus on highlighting the negatives, however the real solution is to demolish the positives. You see, all of the perceived benefits of smoking are actually an illusion.

Firstly, relaxation - nicotine is a stimulant, it actually increases your heart-rate, the only way in which it might seem to relax you is that you are depriving your brain of oxygen - if that is why you smoke, then you might as-well just hold your breath! (I am kidding, depriving your brain of oxygen is never a good thing).

Ok, so socializing. Often it is social pressure that gets many people started on cigarettes in the first place, and for some reason, smokers do seem more comfortable when others around them are also smoking (it lessens the guilt), but the problem can be resolved by persuading those around you to stop smoking too, or simply stick with the non-smokers when your smoking friends light up.

So are cigarettes a useful distraction? They do give someone an excuse to take a break from whatever they are doing, but there are so many other ways to do this. Go for a walk around the block. Go make yourself a cup of coffee. Phone your mother and say "hi". This is how non-smokers take a break from things.

And do cigarettes give you a feeling of satisfaction? This is where the addiction comes in, and this is also one of the core misunderstandings about nicotine. It is true to say that one can get addicted to nicotine very quickly indeed, but what you don't often hear is that the withdrawal symptoms are so mild that many people hardly notice them. Essentially it feels like very mild hunger, and you are largely over it after about five days, and totally over it after three weeks. What smokers tend to do is to play-up these effects to justify themselves lighting-up again, where in reality it is the other perceived benefits that are their motivation.

The irony is that when a smoker understands these things, when they understand what is going on in their own heads, they can often stop smoking effortlessly, without regret, enjoying their new-found freedom from the poison.

The anti-smoking lobby really needs to start spending their advertising dollars on demolishing the positives, rather than highlighting the negatives. Only then will people see cigarettes for what they really are.

If you smoke, or if you would like to understand more about smoking, I strongly suggest that you read Alan Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It is the only book I have seen which takes this approach to persuading people to quit.

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What non-smokers don't know about cigarettes | 197 comments (177 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
your forgetting the role of "self medication& (4.66 / 9) (#3)
by bhouston on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:14:43 PM EST

Nicotine can increase the levels of norepinephrine in the brain. Higher norepinephrine levels can mitigate the symptoms of ADHD if present. Thus someone with ADHD will find smoker more overall rewarding that someone that doesn't. This relationship is seem in the statistics that show ADHD individuals are twice as likely to be smokers than non-ADHD individuals.

The way to reduce these types positive is to determine whether a smoker has any underlying conditions for which they are "self-medicating" themselves. Usually once such a condition is found more appropriate and less harmful forms of treatment can be found.

More significantly ... (3.50 / 4) (#4)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:16:52 PM EST

... almost all schizophrenics smoke. This is generally believed to be a form of self-medication, though I don't know whether anyone understands how it might work.

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
Citation (none / 0) (#66)
by aphrael on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:39:31 PM EST

here.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps.... (4.00 / 3) (#5)
by sanity on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:20:37 PM EST

...but I am more interested in discussing the reasons why "normal" people might smoke. In some ways, it might be counter-productive to give people a convenient medical excuse for smoking such as ADHD, particularly when it is such a vague term. I know many people who were diagnosed with ADHD simply because their parents can't handle the normal, sometimes less-than-perfect, behavior of their children.

[ Parent ]
Get your facts straight (2.33 / 3) (#6)
by Kingmaker on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:24:05 PM EST

But since this article is about smoking, I agree, we shouldn't talk about it here.

But I will say this - ADHD is underdiagnosed. I know, because I wasn't diagnosed until I was 21, and if it wasn't for nay sayers like you, I probably would have been diagnosed a lot sooner.

It's people like you that make it hard for those with disabilities to get the help that can mean the difference between a normal life if diagnosed and complete misery if never diagnosed at all.



[ Parent ]
violent agreement (3.66 / 3) (#10)
by sanity on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:29:13 PM EST

I am sorry that you were a false-negative, but I know several false-positives. If someone has ADHD, then I want them to be diagnosed, if someone doesn't have ADHD, then they shouldn't spend their lives on Ritalin.

[ Parent ]
Bah. (4.12 / 8) (#20)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:35:29 PM EST

Medicated because you don't like your own personality.

Yeah, I'm the text book definition of ADHD - and it drives my boss nuts that I can sit and use a lap top to surf the web while I'm writing device drivers on the PC at my other hand. Doesn't stop me from getting my work done, though.

I thought we lived in a culture that celebrated our individuality and differences? Should we medicate black people to make them fit in better, too?


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
thoughts on ADHD from a neuroscience student (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by bhouston on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:03:49 PM EST

ADHD is now accepted by the medical community as a real condition that people can have.

Some ADHD is clearlly genetic but it can also arise in some children who's mothers drank heavily during pregnancy -- but these two explanations do not even account for 10% of the cases.

There are three major divisions of ADHD but that doesn't mean there is only three actually types -- there are probably a dozen or so actually types of ADHD but we don't know enough to identify them precisely. The three major divisions are (1) primarily inattentive and (2) primarily hyperactive and then there is a combined type. I know that the primarily inattentive type has to do with dysfunction of the LC and the right PFC -- or at least that's what by textbook says.

Try doing a search for ADHD in MedLine. You'll find hundreds upon hundreds of medical articles that take ADHD seriously.

That's all the time I have to ramble on this subject -- I need to study for my pharmacology exam on this stuff.

[ Parent ]
Cigarette Manufacturers and ADHD (none / 0) (#166)
by Rojareyn on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:58:00 PM EST

Howdy,

I vaguely remember a story I read about how a cigarette manufacturer was testing cigarettes on children deemed to be "hyperactive" (this was before it was known as ADHD) to see if cigarettes could calm them down.

I've tried googling for it can't find a reference.

Cheers!

[ Parent ]
La, La, La... (3.86 / 22) (#7)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:24:51 PM EST

You forgot the reason I smoke cigars. To annoy health nazis who enjoy interfering in other people's lives.

That, and so I can look just like Madonna.


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


Love it. (2.71 / 7) (#12)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:30:28 PM EST

Rated a one because you don't like the reason I smoke.

Heh. Time to light up.


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Banal (3.57 / 7) (#8)
by Hopfrog on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:26:15 PM EST

This is banal and uniteresting. I smoke for none of those reasons. Smoking doesn't relax me, it just feels good. And since I am hypersensitive, I start feeling woozy immediately after one fag. I don't have any friends, so it isn't peer pressure either. I don't distract myself by smoking, I go for a walk when I want to do that.

I smoke because when I'm sitting in front of the PC, it just feels like the correct thing to do.

And I don't particularly feel like stopping smoking right now.

Hop.

Wow (2.57 / 7) (#16)
by sanity on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:31:53 PM EST

I smoke because when I'm sitting in front of the PC, it just feels like the correct thing to do.
Gosh, you really understand your addiction don't you?

[ Parent ]
Thank you very much (2.00 / 4) (#25)
by Hopfrog on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:45:25 PM EST

Yes, I understand lots of things. Perhaps, one day, when you are older, you will too.

[ Parent ]
you are most welcome (1.00 / 2) (#28)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:49:06 PM EST

And do cigarettes give you a feeling of satisfaction?
Very mature.

[ Parent ]
It's better.. (4.33 / 3) (#39)
by DeadBaby on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:22:00 PM EST

Than trying to rationalize you're smoking as a side effect of your father who didn't love you. People smoke because... they want to smoke.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
[ Parent ]
Posterchild (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by chbm on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:55:25 PM EST

You are definitly one of the most compeling reasons for not smoking. All teenagers should be forced to meet you.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
[ Parent ]
Smokling Negatives (4.15 / 13) (#9)
by jasonab on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:27:40 PM EST

The anti-smoking lobby really needs to start spending their advertising dollars on demolishing the positives, rather than highlighting the negatives. Only then will people see cigarettes for what they really are.
I always got the impression that the negatives were not there for the smoker, but for a young non-smoker. If you can get a teenager to think twice before lighting up, or make it gross to smoke, you've solved the problem much more easily than any number of stop smoking programs could.

--
America is a great country. One of the freest in the world. -- greenrd
yes, perhaps. (4.04 / 21) (#13)
by Defect on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:30:28 PM EST

Alternately, all the god damned non smokers could sit back, shut the fuck up, and leave me alone.

And, while you're at it, drop the fucking price of cigarettes, you're pissing me off.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Tax (3.18 / 11) (#23)
by holdfast on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:42:44 PM EST

Increase the tax. The smell of smokers doesn't just annoy many of the rest of us. It is quite disgusting!

How many of the rest of us try and pass smokers on the upwind side? And this is not just for our health.


"Holy war is an oxymoron."
Lazarus Long
[ Parent ]
You speak.. (3.70 / 10) (#74)
by awgsilyari on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:55:25 PM EST

You speak of smokers like you might speak of a nasty, worm-ridden mutt. I know many people on this thread have stated it before, but I'll state it again:

Many smokers know DAMN well that what they are doing is bad for them, and they know DAMN well that it irritates other people. In fact, many of them feel guilty about exposing others to their smoke. However, since you clearly have never smoked in your life, you have utterly NO CLUE AT ALL what it is like.

The urge to smoke a cigarette goes far beyond any concerns about one's own health or even the health of those around you. In the last days of my regular smoking (which happily have ended now) I tried to stay away from non-smokers as much as possible. But it's hard. You see, non-smokers are EVERYWHERE. Where the hell was I supposed to go, exactly?

If you want to understand the mentality of a smoker, I suggest you go buy a pack of cigarettes and see how it really is. Until then, feel free to pester us into quitting, but DON'T pull this high-and-mighty shit. Many of us started when we were far too young to know any better, and now we're caught in a cycle that is extremely hard to break out of.

You simply CANNOT understand.

<smoke free since January>

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Worm ridden mutt (1.20 / 5) (#147)
by rdskutter on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 06:11:16 AM EST

The urge to smoke a cigarette goes far beyond any concerns about one's own health or even the health of those around you. In the last days of my regular smoking (which happily have ended now) I tried to stay away from non-smokers as much as possible. But it's hard. You see, non-smokers are EVERYWHERE. Where the hell was I supposed to go, exactly?

What is your point? You were a fucked up little maggot ridden mutt who kicked a filthy and unsocial habbit. Damn right you stayed away from non-smokers - we don't want your filthy stinking breath anywhere near us. Good for you that you stopped, but why are you trying to make non-smokers feel guilty for your pathetic addiction.

Go on have another smoke, you haven't really given up yet, 3 months is nothing, you know you want to.
If you're a jock, inflict some pain / If you're a nerd then use your brain - DAPHNE AND CELESTE
[ Parent ]

Sounds like a plan (2.50 / 4) (#49)
by chbm on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:51:14 PM EST

Now here's a shovel, get digging and be be quick with it you're wasting oxygen while you're above ground.

-- if you don't agree reply don't moderate --
[ Parent ]
Not a smoker... (4.44 / 9) (#14)
by El Volio on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:30:56 PM EST

...and don't ever plan to start. But I basically regard other people's smoking as None Of My Business. I find it deplorable for folks to smoke around kids, but if someone wants just to smoke and affect their own health -- well then, that's their business. If someone wants to tell me how to eat (I'm slightly overweight but not grossly so), then by the same token it's None Of Their Business (the wife excepted, of course :) ).

So I have no interest in persuading someone to stop smoking. If they feel enough motivation, they'll find a way to quit, whether it's by the book mentioned above, hypnosis, the patch, or whatever else. But someone is not going to quit just because I tell them it's not a good idea: they have to want to quit (which is partially the point of the story, but I don't think that it's my place to try to demolish the positives).

The "mind your own business" society (3.00 / 4) (#33)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:08:06 PM EST

If someone was about to jump off a cliff - would you try to persuade them not to do it, or would it be "none of your business"?

[ Parent ]
Not a valid comparison (4.75 / 8) (#37)
by El Volio on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:16:52 PM EST

I would probably try to persuade them though not physically restrain them (for obvious reasons), but while I think suicide is wrong and always indicative of a sick person, I see a great deal of difference between the two situations. Jumping off a cliff is an immediate problem; that is, it's not something that they're going to have time to think about. Smoking is a different matter -- and yes, while smoking does greatly shorten lifespans, it's not quite the same as that sort of suicide.

Look, warning someone of the health dangers of smoking in this day and age is redundant. We all know that it's Bad For You; so are a lot of other lifestyle choices that many people follow. Don't misunderstand me, I believe smoking is wrong and if it were a person for whom I feel responsibility (wife/kids/etc.), then it does become my business.

But I have no interest in telling a co-worker, "you know, that cigarette's gonna kill you someday." He knows; that's how he wants to live his life. I also don't go around telling him, "you know, if you keep picking up girls in bars, you could get a disease or knock her up". He knows that, too -- and all I'm going to do is intrude in his life. I don't want him telling me, "you know, eating that lunch from Wendy's could give you a heart attack someday." I know already and I've made my decision. Why shouldn't we respect the decisions of another adult? What are the societal effects?

[ Parent ]

Outdoor smokers (4.75 / 8) (#52)
by jesterzog on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:08:02 PM EST

I consider it my business in some contexts, and while I don't actively try to convince people to stop smoking, I'd generally prefer it if they didn't. If everyone smoked in their own time and place then I couldn't care less, but unfortunately (for me) everyone doesn't.

Locally, the government has made it illegal for people to smoke in workplaces, with the occasional exception. On the surface this appears good for public health advocates, but personally I think it's only driven all the smokers outside. Just because somewhere is open air doesn't mean it's any healthier for second hand smokers.

Walking downtown near here, it's impossible to walk past an outside door of any office block during the day without walking through some very disgustingly stale air. Being in the middle of the central business district, it's not something that can be walked around.

Also walking down a crowded street behind someone who's smoking is not a pleasent thing. Every time they breathe out, a big waft of smoke comes hurtling back into the faces of anyone walking up to about five metres behind them. Over time I've learnt to synchronise my breathing to avoid walking into it, and generally I try to push past someone like that as soon as I get the opportunity.

