Crap,,,,,,, now I think I am addicted to cigs...

by LyinEyes 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    I guess what I'm hearing is that it can be a bit like coffee. If you drink several cups, it can stimulate. But one cup, assuming one drinks it slowly, can be relaxing.

    Thanks for the input.

  • LyinEyes

    Wow I sure stepped in a fire ant bed I know I need to stop, but I have to totally agree with Onacruse, it is a nervous habit and I can tell you how it started, by second hand smoke. I as around it alot and soon I craved it myself. I wanted to smoke just for the hell of it, because dammit no one could tell me no. I was so sick of rules I rebelled. Illogical, yeah, but dont we all make stupid choices many times.

    Sorry ballistic that my igrorance makes you mad. Many others here know what I mean, .start off . I have alot of nervous energy and find myself late in the night, actually early morning staring at the stars wondering about life as I smoke. Let me tell you who doubt, I have given up other drugs , that the doctor gave me, because I didnt want to be addicted any longer. When I set my mind to it, it wont be easy, it will hurt but when I am ready I can do it. And I don't appreciate anyone telling me what an idioit I am. I dont give a crap what you have to say from this point on, in the way you spoke to me. ,,,,,,,,,,,,, I usually don't respond to attacks. But you don't know me, you don't know what I feel, you dont know what my life is like at all. I make it one day at a time. I accept that, and I am working on the things that are only hurting me, I do see that . Maybe if you want to encourage someone give them your support , calling them an idiot and telling them that they are making you mad , really doesnt help at all. I guess you don't care to help or understand. God help one day you are faced with a choice , maybe then your wont be so judgmental.

    Thanks to everyone eles who told me how they deal with smoking and how they too know they need to quit. The only reason I brought it up was to see how others felt. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut,,,,,,,,,, I hate to be called an idiot or that I made some one mad at me. That hurts.

    Edited for saying things I am sure I would regret saying tomorrow........

    Edited by - LyinEyes on 1 November 2002 3:23:37

  • LyinEyes

    Oh and the comment made that if I made an annoucement that I was planning on killing myself would be the same thing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,lol now in the long run smokig is suicide I know that......but I think coming in this room annoucing I was putting a bullet to my brain woud be a little different. Everyday we all do things to our body out of grief, suffering , depression, saddness, loneliness that we do to comfort ourselves, such as smoking,overeating, over drinking, over spending,,,,,,,,,,,,, I can tell you it does not mean the same as saying you are going to kill yourself. Been thru that before and it is a pale comparrison.......Have you ever had someone say,,,,,,, gee, I think I will eat till I puke or I think I will kill myself tonight??? If not , you don't know what you are talking about. There is a difference in the two.... in the long run, we all die, but a suicide attempt and a smoke are not the same. Smokers can stop, depressed people can get help...... but what would be the response if I announced tonight I was smoking 3 cigs instead of two,,,,,,,,, compared to the announcement of committing suicide????

  • ballistic

    Lyin, the toughest thing I have ever had to do was give up smoking. I have given up class A drugs with ease, alcohol a bit harder... but smoking, that was another story. I just wanted to get through to you, to stop you in your tracks. If you have to learn the hard way... so be it.

    I posted the progress of my giving up on this site for everyone to follow. It was my third attempt and I suceded. I suppose knowing what I know now, I feel like no-one has an excuse for starting. I actually started for all the same reasons as you, and worked in a pub at the time, so my first cig was also not my "first".

    Sorry if I sounded offensive (it was someone else that called you idiot though), but I will cetainly not step down from expressing how gutted I was, becuase that is partly concern for you.

    P.S. I posted to this thread just before going to bed and promptly dreamt that I smoked half a pack of Lambert and Butler before an old JW I knew reminded me that I had quit. In the dream I went through lots of emotions, and then actually felt the addiction in my dream, the whole experience of craving the nicotine.

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    I got this from the newsgroup (AS3), As I stated in an earlier post, this newsgroup helped me during the first couple of months after my quit.

    JUNKIE THINKING: "One Puff won't hurt"
    RESPONSE: "One puff will always hurt me, and it always will because I'm
    not a social smoker. One puff and I'll be smoking compulsively again."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I only want one."
    RESPONSE: "I have never wanted only one. In fact, I want 20-30 a day,
    everyday. I want them all."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I'll just be a social smoker."
    RESPONSE: "I'm a chronic, compulsive smoker, and once I smoke one, I'll
    quickly be thinking about the next one. Social smokers can take it or
    leave it. That's not me!"