I don't consider it my place to tell people what to do and I have a lot of friends who smoke.. although they normally choose to take it away from everyone else, which is why I don't mind. But generally I'd just prefer it if people weren't smoking out in public where there are people around at all, unless the other people nearby have consented that they don't mind. It's more of a courtesy thing than anything. Maybe I'm extra sensitive to bad air than most people, but on most days I find smokers to be a more irritating source of street-air pollution than car exhaust.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
Outdoor Smoking (3.75 / 4) (#91)
by Bad Harmony on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:50:19 PM EST

Then give them a place to smoke where they won't bother you. They don't want to make other people unhappy, they just want a reasonably convenient place to smoke. Unfortunately, some people won't be satisfied until every smoker is shipped off to a concentration camp.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Clarification (3.00 / 1) (#125)
by jesterzog on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:10:12 AM EST

Like I said I don't really have too much of a problem with people smoking as long as I don't have to be right next to them when they are, or for however long afterwards that their breath's really bad.

I probably should have added that I'm really a bit more annoyed at the local government for basically telling people where they can and can't smoke. And that's resulted in everyone going to the closest and most convenient "legal" place which happens to be outside... in the middle of lots of other people.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
Extra-sensitive (3.00 / 1) (#114)
by janra on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:30:28 PM EST

I am too, actually. My mom always thought I was playing it up, but I have spent, on occasion, over half an hour outside in the cold, bent over double coughing my lungs out, barely able to breathe due to the coughing. That's not fun.

Anyhow, a couple of months ago I found out that I have such a mild form of asthma that I had never noticed it growing up. The only reason I found out at all was that I went to a doctor about a cough that just wouldn't go away after a cold, and as a last resort she gave me an asthma puffer to use for a couple of weeks. That was the only thing that worked; cough syrup wouldn't, and the only thing nyquil was doing for me was knock me out so my coughing didn't keep me awake. So she concluded that I had very mild asthma, and told me to keep the puffer and use it if I started coughing hard again.


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Asthma (4.00 / 1) (#127)
by jesterzog on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:18:51 AM EST

That might be similar to me then, since I think I've always had a really mild asthma. I was diagnosed with it by the doctor at about age 14 when I went for a week long cold. He actually specialised in sports medicine, put me on heaps of drugs that made my throat itchy among other things, and told me I should take up swimming.

The drugs were really inconvenient and as far as I could tell they were causing at least as much asthma as they were helping because a few months later I got sick of taking them so just stopped, and everything went away to how I was before I got my cold.

I really do notice non-clean air though. I can put up with it if it's everywhere, but I prefer to hold my breath if I can.


jesterzog Fight the light


[ Parent ]
Wanting to quit... (4.00 / 2) (#99)
by schlouse on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:57:28 PM EST

I smoked for close to a year about 5 years ago. I probably started because smoking feels great when you're out drinking. It was very enlightening at work, actually. Smokers are like a secret underground network of people all scheming to get away from their jobs for 10 minutes and shoot the breeze with each other. I didn't really know it existed until then. Sometimes very fun people to hang out with.

I can't remember exactly what I was doing, I think playing basketball with some friends, and the running made me really sick to my stomach. I couldn't breathe. I almost puked all over the place. After that the desire was mostly gone. I got into the gym and that kind of seals it. I think you lose touch with your body after long periods of abuse and it takes a while to build the awareness back up. I still smoke a cig about once a month when I'm out drunk but I usually regret it the next day.

So I guess I'd say to anybody trying to quit: repeatedly excersize until you (almost) puke and get a gym membership.

Mark S.

[ Parent ]
I think Kurt Vonnegut said it... (4.41 / 17) (#17)
by leviramsey on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:32:13 PM EST

"People smoke because it's the last honorable means of committing suicide."


Economics... (3.85 / 7) (#27)
by atreides on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:48:48 PM EST

The anti-smoking lobby really needs to start spending their advertising dollars on demolishing the positives, rather than highlighting the negatives. Only then will people see cigarettes for what they really are.
How many times have you seen an anti-smoking commercial to notice at the end that it was produced by Philip-Morris? How many interesting glitzy comercials catch your attention, but ultimately do nothing to convince you of help the situation? "The Truth" ads come to mind. What do both these groups have in common?

Neither of them wants to stop people from smoking.

Yes, you heard what I said. Philip-Morris makes too much money from smoking. I can't speak for "The Truth" guys, but I bet they get a lot of money, attention and other warm fuzzies from being against smoking. If everyone on Earth stopped smoking, they would have nothing to do, a big part of our economy would be fucked, someone would just invent something else to take smoking's place and people would buy it. Nobody ever lost money underestimating human nature.

"...heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

On top of that... (4.00 / 2) (#62)
by leviramsey on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:36:12 PM EST

The anti-smoking lobby derives their income from a) tobacco taxes and b) the tobacco settlements (which are really just indirect taxes). Their jobs depend on people not quitting.



[ Parent ]
Yup, advertising in disguise (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by Mysidia on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:48:56 PM EST

They get their name and branding out. Even if it's negative attention, it's attention, and it's going to result in some people out there investigating their products.

All marketting.

No kid, don't do this... No really, don't do this.

What are the rebellious youth gonna do when adults they don't know or trust tell them they shouldn't do something, because it's "bad"?

Well golly... they're gonna do it!

Should anyone be shocked? No.

I agree, they need to focus on stripping cigarettes instead of capitalizing on the bad things while glorifying them at the same time.



-Mysidia the insane @k5
[ Parent ]
Exactly! (4.00 / 2) (#110)
by RofGilead on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:58:49 PM EST

Whew.. of all the comments here, your's was the most intelligent. Atreides, I compliment you.

Isn't it a brilliant way to get smoking advertisements BACK on TV! I had to give the PR folks at Philip Morris a complement at this skillful propaganda. I'm not using propaganda in a negative term here, all public relations IS propaganda. So are ads for the orphan shelters asking for money, or the ads for children in foreign countries who need medicine.

But, it IS a brilliant way at advertising. I'm sure there are even posters in grade schools from this campaign. I love how our legislatures make it illegal to have tobacco advertising target kids, even while it is actually inside our schools.

Have you ever read "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays? I would highly recommend it. It's truly interesting to see how far back the ideas of propaganda/public relations are, atleast the modern versions.

Again, good post.

-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon
[ Parent ]
Smoking (4.11 / 9) (#29)
by quartz on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 02:54:42 PM EST

Hm. I don't know what Alan Carr is smoking, but it sure ain't the same thing I'm smoking. My smoking doesn't have anything to do with most of the reasons you cite; it doesn't relax me, socialization is out of the question (I smoke alone), and I don't like distractions (I usually smoke when I have nothing important to do). Satisfaction is right on, though. I smoke because I like to smoke. There's nothing better than a Marlboro red with my espresso...

You're also right about the addiction stuff. It's mostly bullshit. I tried to quit a few years ago, not because I wanted to give up smoking, but just to see if I could do it. I went cold turkey, haven't smoked a single cigarette for about a year, and frankly, I don't know what all this talk of withdrawal is all about. There was withdrawal for me, I just stopped buying cigarettes and since I didn't have any, I didn't smoke any. I didn't feel any different. After a year, I decided that the experiment had been a success and I went right back to my beloved Marlboros.

As far as I'm concerned, all this anti-smoking campaign is a waste of money. Yes, I know I'll develop lung cancer and die. That's part of the reason I'm smoking. I don't want to live to be a 100 year old friggin' old geezer, it's just not for me. If I can have a way to increase my chances of not living to be 100 AND deriving pleasure from it, no amount of campaigning is gonna convince me to stop doing it.



--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
it's not bullshit (4.50 / 2) (#31)
by Goatmaster on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:06:31 PM EST

After smoking for 15 years, I quit smoking on my first attempt. Not that it wasn't a difficult thing, but the physical addiction is real. Why the hell else was I ill for a week? Or was I just imagining the runny bowels, the headaches, light-headedness, insomnia, and general crabbiness? Once that was done with, it was easy to deal with the psychological issues around it, but the physical withdrawl symptoms were sure unpleasant, but not unmanageable.

If you didn't have any as you claim, I would guess you either weren't a very heavy smoker, or your brain chemistry is radically different than most peoples.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
Cancer (5.00 / 4) (#41)
by DrSbaitso on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:32:23 PM EST

I suggest you go meet a few people with lung cancer and ask them how they like it before you arrogantly proclaim you "don't want to live to be a 100 year old friggin' old geezer." Ask them if all that satisfaction they derived from cigarettes made dying the way they are worthwhile. Somehow, I don't think you'll get too many positive responses.

Watching my dad's father die from lung cancer was one of the most horrible things I've ever seen. It bugs me when pepole treat any type of cancer so casually, especially one as bad as lung cancer.

Aeroflot Airlines: You Have Made the Right Choice!
---Advertising slogan for the only airline in the USSR
[ Parent ]

Amen. (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by Iesu II on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 11:35:21 PM EST

I got to watch my grandfather recede from a sprightly old geezer into a weak, confused, shattered wreck who was aware of little more than the continuous pain.

You may accept now that you're going to die, opendna, but I'd bet any odds you'll regret it.



[ Parent ]

yes it is real (none / 0) (#43)
by techwolf on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:39:22 PM EST

the tabacco isn't addictive by itself. It's the chemical-impacting that the companies do. they use things like framaldahide(SP?) to speed the nicotine into your system and then you become addicted to it. Smoke normal tabacoo, or grow it yourself like my grandfather used to. had a small crop out back that he would harvest and dry ect... himself. and damn that shit was good-smelling and a pleasure to smoke. the shit you buy in the stores sucks ass and is deadly.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
You must mean American cigarettes (none / 0) (#78)
by tzanger on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:06:32 PM EST

If there's one kind of cigarette I cannot stand to smell or be anywhere near, it's American cigs. I'm not a smoker but even my fellow Canadians who do smoke agree that U.S. made cigarettes smell like frying cockroaches and taste even worse.



[ Parent ]
yup (none / 0) (#161)
by techwolf on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:16:03 PM EST

yes iment american cigs. I have experiance with others.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
Anti-smoking zealots (4.33 / 6) (#32)
by DeadBaby on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:07:57 PM EST

If someone knows the dangers of smoking (and it would be impossible not to these days) it's pretty dishonest to sit around and say "ok, how can we trick people into doing what we want?" which is what a lot of this comes down to. Obviously, there's a government problem here too. Smoking is a huge burden to health care. There's no real answer to that problem. All I know is, anyone who is sick (for any reason) deserves health care. In America this is still not a basic human right, in fact, thanks to HMO's it's not even a basic human right to those who pay a bundle for health coverage.

I am going to have a hard time worrying about informed consumers making poor choices when people are dying everyday due to lack of health coverage and high drug costs. Maybe these are the things we should be worrying about instead of pouring more money into the "war on drugs", whose only weapon seems to be trying to trick people into not doing things they want to do.



"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
it's not a burden (3.25 / 4) (#35)
by Goatmaster on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:10:07 PM EST

Smokers die young. While they probably depend heavily upon the medical system for the last 6 - 12 months of their life, it's not compariable to the slow decline of a non-smoker, who will inevitably depend more and more on the medical system to keep going, but won't die suddenly. So, smokers are actually good for the medical system - they charge them extra and they use fewer resources over their lifetime.


... and so the Goatmaster has spoken
[ Parent ]
You're right: smoking is good for the system (4.00 / 2) (#67)
by Johnny Mnemonic on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:41:16 PM EST

Writing from the UK: smokers die young and pay lots of taxes. The government should be encouraging it as a way of funding the National Health Service.

Remember the excellent movie "How to get ahead in advertising" with Richard E. Grant: there's a line where the deranged advertising executive points at the health warning on the side of a packet of cigarettes and says "the only fucker this ever frightened is the Chancellor of the Exchequer"...

[ Parent ]
The Smoker Has to WANT to Quit (4.50 / 2) (#34)
by defeated on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:08:29 PM EST

I've smoked for 10 years, and I do it because I *like* to smoke. I like kicking back on the porch and having a smoke. I like strolling downstairs a couple of times a day at the office and taking a smoke break; a cigarette can really clear the cobwebs out of the brain and kickstart the thought process. I like my nightly cigarette when I take my terrier out one more time to take care of his business before bed. I have a three hour commute (round trip) to work, and I like cruising along, windows down, stereo blasting, chainsmoking and hurling obscenities at the other drivers. I like having an excuse at social gatherings to get away from the idiots for a while - "Hey, I'm going outside for a smoke."

Now I'm trying to quit, not because I'm sick of of the act of smoking, or because of any possible health benefits, but because I'm tired of being addicted. I'm tired of plotting out my budget to include close to $4 USD a day for at least one pack of cigarettes. I'm tired of not being able to do *anything* without making plans to include my long, white, tobacco filled friends. The monkey is a mean, demanding little bastard.

So far, the worst of it is that -wanting- a cigarette, not needing. Maybe because I haven't quit cold turkey yet, but I haven't noticed any real physical withdrawal symptoms. If I didn't have much of a desire to quit, I'd be chainsmoking again. As it is, I'm down from a pack a day to 5-10 smokes a day, and struggling to hold ground. You can tell a smoker that the sensations he's feeling are imagined til you're blue in the face, but he's not going to quit until he's ready to quit. Other people tried to talk me into quitting with threats, bribes, and horror stories, but I wanted none of it until now. Now I've rationalized why I want to quit and worked my mind around the idea of being a non-smoker. I also sweetened the pot with an incentive, a grossly overpriced framed and matted print of Remington's "Dash for Timber" that I saw in a local boutique. I love it and I can afford it, but I couldn't bring myself to drop the cash for it - when I'm one week smoke free, I will. When I get the urge for a cigarette at a time that's outside of the schedule I've set up for myself, I visualize my print and crunch up a handful a baby carrots.

that is the reason I have seen... (4.75 / 4) (#42)
by techwolf on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:33:04 PM EST

"Smoke Breaks" thats right smoke breaks. In ca were I work during the week, I have noticed that we non-smokers get only 2 breaks per day, HOWEVER the smokers get to take 5-8 per day with no comments by managment. WTF is that shit? Tho I work in the engineering dept (PCB layout) i still see those line workers out there day after day hour after hour taking their "smoke breaks".
Of course since I work in the engineering area I could take as many fucking breaks as I want so long as the boards get done my boss doesn't give a rats ass so it doesn't bug me that much. But if i was down on the line as a non-smoker I would be pissed off, i get two breaks and they get 5+? fuck that shit.


"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]
Get a new job (4.00 / 1) (#112)
by jonny 290 on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:19:21 PM EST

Any self-respecting organization makes sure that nonsmokers get just as many breaks as smokers. I'm a manager, and I make damn sure that my nonsmokers get a break once an hour to go walk around, have a piece of candy, walk outside, whatever.
-- brojames@ductape.net ----here to flip the script and channel your aggression inside----
[ Parent ]
Took me 10 years to stop (4.00 / 2) (#139)
by LQ on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:11:25 AM EST

Ten bloody years of back-sliding - six months on, six months off. Then the chest pains started and I stopped smoking overnight. That was 10 years ago but the lung damage hasn't gone away.

[ Parent ]
Smoking kills and so do a lot of other things (3.00 / 4) (#44)
by 8ctavIan on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:40:44 PM EST

One of the big reasons given by the anti-tobacco people is the monetary cost in terms of health care. But nobody every talks about the costs of car accidents, yet each year new more powerful models of cars. If I remember correctly at about the same time that non-smokers were starting to get more militant and vocal, the US raised its national speed limit from 55 to 65 on most highways. There is no anti-driving movement, that I know of. I believe cars are the cause of more fatalities of people under 30 than any other thing.

Guns kill. There is a vocal anti-gun movement as well as a powerful pro-gun lobby. Nobody puts warning labels on guns, that I know of (I don't own a gun, but the ones in the stores I've seen don't have them)

Sitting on your fat rear in front of the TV pigging out is deadly. Nobody feels too strongly about outlawing that though.

So, why is smoking and alcohol coming under so much scrutiny in the US? Because we can't get rid of the Puritan anti-vice feelings that have been hard wired into us. You don't see Europeans fussing so much over smoking. If you want to smoke, smoke, they say. If you don't, don't. Live and let live


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice. -- H.L. Mencken

Europeans (3.00 / 1) (#148)
by Gyles on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 06:43:11 AM EST


> You don't see Europeans fussing so much over smoking. If you want to smoke, smoke, they say. If you don't, don't.

Increasingly this is not the case. Many countries are passing no-smoking-in-public-places type laws.

[ Parent ]
Britain (none / 0) (#149)
by TheBobby on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 07:22:49 AM EST

I live in Britain.

My workplace bans smoking within the buildings, but also within a certain distance of the doors, so people don't gather just outside and smoke, forcing non-smokers to go through their smoke.

This is not unusual. More and more places are prohibiting smoking. Public transport is now nearly entirely non-smoking. Most workplaces. It is a growing trend.

-- Gimmie the future with a modern girl!
[ Parent ]
Angst & Irony (4.60 / 20) (#45)
by opendna on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:42:36 PM EST

If you're using smoke breaks as excuses to take breaks...
Go make yourself a cup of coffee.

Wait. Did you just suggest switching from one addictive unhealthy stimulant to another?

I wonder how long until the National Stomach Association starts running ads warning of the ulcer/stomach cancer danger of excessive coffee drinking. Do you suppose they'll convince states to sue starbucks for coffee-related medical costs? Soft-drink companies claim caffeine is a flavor enhancer and not addictive. Right. Isn't that what brought a $1 billion suit against RJR?

Why not encourage us to have a beer instead? Alcohol plays all of the roles you grant smoking. Oh wait. We don't want people drinking either, huh?

I've got another idea: let's just recognize that human beings are drug addicted creatures. Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, coca, coco, coffee, opium, peyote, prozac, valium, nyquil, aspirin, percoset: we pump chemicals into our bodies for any reason and no reason. Those who don't are the serious minority and those who get self-righteous because their drugs are "more healthy" than someone else's are too damn numerous.

Many others have added their justifications for smoking so I'll add mine:
It numbs my sense of smell against the fumes from the freeway out my back window and allows me to ignore the fact that the slum I rent is infested with black mold proven to cause asthma. (Sometimes I imagine the tar is protecting my lungs from a from a cousin of anthrax, though I'm sure it's just luck.) Smoking gives me a chance to quietly set something on fire and rant through my frustrations with the barbaric prison system we call advanced industrial capitalism without actually encouraging a slippery slope towards serial fire-bombing.

For me tobacco serves the same purpose as virtually every other psychiatric and recreational drug in America: it diffuses my rage against the system and turns it back upon myself.

So I'm going to smoke at least until I can afford to like this system, and if our super-healthy triple-chip rasberry mocha vente yuppie friends want to bitch at me about it they better hope I haven't become homeless, hungry and unemployed: I *will* eat them.



Damn. (none / 0) (#65)
by virg on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:39:15 PM EST

Wow. Go have a cigarette. It'll calm you down.

Geez.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
aw... But I'm not worked up yet... (none / 0) (#75)
by opendna on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:55:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
excuses, excuses... (4.00 / 1) (#102)
by bhouston on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:12:41 PM EST

Cannabis, prozac and aspirin are not addictive drugs. Also aspirin in low daily doses reduces one's risk of a heart attack in the long run. Caffeine protects neurons from some types of cellular damage. Prozac really does help a lot of depressed people.

Smoking is one of the few drugs that do not actually have any real benefits when one takes into account those that are engaging in self-medication.

Your smoking and your associated higher than average health care costs, at least in Canada with our health care system, costs *me* money. That's why it is a problem.

[ Parent ]
not to mention.... (3.00 / 1) (#118)
by iori on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 10:35:54 PM EST

cannabis, prozac, and so on don't harm the people around me either, unlike smoking when it's done in public areas--and it often is.

[ Parent ]
prozac (3.00 / 1) (#144)
by katie on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:30:53 AM EST

No, but people on prozac aren't necessarily very nice to the people around them...


[ Parent ]
Addiction (3.50 / 2) (#122)
by niralth on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 11:31:22 PM EST

Addiction can be psychological as well as physical. I have friends who are more addicted to the ritual of smoking than to the nicotine itself, as evidenced by their smoking patterns and attempts to quit. Most of the people that I know who have quit smoking have replaced it with a new ritual, usually oral based.

[ Parent ]
RE: Middle-Class Superiority Complex (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by opendna on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:51:38 PM EST

Cannabis, prozac and aspirin are not addictive drugs.

I've got no problem with folks smoking bud, but it is psychologically addictive, as is prozac. Persistent users of aspirin develop tolerances which require higher doses and result in physical withdrawal symptoms.

All drugs alter the chemical composition of our bodies. They work, therefore they're habit forming.

Smoking is one of the few drugs that do not actually have any real benefits when one takes into account those that are engaging in self-medication.

With the weak excuses you give for aspirin, coffee and prozac, I'm sure a medical benefit could be concocted. Something to do with nicotine's activation of linguistic centers of the brain or clearing up acne, perhaps. The medical establishment used to prescribe cigarettes for various illnesses and now declares that they have no use whatsoever. It's a familiar story.

I know smoking isn't healthy. Neither is constantly thinning your blood (aspirin), replacing sleep with stimulants (coffee) or medicating away your sorrows (prozac). The causes of my smoking might be easier to eliminate than high blood pressure (aspirin), fatigue (coffee) or loneliness and alienation (prozac). Huh, maybe not.

Your smoking and your associated higher than average health care costs, at least in Canada with our health care system, costs *me* money. That's why it is a problem.

My experience with the Canadian health care system, as a Canadian, was of getting turned away from the emergency room while my arm swelled up like a grapefruit. $200 cash before I could talk to a nurse! At least when the United States takes Medicare out of my income it admits that I don't have health coverage.

My being poor is "associated higher than average health care costs" but nobody gives a shit about that. Don't worry about it: Just like welfare, which offers $150 a month in areas where a slum-closet cost $500, healthcare is a myth for most of the poor.

You assume that if I get sick I'll get treatment (a suspect assumption in my experience), well don't worry: If I get hit by a car tomorrow, I'll cost you money. If I get infected from my apartment, I'll cost you money. If I become unemployed, I'll cost you money. If the entire social welfare net you imagine to be in place really isn't, I'll cost you money when the police pick me up for loitering. Why look for cancer in twenty years when I could cost so much now?

I don't care because your tax cuts cost me money, your deficit spending cost me money, your development projects, subsidies and social insurance cost me money. When I rise out of the slum-hole I'll get to pay down the national mortgages which largely paid for the Cold War, corporate tax cuts and social programs that were cancelled after I got on the scene.

With all the shit going wrong, we spend hundreds of millions vilifying with smokers? Maybe it's just my position in society, but I can think of more effective ways to spend that money.

Excuse me. The Chevron refinery just had another toxic gas leak and I have to close all the windows.


[ Parent ]

RE: Middle-Class Superiority Complex (none / 0) (#194)
by gensym on Mon May 06, 2002 at 06:37:33 PM EST

I don't care because your tax cuts cost me money

Please explain. Your logic seems to be "When you are threatened with force to pay quite as much money as you used to be, you are costing me money." When was that money yours to begin with?

[ Parent ]
Who pays the debt? Not the Tax-cutters. (none / 0) (#196)
by opendna on Tue May 07, 2002 at 01:25:20 AM EST

OPENDNA: I don't care because your tax cuts cost me money
GENSYM: Please explain. Your logic seems to be "When you are threatened with force to pay quite as much money as you used to be, you are costing me money." When was that money yours to begin with?

This requires an understanding on your part that the entire country has been borrowing from the future to pay present expenses for decades. If the country allows the budgets to balloon but cuts its taxes to the point it runs a deficit, it will go into debt. Who's going to pay that debt?

It's NOT going to be the people who benefit from the tax cuts, it's NOT going to be the people who benefit from government services, and it's NOT going to be anyone who has a reasonable expectation of getting a penny out of Social Security.

The national debt is going to be paid by the vilified children who grow up with underfunded school, deprived of their rights by cops and curfews, feared and objectified by society. Every penny you get back in taxes comes out of my income fourty years from now and my grandchildren's income a sixty years from now. It doesn't go BACK into your pocket because YOU SPENT THE MONEY YOU PAID IN TAXES. It comes out of my pocket, with interest, in the future.

By all means organize a national tax revolt. Declare national bankruptcy. You'll save future generations the trouble.



[ Parent ]

What really got me into smoking (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by wolf trap on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 03:46:47 PM EST

was not social pressure, it was the isolation I experienced during graduate school and later at work. Whenever I realized I had been staring at the computer without moving or even blinking for 5 or 10 minutes, I'd go have a smoke by myself and could feel my brain revving up after the first puff. It may be a deluded belief, but I still feel like I can't think straight unless I have a cig every so often. Caffeine just doesn't have the same effect. I quit smoking a while back and noticed the difference in my mental functioning, as well as my mood, and I could find no acceptable substitute. So now I pretty much only smoke when I "need" it, and as a result have probably cut my consumption by more than half.

--

Il faudrait les inventer, those hooks, on purpose for me alone, for, if you only knew, Alyosha, what a blackguard I am.

Simple Solution (If There Is Such a Thing) (4.00 / 1) (#63)
by virg on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:36:47 PM EST

Dude, get yourself to a doctor and see if you can get gum or a patch, if the nic fit is what does you in. You may find that it's enough to quit the cigarettes (which is good) or it may not be, in which case you'll have some thinking to do about what exactly is revving your brain up (also good, since it makes you think about your reasoning). It may help you quit, and it may not, but it's certainly not going to cost a lot of time, energy or money to try.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Thing is (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by wolf trap on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:48:06 PM EST

I dont have nic fits. Like I said, I only feel the urge once in a while, and I dont want a steady stream of nicotine from a patch or whatever. See I only smoke maybe 12 cigarettes a week and some days smoke none. Your point about the gum is well taken, however. I've never tried it so I'm curious to know if the effect is immediately noticable the way it is with a cig.

--

Il faudrait les inventer, those hooks, on purpose for me alone, for, if you only knew, Alyosha, what a blackguard I am.
[ Parent ]

Gum (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:15:20 PM EST

You notice it right away. In fact, make sure you read the directions. ;) I popped it into my mouth and treated it like normal gum and ended up giving myself quite a rush. You're supposed to chew it for half a minute and then tuck it away in your mouth for a few minutes.

Oh, and the regular flavor is nasty. Not sure what the others taste like.


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

you won't want to hear this.... (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:42:59 PM EST

...but you need to seriously consider the possibility that whatever benefit you feel is simply an illusion. I can't persuade you that it is, but perhaps through introspection you might be able to persuade yourself.

You may have attention-span issues, so do I, in my experience small-quantities of cannabis gives much more effective relief, is not chemically addictive, and you need much less of it (hence less lung-damage).

[ Parent ]

oh hell (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by wolf trap on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:05:47 PM EST

I know it's an illusion! In fact, I am prepared to believe that every sensory perception I experince is an illusion. So why not enhance it as you suggest? Load us one up and I'll be right over :-)

--

Il faudrait les inventer, those hooks, on purpose for me alone, for, if you only knew, Alyosha, what a blackguard I am.
[ Parent ]

Ah-ha! (2.00 / 1) (#104)
by notcarlos on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:26:52 PM EST

This sounds suspiciously like there's an idealist argument brewing. Are you by chance a Berkeleyist?

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
[ Parent ]
Nominalist, I Think (2.00 / 1) (#113)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:20:26 PM EST

I don't think he was alluding to a Idealist argument, but, rather, a Nominalist one. We're not talking about things here nor even states of the world, what we're talking about is subjective impressions. You tell me the sense of comfort I derive from smoking might not really be a sense of comfort. Phooey! It is absolutely beyond doubt that I experience a sense of comfort when smoking a cigarette. Could I adjust my thinking so that I no longer associate feelings of comfort and relaxation with the act of smoking? Probably, but it wouldn't, in any way, demonstrate that what I feel now is not realxing and comforting.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Ah, but... (none / 0) (#190)
by notcarlos on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 05:30:00 PM EST

Where does that sense come from? Is the cigaret /giving/ you that sensation? Do cigarets have minds? (I'd copy arguments from /Three Dialogues/, but I'd rather not.)

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
[ Parent ]
pot vs. tobacco (3.00 / 1) (#83)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:13:38 PM EST

small-quantities of cannabis gives much more effective relief, is not chemically addictive, and you need much less of it (hence less lung-damage).