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I'm doing so well, one won't hurt me now."
    RESPONSE: "The only reason I'm doing so well is because I haven't taken
    the first one. Yet once I do, I won't be doing well anymore. I'll be
    smoking again."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I'll just stop again."
    RESPONSE: "Sounds easy, but who am I trying to kid? Look how long it
    took me to stop this time. And once I start, how long will it take
    before I get sick enough to face withdrawal again? In fact, when I'm
    back in the grip of compulsion, what guarantee do I have that I'll ever
    be able to stop again?"

    JUNKIE THINKING: "If I slip, I'll keep trying."
    RESPONSE: "If I think I can get away with one little "slip" now I'll
    think I can get away with another little "slip" later on. And the
    slipping will get stronger and the trying will get weaker"

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I need one to get me through this withdrawal."
    RESPONSE: "Smoking will not get me through the discomfort of not
    smoking. It will only get me back to smoking. One puff stops the process
    of withdrawal and I'll have to go through it all over again."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I miss smoking right now."
    RESPONSE: "Of course I miss something I've been doing every day for most
    of my life. But do I miss the chest pains right now? Do I miss the
    worry, the embarrassment? I'l rather be an ex-smoker with an occasional
    desire to smoke, than a smoker with a constant desire to stop doing

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I really need to smoke now, I'm so upset (or
    depressed, or whatever)."
    RESPONSE: "Smoking is not going to fix anything. I'll still be upset or
    depressed or whatever, I'll just be an upset/depressed smoker. I never
    have to have a cigarette. Smoking is not a need, it's a want. Once the
    crisis is over, I'll be relieved and grateful I'm still not smoking."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "I'm Bored"
    RESPONSE: Smoking is an "activity" or "something to do" only for
    smokers. I'm really not "doing" anything when I smoke except still
    sitting/standing there. The rest of the world survives occasional
    boredom quite well without inhaling life-challenging chemicals.

    JUNKIE THINKING: "But they've been smoking on TV and in the movies for
    years! There are even magazines devoted to tobacco products!
    RESPONSE: "That's right. They were on TV for years, I wasn't. I'm still
    alive; many of them aren't and they departed this vale of tears in
    prolonged and painful ways. And the smiling faces in the magazines now
    are risking painful and disfiguring surgery later, at which point they
    won't be smiling at all."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "It's so nice to go out for a 'breath of fresh air' and
    a cigarette."
    RESPONSE: "Fresh air? I've got to be kidding. And face it, sunny days
    are one thing, but how many days do I huddle out in the rain with the
    rain hitting the cigarette and turning the cigarette paper that
    disgusting yellow color? How many times is it windy and it takes forever
    to keep a match or lighter lit long enough to light the cigarette, and
    then how often does a gust of wind come up and blow the ashes into my
    eyes? And when it's icy outside, freezing my face off is bad enough, but
    when it defrosts, there's this bizarre yellow condensation around my
    nostrils. Now THAT'S attractive."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "Smoking makes work go faster."
    RESPONSE: "Most jobs where you work indoors are in companies which ban
    smoking in the workplace. Some companies won't hire me if I smoke. And
    everytime I stop for a smoke it actually prolongs my work, since I'm not
    busy accomplishing it."

    JUNKIE THINKING: "Let's face it. I am a smoker. I always will be."
    RESPONSE: "The truth is that you're not a smoker. The only thing that
    smokes is the cigarette. You are the sucker though for falling for the
    belief that you cannot live without the habit of inhaling smoke. If
    everyone who believed at one time they were forever doomed to smoke then
    places like AS3 would not exist."

  • MegaDude


    excellent post there. Replace cigarette with Krispy Kreme doughnut and you have the addiction battle I'm fighting. LOL!!!!

    Edited by - megadude on 1 November 2002 9:56:35

  • LyinEyes

    Lol Megadude, I thought that addiction was peach icecream

  • MegaDude

    LOL. Well, replace with doughnuts, ice cream, all my favorite foodgroups.

  • ITguy

    Non-smoker here. But this might be the equivent to "Apostate literature" to non-smokers. Maybe all the things you're being told about the dangers of smoking aren't entirely true...