The quantity is the only thing that makes it less damaging. Compare a bowl or bong or a tobacco pipe and see the difference in residue for starters.


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

Well, in /my/ pipe (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by notcarlos on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:25:44 PM EST

that is, my tobacco pipe, there's absolutly no residue besides a bit of coal on the sides. I don't see your point.

He will destroy you like an academic ninja.
-- Rating on Rate My Professors.com
[ Parent ]
Bingo (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 10:59:40 PM EST

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Smoking small amounts of pot is the only way it's not "as bad". Tobacco pipes don't clog up with resin... just a little coal.
-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]
Residue (none / 0) (#152)
by Cloaked User on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 08:23:50 AM EST

There's always a chance that tobacco pipes don't clog up with residue because all the tar and other stuff goes down the smoker's throat, and clogs up their lungs instead.

How do you know that pot smoke isn't cleaner than tobacco smoke precisely because the pipe is filling up with residue, leaving the smoke "cleaner"?

(I know that this is easy to test, but as I've not smoked either in years, I'm not going to do it myself :-) )


Cheers,

Tim
--
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]
Not quite (4.50 / 6) (#51)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:05:41 PM EST

totally over it after three weeks
Sorry, but no. It's been, what, five years now? and every once in a while, not often, mind you, but once in a while, a wave of desire for a cigarette rolls over me. It goes away, and it's not terrible, but there's a reason that some people can tell you the day and hour of their last smoke. The day they tell me I have a year to live, I'm buying a carton of Camels and a Zippo.

But I meant to ask: you are a smoker, or you were a smoker?

but (4.00 / 2) (#55)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:27:53 PM EST

Sorry, but no. It's been, what, five years now? and every once in a while, not often, mind you, but once in a while, a wave of desire for a cigarette rolls over me.
But is that the addiction, or is it simply conditioning? I was talking about the chemical addiction.

[ Parent ]
no buts (4.66 / 3) (#69)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:43:10 PM EST

Who cares why he wants a smoke... the point is he does. I know a guy who hasn't smoked in 15 years who wakes up sweating in the middle of the night sometimes because he was smoking in his dreams.


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

Beats me (4.50 / 2) (#70)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:44:55 PM EST

I's jes' a ol' ex-smoker, not no psychologist!

What can I tell you? It feels like it felt back when I smoked and needed a cigarette -- a little bit light-headed, a tightening in my chest, some tingle -- I don't know the terminology for this stuff. All I can tell you is that I recognize it exactly.

I also don't know what triggers it. I can go into places where people are smoking without problem, I can work with people who smoke with no regrets, but sometimes when I'm walking down the street it'll just hit me. Sometimes I dream about smoking again.

It's not a big deal. It passes, and even while it's happening it's more interesting than difficult. I only mention it because I've spoken to other ex-smokers who've described the same thing (and some who haven't) and I felt you should know that it may not be that simple for you.

Maybe it's related to how long I smoked, too. I put in about 20 years of it.

[ Parent ]

Five Years? (4.50 / 2) (#57)
by virg on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:30:22 PM EST

You've been off cigarettes for five years, and you seriously believe that your occasional craving for a cigarette is driven by nicotine addiction? It sounds more like you crave it for nostalgia, or out of habit, but you can't realistically claim addiction here, unless you cosider it psychological addiction, but psychological addiction to something you haven't had in five years stretches the bounds of the term to extremes.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
I'm not claiming anything (4.50 / 2) (#79)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:07:04 PM EST

...simply mentioning the experience, and that I'm hardly unique in this. What causes it I have no idea. Maybe cigarette smokers are vulnerable to a viral infection that remains in our systems, largely dormant, for the rest of our lives. Maybe we're genetically different from non-smokers (after all, many people try cig's and hate them from the get-go, or never try them at all.) Maybe I inhaled too much phlogiston and permanently scarred my yellow bile receptors. Maybe I'm possessed by demons.

What the hell -- it's not like medicine has a definitive understanding of addiction.

[ Parent ]

Go For the Demons (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by virg on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:23:59 PM EST

It's got that whole mystique and you can usually get coverage from your HMO.

However, if you live in the U.S., you need to be careful talking to cops, since in this country posession is a crime (snicker).

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Say (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:32:49 PM EST

they really are a Hellish Medical Organization!

[ Parent ]
No, No (none / 0) (#88)
by virg on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:45:23 PM EST

No, no, it's Hellspawn Maintenance Organization. That's why they'll pay, see.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Maybe (none / 0) (#90)
by davidduncanscott on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:48:26 PM EST

I should just start smoking french fries and really give them something to do.

[ Parent ]
the urge does still come up (3.50 / 2) (#107)
by quelrod on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:41:52 PM EST

I think i've smoked maybe 3 cigs this semester...just hanging out w/ a friend and they're smoking and you think hell why not. The key is of course not getting back into the habbit.

[ Parent ]
Not sure if this should be editorial... (4.00 / 6) (#53)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:09:17 PM EST

... but as a 10 year smoker, this article is a load of crap. The longest period I ever "quit" for was a year (in high school, I was on the track team one year). Every single day I wanted to smoke.

I don't wake up with tar. I don't have a cough. I'm not saying smoking is good for me, I'm just sick of other people telling me why I should quit like I've never heard it all be3fore. I don't run around telling fat people to stop eating so much (even though the country I live in obesity is a far greater health problem than smoking).

The anti-smoking lobby needs to continue doing what it's doing --- stop kids from starting by disposing of any glamor associated with smoking , and stop the cigarette companies from advertising to children.

The irony is that when a smoker understands these things, when they understand what is going on in their own heads

Oh, don't insult me. There's nothing ironic about my smoking habit... it's just plain stupid. I have to stop now, as I have an overwhelming urge to call you names. Hopefully I can post something intelligent later on. ;)


-- ˶Զ

You don't get it then (4.33 / 3) (#54)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:25:46 PM EST

... but as a 10 year smoker, this article is a load of crap. The longest period I ever "quit" for was a year (in high school, I was on the track team one year). Every single day I wanted to smoke.
Then you did it wrong - the whole trick is not to want to smoke.
Oh, don't insult me. There's nothing ironic about my smoking habit... it's just plain stupid.
And the fact that you know its stupid but you still do it isn't ironic?

[ Parent ]
I don't get it? (4.00 / 3) (#60)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:32:16 PM EST

Then you did it wrong - the whole trick is not to want to smoke.

But I do. I enjoy it. Just like I enjoy riding motorcycles, eating rare beef, raw fish...

And the fact that you know its stupid but you still do it isn't ironic?

Not at all, and unforunately for you I'm the one who gets to decide that.

Why do you care?


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

I really don't care (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:38:07 PM EST

But I do. I enjoy it. Just like I enjoy riding motorcycles, eating rare beef, raw fish...
Ok, answer this question honestly. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and never try a cigarette - would you do it?
Not at all, and unforunately for you I'm the one who gets to decide that.

Why do you care?

I don't really care about you specifically. I am simply talking about a subject that interests me, and sharing some observations that I thought others might find interesting - isn't that what kuro5hin is all about?

If course, if in-doing-so I can prevent people from dying a painful premature death, then so-be-it.

[ Parent ]

Would I? (4.00 / 1) (#81)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:09:30 PM EST

Ok, answer this question honestly. If you had the opportunity to go back in time and never try a cigarette - would you do it?

Depends on when you ask me. So yes and no. Right now, I would say no.

don't really care about you specifically. I am simply talking about a subject that interests me, and sharing some observations that I thought others might find interesting - isn't that what kuro5hin is all about?

Yes, but I just see you "sharing" the same observations over and over again. For example, rather than just accept the fact that the "mild hunger" might persist more than "a few days" in my specific case, you tell me "I did it wrong". Did what wrong? I should alter my personality to fit in with your idea of quitting smoking?

If course, if in-doing-so I can prevent people from dying a painful premature death, then so-be-it.

I think of many other problems in the world today that could use your help that don't involve nagging people with redundant information. Not to mention the fact that smoking does not automatically mean you will die a painful premature death. All my grandparents except one smoked like chimneys, and they all died of other causes.


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

Not Editorial (3.00 / 3) (#82)
by Mysidia on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:09:45 PM EST

... but as a 10 year smoker, this article is a load of crap. The longest period I ever "quit" for was a year (in high school, I was on the track team one year). Every single day I wanted to smoke.

So merely because you have been smoking for 10 years and you disagree with it, it is crap? Try something more concrete.

A solitary person's experience/view doesn't render an article expressing another view of things "crap".

I don't wake up with tar. I don't have a cough. I'm not saying smoking is good for me, I'm just sick of other people telling me why I should quit like I've never heard it all be3fore. I don't run around telling fat people to stop eating so much (even though the country I live in obesity is a far greater health problem than smoking).

Unlike smoking, eating is a necessary function of living, and obesity often has a genetic root.

Feel free to criticise people who eat fast food all the time, though.

Also, smoking isn't just about people hurting themselves: I find people smoking in public very annoying, I hate getting spewed on with clouds of stinky smoke that often cause me to sneeze or what not. Note that this smoke is not just harmful to the health of the smoker, it's harmful to everyone's health and comfort.

Just because I like listening to the radio, doesn't give me the right to go out and public with a radio on full-volume, forcing everyone to listen to my music.

Such is my real problem with smokers.

I would like to see no-smoking-in-public rules adopted. Corporations should ban smoke breaks, and perhaps fire or penalize anyone working for them that they find out is a smoker.

That would certainly help towards stopping people from taking up the habit.. create new ways in which it can hurt them. :)



-Mysidia the insane @k5+SN
[ Parent ]
re: Not Editorial (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:58:31 PM EST

So merely because you have been smoking for 10 years and you disagree with it, it is crap? Try something more concrete. A solitary person's experience/view doesn't render an article expressing another view of things "crap".

I'm not alone. If you read the rest of the comments attached to this story you'd see that. If you actually spent some time talking to smokers you would know it. The desire to smoke is not a "mild hunger" that you get over in a few days. Again, that is crap.

Unlike smoking, eating is a necessary function of living, and obesity often has a genetic root.

Unlike smoking, eating is a necessary function of living, and obesity often has a genetic root. Feel free to criticise people who eat fast food all the time, though.

So, pretty much everyone in the Western world then? But that's another discussion...

Also, smoking isn't just about people hurting themselves: I find people smoking in public very annoying, I hate getting spewed on with clouds of stinky smoke that often cause me to sneeze or what not. Note that this smoke is not just harmful to the health of the smoker, it's harmful to everyone's health and comfort.

This is the only thing you and the other "why don't you just stop you're so stupid oh my god the irony" folks are hitting spot on. It's revolting and just plain rude to smoke around non-smokers. Which is why I don't.


-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]

Apology (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by /dev/niall on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:02:45 PM EST

I said: This is the only thing you and the other "why don't you just stop you're so stupid oh my god the irony". No reason for me to lump you in with them, no reason for me to be so snide to them. Guess I just need a smoke. Sorry!

-- ˶Զ
[ Parent ]
Genetic obesity (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by Srayer on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:51:41 PM EST

Unlike smoking, eating is a necessary function of living, and obesity often has a genetic root.

Obesity RARELY has a genetic root. There have been very few genes found having an impact on weight gain and appetite, and the effect of those found is negligible. Unfortunately the media blew the genetic aspect of weight gain way out of proportion.

The sad truth is that most Americans simply eat too much and are sedentary. For the most part, genes are a scapegoat for the slothful and gluttonous. After all, why take control of your own life when you can just blame genetics?

[ Parent ]

obesity. (4.00 / 1) (#143)
by katie on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:27:08 AM EST

"The sad truth is that most Americans simply eat too much and are sedentary. For the most part, genes are a scapegoat for the slothful and gluttonous. After all, why take control of your own life when you can just blame genetics?"

Some medicines do have an effect - particularly large doses of steroids. (Which are bad for a ton of other reasons). I've known people put on a several stones in a couple of months, and start to lose it again when they were off the medication.

I'm not saying the 20% of people who are obese are all on that sort of medication, but there are factors other than just being lazy and eating too much..


[ Parent ]
Bullshit. (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 08:48:34 AM EST

So, everyone would be built like Ally McBeal if they stopped pigging out? That explains why it's taken me 5 years of daily exercise, running and weight lifting to take off that 90 pounds.

Sorry, but variation in the body plan is fairly basic to the species and some of us will find it much easier to gain weight than others.

Tragically, there are also others like my @#%!@ brother-in-law who lifts with me, drinks those 4000 calorie body builder shakes, and can't break 160 pounds.


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
I disagree... (none / 0) (#184)
by Srayer on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 04:02:36 PM EST

So, everyone would be built like Ally McBeal if they stopped pigging out? That explains why it's taken me 5 years of daily exercise, running and weight lifting to take off that 90 pounds.

Sorry, but variation in the body plan is fairly basic to the species and some of us will find it much easier to gain weight than others.

I realize you're trying to be shocking, but there's quite a difference between "not being obese" and "Ally McBeal". The difference between those who "find it much easier to gain weight" and those who do not is not enough to make one obese. Eating normally (1600-2400 kcal / day), will not add those 50-100 lbs of extra weight, even if you are supposedly predisposed to gaining weight. Add regular exercise to the mix, and there is no way you can gain that kind of weight. The only way to pack on lots of extra weight is to eat like a glutton and be sedentary.

It is chemically impossible to gain weight if you take in less energy (calories) then you expend. There is a SMALL group of people who have honest-to-goodness medical problems, such as the thyroid problem mentioned by another poster, which causes problem with their appetite and metabolism. Again, this is a very small group. The sad truth is that many people would rather blame some supposed genetic disorder or some disease rather than take matters in their own hands and end their gluttonous habits.

I applaud you for dropping 90 pounds and incorporating exercise into your life. My story is similar but on a smaller scale. I was never obese, but was chubby for most of my life. One day, I got sick of it and examined my habits. I realized I ate too many calories and didn't exercise enough. So, rather than go on a diet, I changed my diet, for life. I exercise and weightlift daily. I am now lean and quite happy with my body. It's insulting to me and to anyone who has permanantly dropped weight when an obese person attempts to blame genetics for their bodily state. Gluttony and sloth are the real problem.