    These are for you, LyinEyes...

    These"Ten Myths of the Anti-Smoking Movement" appear as an appendix in For Your Own Good .

    1. The tobacco companies hid the truth about the hazards and addictiveness of cigarettes from the American public. Industry double-talk notwithstanding, warnings about the health risks of smoking go back hundreds of years. James I, in his 1604 Counterblaste to Tobacco, called smoking "a custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs." In every generation, tobaccos opponents have echoed him, attributing a long list of maladies to smoking. (See Chapter 1.) Persuasive scientific evidence of tobaccos hazards, which began to emerge in the early 1930s, has received widespread attention since the 50s. (See Chapter 2.) Likewise, the difficulty of giving up the tobacco habit has been common knowledge for centuries. James Is lord chancellor, Sir Francis Bacon, observed, "In our times the use of tobacco is growing greatly and conquers men with a certain secret pleasure, so that those who have once become accustomed thereto can later hardly be restrained therefrom." The 17th-century polemicist Johann Michael Moscherosch called smokers "thralls to the tobacco fiend," while Cotton Mather dubbed them "Slave[s] to the Pipe." Fagon, Louis XIVs court physician, described the tobacco habit as "a fatal, insatiable necessitya permanent epilepsy." (See Chapter 7.)

    2. "Tobacco is tobacco." Although all tobacco products pose some health risks, cigarettes are by far the most hazardous. Cigars and pipes are considerably less dangerous. Research by the American Cancer Society found that "[d]eath rates were far higher in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers," while "[c]igar smokers had somewhat higher death rates than nonsmokers," and "there was little difference between the death rates of pipe smokers and the death rates of men who never smoked regularly." By one estimate, smokeless tobacco is 98 percent safer than cigarettes. (See Chapter 2.)

    3. People smoke because of advertising. There is remarkably little evidence that advertising plays an important role in getting people to smoke, as opposed to getting them to smoke a particular brand. The 1989 surgeon generals report conceded that "[t]here is no scientifically rigorous study available to the public that provides a definitive answer to the basic question of whether advertising and promotion increase the level of tobacco consumption. Given the complexity of the issue, none is likely to be forthcoming in the forseeable future." The 1994 report, which focused on underage smoking, also acknowledged the "lack of definitive literature." None of the widely publicized studies that have appeared in recent years, including the much-hyped research on Joe Camel, actually measured the impact of advertising on a teenagers propensity to smoke. (See Chapter 3.)

    4. Smoking imposes costs on society. Because smokers tend to die earlier than nonsmokers, the short-term costs of treating tobacco-related illness are balanced, and probably outweighed, by savings on Social Security, nursing home stays, and medical care in old age. Every analysis that takes such long-term savings into account, including reports from the RAND Corporation, the Congressional Research Service, and Harvard economist W. Kip Viscusi, concludes that "social cost" cannot justify raising cigarette taxes. (See Chapter 4.)

    5. Secondhand smoke poses a grave threat to bystanders.The evidence concerning the health effects of secondhand smoke is not nearly as conclusive as the evidence concerning the health effects of smoking. The research suggests that people who live with smokers for decades may face a slightly higher risk of lung cancer. According to one estimate, a nonsmoking woman who lives with a smoker faces an additional lung cancer risk of 6.5 in 10,000, which would raise her lifetime risk from about 0.34 percent to about 0.41 percent. Studies of secondhand smoke and heart disease, including the results from the Harvard Nurses Study published in 1997, report more-dramatic increases in disease ratesso dramatic, in fact, that they are biologically implausible, suggesting risks comparable to those faced by smokers, despite the much lower doses involved. In any case, there is no evidence that casual exposure to secondhand smoke has any impact on your life expectancy. (See Chapter 5.)

    6. If secondhand smoke really is dangerous, smoking ought to be banned everywhere, except in private residences. Since almost all of the epidemiological evidence about the health effects of secondhand smoke relates to long-term exposure in the home, the fact that this is the one place exempted from current and proposed smoking bans suggests a residual concern for property rights. Yet business owners have property rights, too. If the government respected their right to establish rules about smoking on their own property, potential employees and customers could take such policies into account when deciding where to work or which businesses to patronize. Whether secondhand smoke is a health hazard or merely a nuisance, such a voluntary system is the most appropriate way to deal with the conflicting demands of smokers and nonsmokers, since it allows for diversity and competition, rather than simply imposing the will of the majority on everyone. (See Chapter 5.)

    7. States have a right to demand compensation from tobacco companies for the costs of treating smoking-related diseases under Medicaid. This claim ignores the long-term savings traceable to smoking (see Myth #4) and the tobacco taxes smokers already pay to cover the costs they supposedly impose on others. And by the same logic, states could sue the manufacturer of any product associated with disease or injury, including alcoholic beverages, fatty foods, candy, firearms, swimming pols, bathtubs, skateboards, and automobiles. The makers (and consumers) of such products should not be blamed because politicians decided to pay for health care with taxpayers money. (See Chapter 6.)

    8. The tobacco companies have been secretly manipulating the nicotine in cigarettes to keep smokers hooked. Nicotine control was never a secret. Several brands of denicotined cigarettes were introduced as early as the 1920s. Claims of reduced tar and nicotine have been conspicuous since the 1950s, and the yields of each brand have been advertised since 1971. The very idea of a consistent nicotine yield for a given brand implies control, which cigarette manufacturers achieve through a variety of methods that have long been discussed in trade journals, books, and government reports. (See Chapter 7.)

    9. Smoking is "a pediatric disease." Although most smokers start as teenagers, the vast majority are, in fact, adults. And while it raises the risk of certain illnesses, smoking itself is a behaviorsomething people choose to donot a disease. As then-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop noted in his 1984 speech calling for "a smoke-free society," smoking "is a voluntary act: one does not have to smoke if one does not want to." (See Chapter 7.)

    10. Once people have started smoking, nicotine addiction prevents them from stopping. This is so contrary to everyday experience that its amazing politicians and anti-smoking activists can say it with a straight face. In fact, there are about as many former smokers in this country as there are smokers, and almost all gave up the habit on their own, without formal treatmentusually by quitting cold turkey.

    and also...

    The Noble Art of Smoking: its True Beauty revealed.

    A smart gentleman, wearing an expensive suit, stands outside an impressive office building in the cold mid-morning. In his left hand, he holds a polystyrene cup with wisps of hot vapour rising from it. In his right hand is a cigarette. Persecuted by society, he is forced to inhale the noxious gases emitted by the passing vehicles, since he is not 'permitted' to smoke elsewhere; a pertinent demonstration of how much his government 'care' about his health.

    The innocent smoker, in modern society, is made to feel like a pariah. I, however, would contend that smoking is not only of benefit to the individual smoker, and those who 'passively smoke', but also to our society as a whole. Bombarded, as we are, by a continuous stream of anti-smoking propaganda, such a contention may seem preposterous. The evidence, however, as you will see, is quite compelling.

    The central theme to the arguments of governments is that 'smoking causes cancer' ( ref. 1 ). This is misleading terminology. It is, rather, a contributory factor; as are UV rays from the sun, pollutants released into the atmosphere by factories or vehicles, and even the radioactive isotopes in the water that we drink. Take, for example, the statement in the aforementioned reference that '700 people die each year in traffic in Finland. Ten times as many die because they are addicted to smoking'. What does this prove, other than the fact that smokers may lead a different lifestyle to those who do not? There are, I contend, other links which may be responsible for such figures; most heavy drinkers are also smokers, as a prime example. Furthermore, the unwillingness of governments to detail how, precisely, they arrived at these statistics, lends them no credence whatsoever. Their usual reply is 'it was a survey'. Wonderful. So did this survey, by any chance, assume that everyone who had cancer, and also smoked, must necessarily have contracted it for this reason? On the contrary, scientists have found that the damaged p53 gene, caused by smoking, is present in only 50% of cancer patients ( ref. 2 - see October 18, 1996); this directly rules out smoking as a cause for half of cancer sufferers, without even considering other ways in which the p53 gene may be damaged.

    What is the response of government to this supposed 'health risk'? Do they, as responsible as they profess to be, ban smoking? Of course not. They increase the tax on cigarettes, in order to gain more revenue on the basis of a misconception, one that I believe they have deliberately promoted for just this purpose. Yet most smokers, generously, still continue to buy as many cigarettes and make a disproportionately high contribution to society, in terms of taxes, simply to enjoy one of life's pleasures. But what of addiction to nicotine, I hear you think? Poppycock. If those who smoked did so simply because of nicotine, then they would all use cheaper alternatives such as tablets or patches, but they don't, do they? They smoke because it promotes social activity, improves their physical appearance (i.e. it is sophisticated) and improves their mental aptitude. But what do I mean by 'improving mental aptitude'?