[ Parent ]

Not True (5.00 / 1) (#185)
by nosilA on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 04:47:54 PM EST

If you define "eating normally" as 1600-2400 calories/day, and "not being sedentary" as walking at least a mile a day and playing a fairly rigorous game of racketball 2-4 times a week, then I can definitely tell you that I gained 50 pounds doing this. When I graduated high school, I weighed 145 pounds and was 5'6". I was exceedingly normal. By the time I graduated college, I weighed almost 200 pounds. I ate very irregularly, but not excessively. I did not exercise as much as I did in high school (I played varsity tennis and practiced for 4 hours every day), but I moved enough.

Now that I have left school, I have changed to a more regular eating/sleeping schedule. I religiously work out for an hour 3 times a week. I have cut my diet down to 1500 calories/day, though. Even at this level, I am only losing about 2 pounds/month. Some people are very different than others.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#187)
by Srayer on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 06:20:40 PM EST

When I say 1600-2400 kcal/day, I mean depending on the person. A smaller less active person should stick to around 1600 kcal/day, while a larger more active person should be on the higher end of the scale.

Using your height of 5'6", weight of 145, and guessing 18 for your age, I calculated your BMR (basal metabolic rate) in college to be around 1480 kcal. This means you used up about 1480 kcal daily, not counting extra exercise. This may vary a bit, though not likely more than +/- a couple hundred kcal. So if you were eating closer to 2000 - 2400 kcal/day (most college students eat this, or more), you were eating too much. This may explain your college weight gain.

As for losing weight now, walking a mile will burn (being generous) only about 100 kcal. A game of racquetball will burn around 400 kcal. So in a week, you take in 1500*7 = 10500 kcal (assuming you are truly strict on your diet). Using a BMR of 1500, you are even on your caloric intake. Your extra exercise per week is around 100*7 + 400*3 = 1900. 1900*4 = 7600 kcal/month more energy expended than taken in. It takes 3500 kcal to lose one pound of body weight. With this math, you are losing exactly about as much weight as you should be considering your food intake and exercise. This math seems to show that you are not different than anyone else.



[ Parent ]

Not what you said... (none / 0) (#188)
by nosilA on Sat Apr 27, 2002 at 11:44:17 AM EST

I know I was eating too much and exercising too litte... but I was eating and exercising the same as my friends. I was eating what most people would consider a reasonable amount, and exericsing decently, but it was too much for me.

In other words, I didn't gain weight because I was a pig or a sloth, I gained weight because I didn't eat/exercise the right amount for myself. Other people may have faster metabolisms naturally, or just be larger and therefore require more calories to stay the same.

That's where differences in people come in. One who has a slow metabolism can eat the same amount and exercis as much as someone with a fast metabolism, but gain weight while their friend is losing it. A small difference over 4 years can add on 50 pounds... that's 1 pound/month, or 4900 extra calories a month... or 165 calories/day... a can of coke per day.

Obviously the only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you work off, but for some people this is substantially easier than others.

-Alison


Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]
You are my new hero (none / 0) (#192)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 01, 2002 at 12:51:50 AM EST

Obviously the only way to gain weight is to consume more calories than you work off, but for some people this is substantially easier than others.

Thank you and amen. I can do 3 mi on a ski 4 machine 4 times a week (which claims I burn 1000 kCal each time) and lose no weight.

Perversely, what finally broke the jam for me was weight-lifing. Doesn't burn too many calories itself, but building bigger muscles meant I started burning more calories just sitting around the house.

Ah, well. I'll still be on a diet from now till I die.


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Oh irony of ironies! (3.75 / 4) (#56)
by codespace on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:29:33 PM EST

As I was reading this over, and agreeing with you, I lit a cigarette. It wasn't even a conscious decision on my part, I just did it. Thanks for finally presenting a plausible, non-rabid, reasonable argument against smoking.

_____
today on how it's made: kitchen knives, mannequins, socks and hypodermic needles.
get the book (2.00 / 1) (#61)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:33:18 PM EST

Get the book I suggest, if you still want to smoke after reading it (it isn't very long) then you still can.

[ Parent ]
Social/ Anti-social drug (4.00 / 3) (#71)
by Wing Envy on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 04:45:17 PM EST

The last time I heard that nicotine was a "social" drug was when the non-smokers were seen as being anti-social. This is no longer the case. Psychologically speaking, the sense of "relaxation" is derived from what psyche you are referring to- what the smokers of today feel as being "relaxing" would have probably been the same as the non-smokers of these times.

As far as "physical" addiction is concerned and for your argument of "distraction" and "sense of satisfaction", it's really no more different than eating tendencies: chain-smokers have many of the same problems as over-eaters, "average" smokers have the same "problems" as average eaters, and the occasional to "recovered" non-smoker has many of the same problems as anorexics. This explains why many anorexics are smokers, and why many people who quit smoking resort to over-eating- even your average smoker experiences weight gain after quitting. Each is a substitute for the other, because each is an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Paxil is widely prescibed for both groups.

Smoking as well as many other "addictions" are not really addictions at all, but are behaviour disorders that cannot completely be "quit"- they need to be further examined and solved.


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat

How about the brain? (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by The Amazing Idiot on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:36:01 AM EST

There's a structure in the brain that controls addictions. I believe it's called the nucleus accubens. When you get addicted to something, an _inhibitory_ synapse is created (notice they are inversly related).

If we had the precise and accurate equipment, could you destroy that connection (in the nucleus accubens) and have the person lose the physical dependancy?

[ Parent ]
Not obsessive compulsive (4.50 / 2) (#136)
by DarkZero on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 04:24:12 AM EST

When someone smokes a cigarette, the nicotine in the cigarette causes their body to release adrenaline, which dumps the body's glucose stores into the blood. At the same time, nicotine blocks the release of insulin, which would normally take up those glucose stores a short time after. The result is a kind of hyperglycemia, which convinces the body not to send any hunger signals to the brain. The result is that smokers do not get as hungry as the average person, causing them to eat less. Once someone quits and there is no longer a regular flow of nicotine going into their body, they return to normal amounts of hunger in more regular intervals, and they are usually pretty disoriented by it. The weight gain that people experience when they quit smoking is not linked to obsessive compulsive disorders, but rather to the changes in their body caused by nicotine and its eventual absence once they are used to it.

[ Parent ]
Social approval of drugs (4.00 / 1) (#140)
by mlapanadras on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:15:03 AM EST

You've got a right title ("Social/ Anti-social drug"). The truth is that the societies can approve some drugs habits prohibiting another at the same time. The drug culture is an important side of the human social life, having the same psychological roots as religion. It makes the behavior of the member more predictable and deals with many subconscious issues.

The approved drug could be different. It could be light alcohol as in Mediterranean culture, hashish in south Asian countries, the heavy alcohol in Russia or any combination of them plus tobacco, mushrooms, crack, heroin, marihuana, shoe polish in modern western culture (ok, I'm joking).

Tobacco is an approved light psychedelic substance. Most of society subconsciously agree with smokers and respect their choice because the smokers implement approved drug behavior. That makes them a part of establishment. However, any deviations of this behavior is prohibited.

[ Parent ]

Cigarettes are incredibly social.... (4.00 / 2) (#141)
by morkeleb on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:19:03 AM EST

In fact, especially in California because of all the anti-smoking crusaders, I would say smoking has become a much more social act than it was before it became such a bad thing. I mean think about it. You have a group of ever-dwindling people addicted to a vice that is seen in some circles as the equivalent of plunging a needle into a vein (or plunging a needle into your non-smoking neighbors vein), and pumping some smack into your system. The only people who understand what smoking is like and that it's stupid and costs money and makes your clothes smell bad and turns your teeth yellow and makes your breath stink and yet it feels to good to stop doing it are other smokers. And being socially oppressed like they are currently - they are forming tighter bonds. Stephen King really captured the essence of this hole thing in this short story of his called "The Ten O'Clock People."


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
You don't get it (2.45 / 11) (#77)
by epepke on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:06:23 PM EST

Ok, so socializing. Often it is social pressure that gets many people started on cigarettes in the first place, and for some reason, smokers do seem more comfortable when others around them are also smoking (it lessens the guilt), but the problem can be resolved by persuading those around you to stop smoking too, or simply stick with the non-smokers when your smoking friends light up.

No, you don't get it. The connection of smoking and socialization is simply this: smokers are nicer and more fun. They're less uptight; they're more accepting; they aren't evangelists who want to convert everyone to their own practices; they're freer with human warmth; they aren't obsessed with guilt (let alone projecting guilt onto another group as you have done); they are less Puritanical; and they are less likely to box their lives in with fear.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Not all non-smokers are evangelists (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by nosilA on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:09:16 PM EST

While I generally try to avoid smoky situations, I don't go around telling people what they should do. And I have friends who smoke, and I let them smoke around me. My mother smokes - and I won't let her smoke inside my apartment or my car, but what she does in her house is her problem.

I like my smoker friends, and I like my non-smoker friends. I don't think the non-smokers are any more puritanical than the smokers. Don't speak in generalizations about non-smokers.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]
That's the problem (4.00 / 4) (#95)
by epepke on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:09:18 PM EST

That's the problem. I am certain that you do not perceive it. There is a basic rule of human beings: they mostly percieve what gores their ox. You've probably read some of my responses before, and if you have, you know that I enjoy irony, especially when it's deadpan, and also expecially when it has many layers, preferably at least aleph0. So, I posted a list of generalizations about smokers in response to a list of generalizations about smokers. Note that I phrased it in terms of positive (relative) attributes of smokers, while the original was phrased in terms of negative (relative) attributes of smokers.

You noticed what I said because it gored your ox. I am willing to bet that you did not feel a similar squirt of adrenaline or desire to dismiss when reading the original posting.

And, that's the point. However you might feel about your egalitarianism, liberalism, and acceptance, a smoker would percieve it differently. I played one here, and you moved to be dismissive of me, in spite of the fact that what I said was, by any reasonbly even-handed measurement, milder than the article I was responding to.

I'm an amateur anthropologist, and I have always noticed that in any group of non-smokers with a smoker or two, there are always one or two non-smokers who feel the need to make a pointed comment every once in a while. At first there are several pointed comments, and then the frequency goes down to once every hour or so. The non-smokers, however, will scarcely even notice that these have occurred (or will secretly enjoy it), while the smoker will get the (correct) impression that the group is unfriendly to him and/or her. However, should the smoker point this out, not only is he an icky smoker but also a generalizer. The non-smokers simply do not realize how obnoxious they can be and react devensively when it is pointed out. Because of this, many smokers feel the need to have deflecting, self-deprecating comments handy (e.g. "Yeah, I know it's a filthy habit"). But the reason they feel the need to put themselves down is due to the fact that so many non-smokers feel it is nothing to put smokers down as an accepted social game. They prefer ritually to submit to keep the peace.

This is not limited to smoking, of course. I have always been annoyed that in any group of people with different skin colors, at some point, the talk absolutely has to turn to race, with some people inevitably feeling put-upon. A group of people with disparate incomes cannot talk for a while without talking about money. It is interesting that this does happen less often in groups of smokers. Also bikers. Also swingers.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Not ironic, stupid... (4.50 / 2) (#97)
by nosilA on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:25:11 PM EST

You might think you're being clever, but what you said is far more inflamatory than what you quoted. What you quoted was a passage saying that you can be social without smoking, what you responded with is that smokers are better people to socialize with.

You're right, I care less when someone insults others than when they insult me, but that's human nature. But what you quoted was not an insult to smokers, it was an alternate way of viewing the world. Not as though smokers have never seen it that way (i think this whole article is trite and contains no new information) but it is true. You responded with opinions based on stereotypes.

However, I do find it annoying when people make comments at smokers who are smoking in an acceptable situation. While I despise how smokers crowd around doorways as the concentration of smoke bugs me, that's where they are supposed to smoke. Making fun of a smoker in their own house, or in the smoking section of a restaurant or a bar is totally out of line, and I will sometimes actually talk back against the non-smoker making the comment.

Like I said - not all non-smokers are sticks in the mud... but even those who are do sorta have a point, as annoying as they are.

-Alison
Vote to Abstain!
[ Parent ]
Smoking rarely acceptable (4.00 / 2) (#138)
by gibodean on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 04:54:38 AM EST

Smoking around doorways is not an acceptable place to smoke. It happens to be just beyond the boundary of where it's illegal to smoke. Those people who smoke there, know full well that non smokers are going to have to walk through, and know that their smoke is going into the building. That's not acceptable at all. It's like a little kid, who obeys the parent by leaving his sister's room, but stands just outside the door pulling faces at her.

And smoking in other public places where it has been traditionally allowed (like pubs) doesn't make it less offensive. Never mind the fact that some restaurant owners think that putting up a "non-smoking" sign will magically make the smoke from the cigarettes at the next table take a detour.

And, if I'm invited into someone's house without knowing that they smoke inside it (even if I do), I've got the right to be annoyed about it, and let them know.

[ Parent ]
Restaurants (none / 0) (#151)
by Cloaked User on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 08:07:53 AM EST

I had a weird experience in a restaurant near where I work a month or two ago.

A group of us went out for a meal one lunch time, and ended up at a local branch of a chain restaurant. As most of us don't smoke, and one of us had just quit, we asked for a table in the non-smoking section. We were given a table at the edge of a little raised area, just by the window.

Shortly after receiving our main courses, a couple came in, and were seated at the table next to us, just the other side of the railings that seperated the non-smoking area from the rest of the restaurant. They then proceeded to smoke.

They were literally so close that, had I wished to, I could have reached over and taken the woman's cigarette from her mouth. (Of course I didn't, and neither did we say anything, to them or the staff)

I don't blame the couple - they were just doing something that restaurant policy allowed them to do, in the designated area. I do blame the staff, though - the restaurant was deserted, our two parties were the only diners. There were plenty of other tables that they could have been seated at.

As for smoking on the doorstep at work, I don't object to walking past people doing so, and smoke entering the building isn't a problem - it's air conditioned, and besides, the only thing on the ground floor is the lobby. What I do object to is the unsightly piles of discarded cigarette ends on the pavement around the step, despite the prescence of bins provided expressly for disposing of them. I don't uderstand why it is apparently so much more effort to drop them in the bin, rather than on the floor.


Cheers,

Tim
--
"What the fuck do you mean 'Are you inspired to come to work'? Of course I'm not 'inspired'. It's a job for God's sake! The money's enough and the work's not so crap that I leave."
[ Parent ]

Non-smoking areas (none / 0) (#178)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 06:17:33 PM EST

My girlfriend and I used to go to the Bingo halls. We always sat in the "non-smoking" area since neither of us smoked. There were no barriers between smoking and "non-smoking" sections, and while I tried to put up with it for awhile, it got to much for me and I said "No more". I noticed I felt better after getting out of that environment.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
*lol* (3.83 / 6) (#84)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:13:45 PM EST

No, you don't get it. The connection of smoking and socialization is simply this: smokers are nicer and more fun
Ah! I get it, "All the cool people smoke, you should too!". For a moment there I thought I was 15 again.

[ Parent ]
Dunno (3.50 / 2) (#89)
by StrontiumDog on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:47:34 PM EST

smokers are nicer and more fun

Dunno about that. Smokers tend to be crabby and irritable in the morning, and even crabbier and more irritable when they've accidentally run out of fags. In addition, there's a whole lot of fun stuff they generally cop out of, because like the terminally obese, they have essentially zero condition.

In fact, most of my smoker friends are incapable of doing more than leaning against something and talking. What use is that during, say, a friendly group orgy?

[ Parent ]

What does dependency mean? (4.66 / 3) (#92)
by SIGFPE on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 05:56:02 PM EST

withdrawal symptoms are so mild that many people hardly notice them
I think you're talking about physical dependency here and you're lumping all of the psychological dependencies under 'other perceived benefits'.

At the height of my abuse I was on 3 cigarettes a day. Not thirty. Three. But I still have this incredible desire to smoke when I have a drink in the presence of other smokers. If I can feel that from my minimal tobacco abuse then I really don't believe it's 'effortless' for full time smokers.
SIGFPE

Why I dont smoke. (3.00 / 2) (#96)
by Juan Rojo on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:22:04 PM EST

There are basically two reasons why I dont smoke. The first one, and probably more important, is that smoking costs money. Once you start, it's unlikely that you'll stop and it will be a continuous money drain for the rest of my life, specially when you dont live in a good economical condition. Second, I just feel that I dont need it. Citing the reasons in the article, which i dont really find very valid, more like excuses. I'm relaxed all the time, i have no problem doing all kind of socials, there are a lot more productive things i can do as a distraction, etc. The same is said for alcohol, i may ask my friends why do they drink and they'll answer "Because it's fun, and it helps me get girls!". It's allways sad when you find out that someone you know starts smoking, since most of the times it means they are having problems in their life. If you have problems, going to therapy is allways better than start smoking.

Withdrawal (4.75 / 4) (#98)
by DJBongHit on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 06:37:43 PM EST

It is true to say that one can get addicted to nicotine very quickly indeed, but what you don't often hear is that the withdrawal symptoms are so mild that many people hardly notice them. Essentially it feels like very mild hunger

Er. Maybe if you're not terribly addicted, this is what withdrawal feels like. For me, though, if I don't have a cigarette for 8 hours or so, not only do I have the "hunger" feeling (not quite right, but that's the best way to describe it), but I'm lightheaded, dizzy, have trouble focusing my eyes, can't think straight, and my lungs hurt. It blows.

Don't downplay the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. They can be pretty vicious (although, obviously, nothing like heroin or alcohol).

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

Ask an ex-junkie. (4.66 / 3) (#100)
by bobaloo on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 07:31:20 PM EST

A buddy of mine used to be a heroin addict, and a smoker. Today he's still a smoker, according to him heroin withdrawl was not nearly as bad as tobacco.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (4.00 / 1) (#105)
by DJBongHit on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:35:27 PM EST

A buddy of mine used to be a heroin addict, and a smoker. Today he's still a smoker, according to him heroin withdrawl was not nearly as bad as tobacco.

I've heard that a lot, actually (that heroin is much easier to quit than nicotine). But I don't think that the withdrawal itself is the bad part with nicotine... I'm not entirely sure what it is, but I've never heard of a smoker thinking that his withdrawal was going to kill him, while that happens fairly often with heroin (not actually dying, but thinking you're gonna die from the pain).

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
thinking you're never going to be happy again (4.50 / 2) (#116)
by Blarney on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:52:01 PM EST

Yeah, nicotine withdrawal doesn't do that. It's much more subtle. Whenever I quit, I feel that I have left behind a pleasurable part of my life, and that it's a happiness which I'll never know again. I can be in bed with a beautiful woman and still feel this way - so long as I'm quitting again. It's like having a broken heart.

[ Parent ]
Yup (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by DJBongHit on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:34:28 AM EST

That's pretty much the way it is. I like smoking too much to quit :(

~DJBongHit

--
GNU GPL: Free as in herpes.

[ Parent ]
Leaving a part of your life behind. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by RofGilead on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:34:00 AM EST

One of my realizations I had while smoking is that nicotine keeps me feeling a certain way. I feel a wide variety of emotions, but it seems like the emotions are skewed, or the feelings are skewed to a certain direction.

When I try to quit smoking, I notice the difference in my emotions, and it feels like I am leaving a life behind. Not a lover, but a way of living.

I've felt this way about another drug. I used to use GHB daily to manage my social anxiety, and generally give me a breather from the world. That drug also skewed my emotions and perception of myself, and when I quit it, I felt like I left something behind.

That was almost 2 years ago that I quit GHB. I still think about it alot, and have been tempted to start using it again, many times. And while I would consider GHB far more enjoyable and better at all the things nicotine is for me, I still haven't quit smoking.

I would do GHB daily instead of smoking, but that isn't an option, I gave that up, and won't go back. Going back would feel too much like giving in, and I maybe wouldn't be able to stop again.

It would be nice to quit smoking, but nicotine has so far stopped all attempts at me quitting. Last time I quit, I went three months without a cigarrette. I felt that sad feeling of missing something one day, and I thought I would try a cigarrette to see if it really meant that much to me.

I've been smoking since then.



-= RofGilead =-

---
Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon
[ Parent ]
Social (2.00 / 1) (#126)
by Simon Moon on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:17:45 AM EST

You can't shoot up in the middle of a restaurant or bar.
Ants. (Two by two)
[ Parent ]
obviously written by someone who never was a smoke (4.50 / 4) (#106)
by quelrod on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:36:13 PM EST

I smoked a pack a day plus. When I quit I had the worst migraines, shakes, stomach pain, vomitting, etc. I stopped cold and it took me almost 2 weeks to feel remotely human. Get your facts straight b/c I dont care what you think or what you have read b/c until you have experienced you'll continue to tell people how easy it is to quit which is pure and utter bs.

You are sooo wrong (4.00 / 3) (#111)
by termfin on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:14:47 PM EST

Actually I was a smoker, about a pack a day for about 5 years.

Additionally, Alan Carr, the author of the book which inspired this article was on 60 cigarettes a day for most of his life before he quit.

[ Parent ]

Withdrawal (4.33 / 3) (#130)
by Bad Harmony on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:35:21 AM EST

You might consider the possibility that your experience, and Mr. Carr's, with the symptoms of withdrawal, is not a universal truth that is applicable for every human being on the planet.

5440' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Truism (none / 0) (#168)
by termfin on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 01:06:17 PM EST

You might consider the possibility that your experience, and Mr. Carr's, with the symptoms of withdrawal, is not a universal truth that is applicable for every human being on the planet.
Duh. I can't speak for myself, but Carr has done extensive research on this subject, which is detailed in his book. Carr is extremely successful, his book is a best-seller in the UK, and I fully expect it to take the US by storm. This would only be true if his insights are generally applicable.

[ Parent ]
A N/S comment (4.33 / 3) (#108)
by gidds on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 08:43:00 PM EST

I've never been a smoker, so I'm either lucky or unlucky depending on your perspective :)  Mainly because I spotted when quite young that all the smokers I knew said that they wished they could give it up.  So when I rebelled against many things, that wasn't one.  (It also helped that there wasn't much peer pressure to start, too.  But then peer pressure's never made a big impression on me anyway.)

I suffer quite a lot in a smoky atmosphere.  I try not to be sanctimonious about it, and usually just leave if I can.  But I use the word `suffer' deliberately: perhaps it's because I'm a singer and have a sensitive throat, but the last few times I've had to endure a smoky room, it's made me ill.

The last time was in the theatre, surprisingly enough: a local theatre put on a production `in the round' in a small studio holding only a hundred people or so, and I happened to be sitting right behind one actress who lit a couple of cigarettes during the first half.  I don't know whether it was just the smoke or the added effort of not coughing too much, but when the interval came I staggered outside, coughed my lungs out, and couldn't breathe properly the whole time.  (I've never had asthma as such, but the trouble I had breathing sounds fairly close to the symptoms of an asthma attack.)  Luckily, we were able to change seats for the second half, but even so my voice was completely shot for a day or so.  I've reacted nearly as badly on several other occasions.

If it's possible, I'll move or leave, but sometimes it's not possible; for example, in restaurants (here in the UK, smoking still seems to be allowed in some restaurants).  So, smokers, please don't think we're all just trying to be nasty if we ask you politely not to smoke in such circumstances.  And we're not all exaggerating the effects of passive smoking: it really can affect the health of those around you.  Please try to be considerate; just as we should be considerate of you too.

Andy/

bad reactions (4.50 / 2) (#142)
by katie on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:19:23 AM EST

I have the same sorts of reactions, but only to certain sorts of smoke. Cigarette smoke, cigar smoke sets off my asthma. Pipe smoke doesn't. {Which makes me wonder if it's something in the paper burning}

The problem is that I'm allergic to really small quantities of it: my boyfriend ended up quitting smoking because I was having asthma attacks triggered by the residue on his clothes and hair, and having to have a shower after each cigarette got boring after a couple of weeks...

On the subject of banning it: If you can't get into a building because you're disabled and the building isn't accessible you get to complain about it and there are laws on your side because equality of access is a Good Thing. If you can't go in because the smoke in there gives you asthma, tough, smoker's freedoms overrule yours.


[ Parent ]
The paper is loaded with chemicals. (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by gordonjcp on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 06:11:11 AM EST

The chemicals (including saltpetre) are used to keep the cigarette burning when it's put down. Now, I've noticed that my throat and nose are irritated by cigarette smoke, but they're only *badly* affected by ready rolled ones. Rollups don't seem to have as much effect, and don't smell as unpleasant.
Worst offenders are Marlborough, and a brand in the UK called Richmond, which is an ultra-budget cheap one.
Incidentally, a few years ago, sinking a few cold ones in my shed while working on a car, I had a friend of mine take a puff of his cigarette then breathe into the gas tester (which analyses car exhaust gases). He read:

CO (<3.5%) = 9.6% [FAIL]<br> HC (<1200ppm) = 580 ppm [FAIL]<br> Smoke Level = NA / Visual (Petrol) [OK]

Well, for the last one, the smoke level seemed about right... By comparison, a large family car, with no catalytic converter, should read about CO = 1.5% or so, and HC = 40% - 50%... So, smokers, you'd fail an MOT on exhaust emissions. I hope there's no smokers who complain about car exhaust...

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Poll option (4.00 / 3) (#115)
by whojgalt on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 09:35:32 PM EST

"New smoker"

Seriously, I'm in my mid thirties and just started a few years ago. It started with trying to stay awake on long nighttime dirves (former job), then for something to do while waiting for long downloads (I was still stuck with a 14.4K modem long after the 56K's came out). Now whenever I am working at the computer at home, I tend to light up.

The benefit to me is those times when you just need to stop and think. (This goes for both programming and writing). At those times, continuing to type destroys the train of thought. Lighting a cigarette and taking two or three puffs is the perfect 60 to 90 second ritual that allows the train of thought to cruise along nicely. Most of the time, the cigarette burns itself out in the ashtray after those first two or three puffs if I don't remember to snuff it before getting back to work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you can't see it from the car, it's not really scenery.
Any code more than six months old was written by an idiot.

My dad's strategy for quitting smoking: (4.50 / 6) (#117)
by janra on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 10:21:50 PM EST

(It probably helped that he was stubborn as all hell, but anyhow, this is what he did.)

2 things. The first was, whenever he wanted a cigarette, he had a lifesaver instead. It gave him something to suck on. (Does that mean a cigarette is like a baby's pacifier? ;-)

The second was that every cent that he would have spent on cigarettes if he were still smoking at the rate he was before quitting (a carton a week) was 'fun money'. It was absolutely not allowed to go to bills, household expenses, or anything needed to survive. It was fun money. You would not believe how many toys he had bought himself in the first year, that he couldn't have possibly afforded while he was still smoking. Well, if you smoke, you probably would believe it. Anyhow. It can be hard to give up having that kind of money to throw around on fun stuff.

A friend of mine was in the process of quitting (successfully last I heard) and I suggested the second idea to her. We figured out how much fun money she would have to spend every week; I think it was about $40. She thought it was a great idea. I think it's not enough on its own, but it's a great added incentive.


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
Neither positives nor negatives, but hope (4.66 / 6) (#120)
by chipr on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 11:13:55 PM EST

I admire the aims of this essay, but disagree with the conclusions.

People don't smoke for perceived benefits. They smoke because they are addicted. Nicotine is a ferociously addictive substance. Those so-called perceived benefits are just rationalizations to maintain the addiction.

Further, as a former smoker, I disagree with the proposed solution. I don't think we should be highlighting negatives or demolishing positives. Instead, we should give people hope and a reason to quit.

Regardless of how long you have been smoking, if you quit now benefits will accrue almost immediately. You will begin to see changes in your body--for the better!--within 48 hours. What amazed me during my quit was how my sense of taste became much more acute. Meals and eating at restaurants brought a whole new level of enjoyment. It was tangible benefits such as this that pulled me through.

If you quit smoking now, your body will begin to heal and actually reverse the damage. No, it won't undo all the damage, but if you quit today, you will get back more than if you quit tomorrow. The recovery can be remarkable, and I think this is the message that ought to be put out.