    A large body of research on the effect of smoking has highlighted the fact that it is actually an aid to mental performance. Research by Reading University's psychology department concluded that 'Smoking improves human information processing' and furthermore that 'Higher nicotine cigarettes produce greater improvements [in information processing] than low-nicotine cigarettes' ( ref. 3 ). These results are by no means isolated, as highlighted by the work of other research groups. This is of great benefit to the individual, as evidenced by a plethora of writers, artists and blue chip workers. If companies were willing to encourage their employees to smoke, even to provide free cigarettes, then the effectiveness of their workers would increase, bringing them greater economic rewards; doubly so since, at present, much work time is lost due to said workers needing to 'sneak off to have a quick ciggy'.

    Medically, there is overwhelming evidence of the benefits of smoking (see again ref.3 ). Smoking decreases calorie absorption, which aids in preventing obesity. Smoking improves dental health. Smoking reduces tension. Smoking helps to prevent the onset of Parkinson's Disease, ulcerative colitis and furthermore helps to protect asbestos workers from lung cancer. Yet some insist it is still 'bad for your health'? On the contrary, it is clear that such a substance should, in some cases, be medically prescribed.

    In short, the noble art of smoking is fun, sexy and stylish. How many 'heart-throb celebrities' are there that are non-smokers? That first, wondrous cigarette, smoked with my peers as we played truant from school, heralded my entry into a new social stratum. It was, undoubtedly, the most important bonding experience of my life. And providing women with the chance to use the infamous line "Have you got a light?" had led to more sexual pleasure than I would ever have previously imagined...

    and finally...

    Why Do We Smoke Cigarettes?

    The Psychology of Everyday Living
    Ernest Dichter
    None of the much flaunted appeals of cigarette advertisers, such as superior taste and mildness, induces us to become smokers or to choose one brand in preference to another. Despite the emphasis put on such qualities by advertisers, they are minor considerations. This is one of the first facts we discovered when we asked several hundred people, from all walks of life, why they liked to smoke cigarettes. Smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is a physiological satisfaction. As one of our respondents explained: "It is not the taste that counts. It's that sense of satisfaction you get from a cigarette that you can't get from anything else."

    Smoking is Fun
    What is the nature of this psychological pleasure? It can be traced to the universal desire for self-expression. None of us ever completely outgrows his childhood. We are constantly hunting for the carefree enjoyment we knew as children. As we grew older, we had to subordinate our pleasures to work and to the necessity for unceasing effort. Smoking, for many of us, then, became a substitute for our early habit of following the whims of the moment; it becomes a legitimate excuse for interrupting work and snatching a moment of pleasure. "You sometimes get tired of working intensely," said an accountant whom we interviewed, "and if you sit back for the length of a cigarette, you feel much fresher afterwards. It's a peculiar thing, but I wouldn't think of just sitting back without a cigarette. I guess a cigarette somehow gives me a good excuse."

    Smoking is a Reward
    Most of us are hungry for rewards. We want to be patted on the back. A cigarette is a reward that we can give ourselves as often as we wish. When we have done anything well, for instance, we can congratulate ourselves with a cigarette, which certifies, in effect, that we have been "good boys." We can promise ourselves: "When I have finished this piece of work, when I have written the last page of my report, I'll deserve a little fun. I'll have a cigarette."
    The first and last cigarette in the day are especially significant rewards. The first one, smoked right after breakfast, is a sort of anticipated recompense. The smoker has work to do, and he eases himself into the day's activities as pleasantly as possible. He gives himself a little consolation prize in advance, and at the same time manages to postpone the evil hour when he must begin his hard day's work. The last cigarette of the day is like "closing a door." It is something quite definite. One smoker explained: "I nearly always smoke a cigarette before going to bed. That finishes the day. I usually turn the light out after I have smoked the last cigarette, and then turn over to sleep."
    Smoking is often merely a conditioned reflex. Certain situations, such as coming out of the subway, beginning and ending work, voluntary and involunatary interruptions of work, feelings of hunger, and many others regulate the timetable of smoking. Often a smoker may not even want a cigarette particularly, but he will see someone else take one and then he feels that he must have one, too.
    While to many people smoking is fun, and a reward in itself, it more often accompanies other pleasures. At meals, a cigarette is somewhat like another course. In general, smoking introduces a holiday spirit into everyday living. It rounds out other forms of enjoyment and makes them one hundred per cent satisfactory.