Quitting smoking was the hardest won accomplishment I've had in my life. It takes a lot of motivation and determination to make it through. That motivation comes not through assessing positives or negatives, but through hope.

Meeting other people (often cute ones) (4.60 / 5) (#121)
by pietra on Wed Apr 24, 2002 at 11:26:20 PM EST

is, near as I can tell (as a nonsmoker) one of the most insidious benefits of smoking. I cannot tell you how many times I've had some incredibly attractive person ask me sweetly for a cigarette or to borrow a lighter. I seriously considered carrying a pack around in college just to oblige them. I've also seen hundreds of people in bars ask someone for a light as an initial icebreaker--within 5 minutes of finishing a cigarette lit with their own lighters. It's one of the easiest and most efficient ways to start picking up on someone; if nothing else, you'll know right from the get-go whether or not they smoke or are willing to tolerate smoking. That, and decades of sultry Hollywood scenes involving men lighting cigarettes for women has ingrained it into our little collective brains as a Chivalrous Thing to Do.

Downside is, I don't want to smooch someone who's been smoking. We as a society need to come up with something healthier (and less stinky) that people can do for each other to get acquainted.

Heh, Camels helped me lose my viginity (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by georgeha on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 11:09:57 AM EST

at a frat party, some young thing asked me for a cigarette ( I smoked about a pack a week that summer, no, maybe a pack a month).

One thing led to another, and a few hours later, I was no longer a 20 year old virgin.

[ Parent ]

Smokers consortium (none / 0) (#162)
by bored on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:18:12 PM EST

I'm not a smoker but i've had/seen much the same thing. When I'm in bars I even carry a nice lighter for exactly this purpose. Of course carrying the lighter isn't as effective as actually smoking since my friends who are standing there smoking seem to get hit a lot more often.

The other social advantage, is the little groups that used to congregate outside the buildings at school and now outside the building at work. I assume its just easier to walk out there and light up, and start taking to the person standing nearby, than to just go out there and try to start a conversation with someone smoking. When I was in school I had a couple friends who used to smoke. We would be working on something in the lab and they would say "smoke break, lets discuss this outside." I met a bunch of people standing out there, people would walk up, listen for a while and jump into one of the conversations going on.



[ Parent ]
Nicotine DOES relax you, if you are a smoker. (4.85 / 7) (#124)
by toganet on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:01:58 AM EST

...Thanks to a lovely phenomenon known in some circles as "Anticipatory Compensation." It works kinda like this:

As we all are aware, our bodies strive to maintain a kind of equilibrium in terms of heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, etc. So, when a substance that throws off this equilibrium is introduced, the body will attempt to react to maintain the equilibrium.

Remember also, smoking has many associated stimuli -- The small white tube, the lighter, the smell of smoke -- that are reasonably consistent.

Once a smoker gets into the habit, the body begins to associate the secondary stimuli with the intake of nicotine, and takes steps to counter its effects on the the body's equilibrium.

So basically, the body anticipates the effects of the nicotine (raised heart rate, etc.) and compensates for them by lowering the heart rate, etc.

This is a measurable phenomenon whose effects can be felt from the surprised-by-decaf caffeine headache, to the relapsed herion addict's overdose.

P.S.

As a smoker trying to quit, I can say that whoever wrote this article has never been a smoker. There are three types of people in the world: Smokers, Non-Smokers, and Ex-Smokers. Once you've been a Smoker, there is no going back. My applause to all of you who have successfully quit.


Johnson's law: Systems resemble the organizations that create them.


wrong (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by termfin on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 01:01:29 PM EST

As a smoker trying to quit, I can say that whoever wrote this article has never been a smoker.
Unfortunately you are very wrong. I have smoked to varying degrees for about 6 years, and the author of the book I referenced, Alan Carr, was on three packs a day for most of his life before he quit.

[ Parent ]
Semi-appropriate quote (3.50 / 2) (#128)
by moosh on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:32:18 AM EST

The first thing I thought of when I read this was this quote from Bill Hicks. Just for the record, I'm not a smoker but I can see his point.

"I now realise I smoke for simply one reason and that is spite. I hate you non-smokers with all of my little black heart, you obnoxious self-righteous whining little fucks. My biggest fear is that if I quit smoking I might become one of you ... Non-smokers this is for you and you only, ready? Non-smokers die everyday." -- Bill Hicks

People looking to quit should try Zyban. (2.50 / 2) (#132)
by rjo on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 01:39:55 AM EST

I'll never claim to be the brightest pea in the pod. I've done more stupid things in my life than I can count. One of my more recent stupid adventures involved drink Robitussin to get high. Damn dumb, I know.

The effects of the Robitussin are similar to Extasy in that it raises your Serotin levels quite a bit. Normally the effects of the drug wear off in 4-5 hours but I have depression and am on Wellbutrin. Zyban is the same drug marketed under a different name and I believe at a different dosage.

Combining the Robo with the Wellbutrin gave intoxicating effects that lasted over 12 hours, and hypomania that lasted 2 days. The increased Serotin levels not only made me feel like a normal person with none of my usual anxiety and depression, it totally killed my desire for cigarettes. For those two days I felt great and didn't smoke once.

Now I'm not advocating going out and chugging Robotussin but I think for a normal person who doesn't have the extremely low Serotin levels that I do Zyban would give them the same effect I had. I realize that there is a lot more to nicotine than Serotin levels but I think brain chemistry effects our behavior a lot more than most people are comfortable admitting.



That's not right (3.00 / 1) (#145)
by gnovos on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:36:08 AM EST

Extacy and DXM (dextromethorphan) are very different animals. Extacy is mainly a kind of stimulant with mild psycoactive properties. DXM is a *deliriant* with mild stimulant properties, which produces, for a short time, actual psycosis. If you felt like you were on Extacy, it probably means you were feeling the effects of the other(very dangerous) drugs that are normally packaged together in a bottle of cough syrup more than the effects of the DXM.

In my expierence, a full blown Exctacy trip will leave you, at most, giddy, happy, disoriented with some mild visual and auditory distortions. A hard core DXM trip, however, will end up with a lightsaber duel between yourself (as the Great Barbarian of Pheloxx) and your evil nemisis Archmage Z'Dardarmog, taking place high atop the ancient pyramid of Gaz in the submerged city of Taktal Qui.

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]
Oh, and the standard disclaimer (none / 0) (#150)
by PixelPusher on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 08:00:26 AM EST

Mixing X and DXM is really stupid, and AFAIK, is the cause of most rave deaths/hospitalizations. The usual problem is some smartass selling DXM tablets as X.

[ Parent ]
I guess I didn't phrase that correctly (none / 0) (#170)
by rjo on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:03:18 PM EST

Other than a general sense of well being, the effects were nothing like Extasy. I just meant they have a similar action in that they both cause a Serotin spike. Oh and I was smart enough enough to get Robotussin Maximum Strength Cough, in which the only active ingredient is dextromethorphan.

[ Parent ]
Now that I think about it. (none / 0) (#172)
by rjo on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:05:45 PM EST

They both cause tactile hallucinations too, though Extasy's are much more pleasant. DXM just numbed me and gave me an urge to scratch my arms.

[ Parent ]
Wow (2.50 / 2) (#135)
by Sheepdot on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 03:04:23 AM EST

Christ! Maybe K5 does have some shining stars. With organizations like JEL (Just Eliminate Lies, which is rather good as creating their own) and Truth (Funded by Big Tobacco due to the lawsuits, ironically they are MORE THAN HAPPY to fund these groups since they promote the "bad thing to do" image) commenting on the size of my penis (radio ad) due to cigarettes it is a rather interesting sight to see this on K5 of all places.

Now only if people would see the junk science of obesity, second-hand smoke, and more and try to come up with effective ways of creating the ends they so strive to achieve without passing laws affecting local restaurant owners or taxing soft drinks.

Note: The radio ad features a group of girls joking about the size of a guy's penis who smokes. This is akin to picking on the obese due to their "unhealthy lifestyles". Don't think obesity is as offensive as smokers? Well surprise, surprise, there are those that DO think so, and they are prevalent in the UK.

Only a matter of time before that thinking comes to the US.



Are you kidding!?! (4.60 / 5) (#137)
by morkeleb on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 04:31:10 AM EST

It is true to say that one can get addicted to nicotine very quickly indeed, but what you don't often hear is that the withdrawal symptoms are so mild that many people hardly notice them.

You don't often hear it because it is total bullshit. Have you ever been a smoker? When I quit, I was smoking about a pack a day. It turned out to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I got the worst headaches in my life, my hands shook, I became incredibly depressed. And then there's the psychological part. When you smoke...the act itself becomes such a part of your life that you're not even aware that it's present. And when you quit...it's like your day becomes filled with these little black holes that you have to find some way to fill. I did it by remembering the things I used to do when I was a non-smoker (like reading, or riding my bike). I also put on 20 lbs from all the chocolate I ate (that part was okay though...I needed the weight).

I quit three years ago and I still have dreams where I'm smoking. I can handle being around my friends who smoke now. Which is good. In part this is because all of them have started to develop some harsh coughs which they didn't have when we were in college - so I don't really feel as though I'm missing out on much.

Anyway...I've had conversation with heroin addicts who claim to have successfully stayed clean for years, but could not manage to quit the coffin nails. Quitting smoking is HARD.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
And because you didn't like the experience (3.00 / 1) (#154)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 08:44:06 AM EST

And because you feel you had a hard time quitting, everyone else will too, eh?

Sorry. I start and stop smoking all the time - I'll go through a box of cigars over a couple of weeks then stop smoking for 6 or 9 months. I'll often find myself thinking "I wish I had a cigar" by I've never experienced physical withdrawal. Neither have the more dedicated cigarette smokers in my family. Some have quit, some have not, none ever expressed any complaint more than "Damn, I wish I had a cigarette!"


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Cigar smoking isn't the same thing.... (none / 0) (#174)
by morkeleb on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 03:48:22 PM EST

For one thing...you don't take the smoke deep into your lungs like cigarettes. It's the same with pipes. So the level of addiction isn't nearly as powerful. I've smoked cigars too - and never found them as powerfully addictive as cigarettes.

Also I've noticed a lot of people posting saying that they had no problem quitting cigarettes - it was the easiest thing in the world. So what? Who cares? I wish I had some Boy Scout medals to hand out. A lot of people (in fact most people), who try to quit smoking have a really tough time of it - so the only purpose posts like that would serve is to make people who are trying to quit and having problems feel like they're weak. Which they aren't. So I really don't know what your point is.
"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
What the hell is your point, then? (1.00 / 2) (#183)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 02:54:33 PM EST

so the only purpose posts like that would serve is to make people who are trying to quit and having problems feel like they're weak. Which they aren't. So I really don't know what your point is.

That they shouldn't try, because it will probably be to hard for them?


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Lucky you, but not remotely relevant. (5.00 / 1) (#175)
by Sanction on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 03:59:20 PM EST

This sounds a lot like the people who trot out their grandma, "she smoked four packs a day, and ate nothing but steaks cooked in bacon grease, washed down with a 5th of grain whisky, and she lived to 110!" It has nothing to do with not liking quitting or not, but actual physical withdrawal symptoms. They are short lived, but most people experience extreme headaches and the shakes for 24-72 hours after quitting. Just because you can quit cigars without symptoms, the nicotine intake does not even resemble that of a smoker, does not indicate anything.

Wow, This is the most amazing loaf of bread I've ever owned!
[ Parent ]
Did you actually *READ* what I wrote? (2.00 / 1) (#182)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 02:51:59 PM EST

The original post complained about how hard it was for everyone to quit, because it was hard for him.

I offered myself as a counter example.

Duh.


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Perspective of a recently quit smoker (5.00 / 2) (#156)
by MisterX on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 09:24:38 AM EST

Fine article. As a 16-year smoker I've been through all the self-justifications and self-admonishments for continuing smoking. Many times.

Once I understood why I continued to smoke despite my knowledge of the dangers, it was a straightforward task to quit. Withdrawal from tobacco smoking makes me irritable - extremely irritable. I loath being even slightly irritable, so continuing smoking made sense. Also, as a daily cannabis smoker, I love tobacco joints. Double problem.

I had long ponder about it. I really wanted to quit smoking but couldn't face weeks and weeks of being irritable. And no more joints? That was scary enough to make me reach for a cigarette!

The thing is, I had a suspicion that the cannabis would act as a powerful self-medication against my withdrawal symptoms. That may be a controversial opinion but it's my body to experiment with. I decided to quit tobacco using cannabis as an aid.

Experimental evidence was at hand. A couple of my friends had recently quit smoking using this very method. Some months on, they seemed happy enough without tobacco. They miss it, but they have no intention of smoking again.

I bought myself a small, discreet pipe. On that day, I made sure I had plenty of weed and I quit smoking tobacco. That was nearly two weeks ago. I have been nicotine-free and slightly stoned since then. :-)

I've had up-days and down-days. Sometimes the craving was so intense it almost made me cry. But most of the time I've been able to cope far better than I had anticipated. I've been able to generally keep my temper and mood in check. I put that down to the assistance from the cannabis - I don't think I would have been able to quit without it.

So I'm kinda looking forward to the last few days of withdrawal. The weather is good, summer is approaching and for the first time in 16 years I'll actually be able to smell the flowers.

My quitting tools were self-analysis, willpower, cannabis and a bit of smoking paraphernalia. If you want to quit, tool up and go for it!

Peace,
Paul



Cannabis (3.50 / 2) (#160)
by Fon2d2 on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 11:21:25 AM EST

although not as addictive has about three times the tar so it's not like it's healthier than smoking cigarettes. It's just that it's probably easier to quit, which is a moot point here because you've already made your back-asswards decision to continue smoking weed.

[ Parent ]
Yes, but you smoke much less of it (none / 0) (#165)
by termfin on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:56:04 PM EST

Unless you have a seriously high THC tolerance, you will typically take just a few "hits" of Cannabis to get high, where as you take many many drags of each cigarette (and of course smoke 1-80 cigarettes a day).

[ Parent ]
Much much much less (none / 0) (#171)
by MisterX on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:04:31 PM EST

I have numbers for this. 3,5g of cannabis lasts me 8 days with the pipe. I smoked at least 8g of rolling tobacco every day. Someone else do the arithmetic - I'm stoned :-)

Peace,
Paul



[ Parent ]
Hence the pipe (none / 0) (#169)
by MisterX on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 01:53:27 PM EST

Never having studied the tar content of smoked cannabis, I'll defer to the general opinion that mj has more tar than tobacco. However, my method of ingestion (an A'maze'd pipe) places a surprising distance between the burning matter and my mouth. A lot of tar collects in the pipe and not in my lungs. I'm keeping the tar for later THC extraction :-)

As for addiction - not for me. I experience absolutely no physical cravings for cannabis. There's always an aspect of "nice to have" but I don't consider that addiction. I've been out of weed for weeks at a time with no pangs.

And, as I pointed out, I doubt I would have been able to quit smoking tobacco without the weed. Moot point or not, I do not consider my decision back-asswards. Overall I think my health will improve. Time will tell.

Peace,
Paul



[ Parent ]
affects of smoking? (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by dazolevid on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 10:04:43 AM EST

>it is waking up in the morning with a throat full
> of tar, having a year-round cough, feeling
>lethargic all the time,

I guess im an oddball. I've been smoking for 13 years, pack a day. I feel none of this. Nor do any of my friends that smoke. Is there a certain amount you have to smoke to feel these affects? 2 packs/day? 3?

If not, I'd have to say the above is BS, or at the very least needs to be qualified somehow. i.e. "it is waking....time. Usually if you smoke for at least x number of years at x packs a day".


David

environment (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by perryspeed on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 11:15:21 AM EST

Been a smoker for 11 years now, anywhere from a few cigarettes a day up to 3 packs a day at my worst. I do suffer from the "smokers cough", feeling lethargic, etc.

One thing that I did notice recently is that these "affects" seem to come and go depending on my environment. Here in the States, I smoke 5-10 cigarettes a day (ultralights no less), and suffer from the typical affects. Recently I was on holiday in Israel, and found myself smoking atleast a pack a day, and would wake up feeling 100%, no matter what brand I smoked (even the cheapo 4 shekel a pack brands).

Maybe it had to do with air quality being better over there or the fact that I was significantly more active (alot of walking and sightseeing). Still struck me as curious.

[ Parent ]

Same Brands? (none / 0) (#176)
by defeated on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 04:40:38 PM EST

Were all the cigarettes you smoked in Israel purchased there? Were any of them the same brand as the ones you usually smoke? I'm wondering if the cigarettes sold abroad lack some of the nifty ingredients that US tobacco companies put in their product.

[ Parent ]
Re: Same Brands? (none / 0) (#179)
by perryspeed on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 10:41:05 AM EST

Brought a carton of my usual cigarettes with me that lasted about half the trip, pretty evenly mixed local with what I brought.

[ Parent ]
nope, 2 doesn't get you there... (none / 0) (#180)
by KiTaSuMbA on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 11:13:09 AM EST

I smoke 2 packs of gauloises (french, rather heavy cigs) and none of the above occurs.
I don't want to belittle the damage done by cigarettes though, and I do know them pretty well, could make some ten pages explaining (is MD good enough for knowing?). However I will provide some more info about the "pros" of smoking:
1) the neuronal mechanics:
Nicotine is an agonist for the acetylcholine nicotinic (wonder they called them that way?) receptors found in the brain (high concentration in cortex and basal ganglia). You light up a cigarette and you light up acetylcholine transmission, you get an incremented Signal/Noise ratio: when in trouble, smoking a cigarette feels like you got an "insight" in the problem. The highest smoking rate I obtain is while coding on the computer, turning the keyboard in a darn ashtray.
Plus the wide-known anti-stress feature: while in stress, stuff keeps "poping out" in your thoughts and give you a restless hard time, these "pop-outs" decrease or even disappear when you smoke.
However, smokers are faced with the mechanisms of adaptation in brain: after some serious smoking period your brain adapts to the new situation and the actual benefits disappear (your acetylcholine activity falls back to normal). By now, you *have* to smoke to get things working right: if you quit, then there will be another adaptation (back to normal) period of stress, restlesness and difficulty to focus on stuff. If your job pushes you on smoking, try quiting on vacations.
2) the social mechanics:
cigarettes are a powerful anti-embarassment weapon. Whenever I find myself in a rather uncomfortable situation (being yelled at by the professor in chief of the lab, talking to that "out-of-your-dreams" chick at the bar, etc.) lighting a cigarette comes in to save you: anti-stress and gain some time without being obvious about it (unlike disassembling your pen or squising that antistress ball in your pocket).
Sorry folks, but the "cool profile" of smoking and / or the use of it as excuse to approach a girl ain't working no more (since the last 10-15 yrs): anti-smoke campaigners update yourselfs.
3) The psychological mechanics:
the common ground of "I can quit anytime I want" supported by the rather light abstain syndrome (anyone can take a flight without smoking, if forced to do it) actually gives more support to keep smoking than thinking of quiting it (since according to that doctrine, it could be really easy). The die-hard anti-smoking campaigns actually push smokers to keep smoking: Pointing fingers never worked and the feeling of being kicked and pushed arround for a habit that, with certain precautions (smoking in explicitly defined smokers areas, avoid smoking in front of kids/pregnants, etc.), harms only yourself generates an adverse reaction of "shut the fsck up! I'll die from lung cancer and you will from Colon Rectus one you stupid burger eater, unless the smog gets you first!". The smoker doesnot actually beleive that but has to react somehow to what feels like enforced babysitting.

Anti-smoke campaigns should let loose the health risk continuous rambling and put up some more informative ways rather than teasers (skulls, cemetaries and the like harass people or simply make them lough about and forget about rather than take into consideration). Every single smoker nowdays knows he is fscking up with his health but still won't stop: find another point to make.



There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
Weary with the anti-smoking crusaders. (4.66 / 3) (#163)
by IHCOYC on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 12:31:29 PM EST

I haven't smoked for fifteen years now. Curious, how you have to make that disclaimer, because to criticise the anti-smoking orthodoxy always results in ad hominem replies. You're an "addict" in "denial." Maybe somebody could get Yossarian to explain to me if it is ever logically possible not to be addicted to anything if someone wants to claim you are.

I am weary, weary, weary, weary, weary, weary, WEARY, WEARY, of being told by "activists" about how smoking and a host of other habits I may or may not have is bad for me. Even if it is, harping on it in the specific ways these self-appointed activists do they do fails to increase the stock of human happiness or charity.

What anti-smoking campaigns end up doing is telling those unfortunates who do get ill from smoking, who die from smoking, that it's their fault for their evil habits. We should not debar those who suffer from our sympathy by looking for reasons to blame them for their own mortality. I find the implied blame of these campaigns loathsome.

In the June 9, 1998 Wall Street Journal, Richard Klein stated the problem this way:

But under the guise of giving us helpful suggestions, the government is setting new norms against which our failures of self-care will henceforth be measured, disapproved and eventually punished.
The dogma incites others to resent their illness, as well. The tired excuse that "tax dollars are being spent" is trotted out to justify any and all sorts of campaigns and regulations to ostracise smokers and tax their favoured recreation into oblivion. It's another part of the corrosive social warfare that Americans pursue in their endless quest to feel superior to their neighbours.

Sites like the so-called "truth" campaign are weirdly ironic in a disturbing way. Decorated with stylised skulls, of course it is full of the usual shrilling that cigarettes kill and their makers therefore ought to be treated like criminals. Since at least some smokers actually survive, this is moral hyperventilation, designed to preclude any rational discourse about the ill effects of cigarettes.

More curious, though, is the elaborate pretense of being some kind of grass-roots movement engaged in acts of supposedly clever civil disobedience. The first ever such movement that's been financed by government foundations and trial lawyers, to be sure. The tobacco companies spend billions on their message, but these guys have "you." The tobacco companies are supposed to be the powerful, faceless, corporate villains here, when in reality the people who finance these campaigns are their mirror images.

We are dealing with an obnoxious, oppressive, and downright evil orthodoxy. It is time to bring the whole edifice of public-healthism crashing down: to defund it on all levels of government; to define it as not a charitable cause for purpose of the charity tax privileges; and to censure the ideology of public-healthism and all of its priggish manifestations as a destructive and divisive element in our society.

This message has been placed here IN MEMORIAM by the Tijuana Bible Society.

I get the idea (5.00 / 1) (#177)
by Eloquence on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 05:29:29 PM EST

The tobacco companies are supposed to be the powerful, faceless, corporate villains here, when in reality the people who finance these campaigns are their mirror images.

And you suggest that these "mirror images" should be treated as villains. Now what do you suggest should be done about the tobacco industry itself, since, by your definition, they're at least as "evil" as those fighting it?
--
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]

Quitting Again (3.00 / 1) (#173)
by mwollman on Thu Apr 25, 2002 at 02:39:58 PM EST

I am in the process of quitting, again. I have yet to see any mention that even after you quit smoking you still crave cigarettes. I can smell someone smoking one form like 500 feet away. any time i see someone smoking on TV or in a movie, I want one. After I eat or when I wake up I want one . When I go out I want one. It seemed like it was constantly happening I gave in and smoked again. Now I'm trying to quit again. And it's very tough. my thoughts constantly turn to it. I get headaches and can't think straight. I very irriatable and often snap at people. I also wanted to point out that smoking being relaxing has absolutly nothing to do with nicotine and it's physical effects but stopping what you are doing and lighting up taking those deep breaths and just looking around.

Matt Wollman Airborne!
Whining self-deluded maggots (2.00 / 1) (#186)
by minra on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 04:54:35 PM EST

"I am in the process of quitting, again. I have yet to see any mention that even after you quit smoking you still crave cigarettes."

These two sentences illustrate a common fallacy made in these drug discussions; Generalizing one's personal experience to all mankind. Note the first sentence uses "I" and the second uses "you".

I started smoking at 27. I'm now 33 and I smoke sporadically. I average 0-5 packs a month. Sometimes I binge on a pack a day for 2-3 days, but that's followed by a negative reaction to the poisonous effects.

I sometimes notice the cravings people claim, but they are paltry. It's about as easy for me to refrain from picking up a cigarette as it is to refrain from picking at my nose; Both are 'compulsive' behaviours, stoppable if I put my mind to it.

Now it is tempting to say, 'since it is so for me, it must be so for the rest of mankind - hence all you so-called addicts are just a bunch of whining deluded maggots.'

But I won't say that :-)

[ Parent ]
Well, Somebody Should... (none / 0) (#191)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed May 01, 2002 at 12:41:42 AM EST

grin

For some people it's cigarettes, for some it's alcohol. For me it's food. I can eat a whole large pizza pie without breaking a sweat, and come back for dessert. It is far, far easier for me to fast (eating nothing at all) than it is to "eat sensibly".

Compared to that, smoking is a walk in the park.

Doesn't mean it's the same for everybody, if that was true, they'd all look like me, too - and who wants to see that?


--
Uhhh.... Where did I drop that clue?
I know I had one just a minute ago!


[ Parent ]
Classes of smokers and addicts (none / 0) (#193)
by pkesel on Mon May 06, 2002 at 04:06:31 PM EST

In your attack of the craving argument you're as guilty of the generalization and application of your own experiences as you accuse the previous poster of being.  It's tempting to say, 'Those part time smokers who can quit for a week at a time are self-righteous snobs.'  But I won't, and you'll see why.

It's been shown clearly that some people are much more easily addicted, to nearly anything.  Some people are fortunate enough that they're not easily addicted to smoking.  It's physiological and may be genetic.

I'm a 2-3 pack a month smoker.   I buy a pack and smoke until it's gone, usually about a week.  I get sick of the smell and the taste, and after about a pack I start to feel more sick from smoking than not.  

For some people it simply doesn't work that way.  I know a man in his 40's who was trying to quit.  He made great progress for several weeks, until he had stopped entirely for a few days.  One day I noticed him weeping at his desk because he had just had a cigarette and he knew he'd never make it.  

There are similar situations for alcohol, pain killers, caffein, hair chewing, nail biting, and all sorts of compulsions.  Some people are simply more prone to habitual activities.  If you take one away they will likely find another.

[ Parent ]

smoke (none / 0) (#181)
by spottedkangaroo on Fri Apr 26, 2002 at 01:04:39 PM EST

... if that is why you smoke, then you might as-well just hold your breath!

When I quit smoking a couple years ago... I actually did sometimes hold my breath during intense cravings. It really does work btw...

Particularly... and this was only the first or second week or so. I would sometimes get dizzy from all the extra oxygen. So holding my breath did help.

Thats funny.. (5.00 / 1) (#189)
by Jevesus on Mon Apr 29, 2002 at 03:41:32 AM EST

"Phone your mother and say "hi". This is how non-smokers take a break from things."
Talking to my mom on the phone makes me want to start smoking..

- Jevesus
Qutting isn't always that easy (none / 0) (#195)
by CthulhuCravesSouls on Mon May 06, 2002 at 08:04:20 PM EST

For me, quitting smoking was easier than for others and I think that generalizing your relatively mild experience to the larger population doesn't pan out when you look at the statistics. Most people who smoke as adults started as teens and that's because brain chemistry as teens forms around the habit of nicotine. Their relapse rate is pheomenally high. I started smoking regularly at 17, so that is perhaps part of the reason I was able to quit several years later. My friends who are still addicted started smoking at 13. They're in the early thirties now and wish they never started. When stressed I still find myself holding my pen like a cigarette. It still creeps me out that the stuff was wired into me like that. It's like bad shareware you can never delete from your registry.

Smoking (none / 0) (#197)
by birdsintheskytheylooksohigh on Sun May 19, 2002 at 08:41:28 AM EST

If people are really that bothered by second hand smoke from a cigarette, cigar, etc. they should really push for an alternative to gasoline, since the exhaust gasoline burning machines put forth is far worse IMO than any group of smokers. While they're at it, ban the smokestacks pouring forth toxic fumes from the big factories.

People can stand close by exhaust pipes that pump out toxic fumes but they fear the small trails of smoke that rise from a lit cigarette. It doesn't get any dumber.

Yes, it's all in bold, I know. I feel this comment is important....now exhale!

What non-smokers don't know about cigarettes | 197 comments (177 topical, 20 editorial, 0 hidden)
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