    Smoking is Oral Pleasure
    As we have said, to explain the pleasure derived from smoking as taste experience alone, is not sufficient. For one thing, such an explanation leaves out the powerful erotic sensitivity of the oral zone. Oral pleasure is just as fundamental as sexuality and hunger. It functions with full strength from earliest childhood. There is a direct connection between thumbsucking and smoking. "In school I always used to chew a pencil or a pen," said a journalist, in reply to our questions. "You should have seen the collection I had. They used to be chewed to bits. Whenever I try to stop smoking for a while, I get something to chew on, either a pipe or a menthol cigarette. You just stick it in your mouth and keep on sucking. And I also chew a lot of gum when I want to cut down on smoking...."
    The satisfied expression on a smoker's face when he inhales the smoke is ample proof of his sensuous thrill. The immense power of the yearning for a cigarette, especially after an enforced abstinence, is acknowledged by habitual smokers. One of our respondents said: "When you don't get a cigarette for a long time and you are kind of on pins, the first drag goes right down to your heels."

    The Cigarette -- A Modern Hourglass
    Frequently the burning down of a cigarette functions psychologically as a time indicator. A smoker waiting for someone who is late says to himself, "Now I'll smoke one more cigarette, and then I am off." One person explained, "It is much easier to watch a cigarette get smaller and smaller than to keep watching a clock and look at the hands dragging along."
    In some countries, the farmers report distances in terms of the number of pipes, as, for example, "It's about three pipes from here to Smithtown."
    A cigarette not only measures time, but also seems to make time pass more rapidly. That is why waiting periods almost autuomatically stimulate the desire to smoke. But a deeper explanation of this function of smoking is based on the fact that smoking is ersatz activity. Impatience is a common feature of our times, but there are many situations which compel us to be patient. When we are in a hurry, and yet have to wait, a cigarette gives us something to do during that trying interval. The experience of wanting to act, but being unable to do so, is very unpleasant and may even, in extreme cases, cause attacks of nervous anxiety. Cigarettes may then have a psychotherapeutic effect. This helps to explain why soldiers, waiting for the signal to attack, sometimes value a cigarette more than food.

    "With a Cigarette I Am Not Alone"
    Frequently, our respondents remarked that smoking cigaretees is like being with a friend. Said one, "When I lean back and light my cigarette and see the glow in the dark, I am not alone any more...." In one sense, a cigarette seems to be something alive. When it is lighted it appears to be awakened, brought to life. In a French moving picture (Daybreak) the hunted criminal, played by Jean Gabin, holds out as long as he has his cigarettes. He barricades himself against the police and stands siege courageously for some time -- until his last cigarette is gone. Then he gives up.
    The companionable character of cigarettes is also reflected in the fact that they help us make friends. In many ways, smoking has the same effect drinking has. It helps to break down social barriers. Two smokers out on a date light up a cigarette as soon as they get into their car. "It's just the right start for an evening," they say. Immediately they feel at ease, for they have found an interest they both share.
    We could report many true anecdotes to illustrate how cigarettes bring people together. One such story was related by a middle-aged lady: "A long time ago, on a steamer, there was a boy I was quite eager to meet... but there was no one to introduce us.... The second day out, he was siting at a table right next to me, and I was puffing away at my cigarette. The ashes on my cigarette were getting longer and longer, and I had no ash tray. Suddenly he jumped up and brought me one. That's how the whole thing started. We are still happily married."

    "I Like to Watch the Smoke"
    In mythology and religion, smoke is full of meaning. Its floating intangibility and unreal character have made it possible for imaginative man to see therein mystery and magic. Even for us moderns, smoke has a strong fascination. To the cigarette smoker, the clouds he puffs out seem to represent a part of himself. Just as most people like to watch their own breath on cold winter days, so they like to watch cigarette smoke, which similarly makes one's breath visible. This explains the emotional attitudes of many toward smoke. "Smoke is fascinating," said one of the people we interviewed. "I like to watch the smoke. On a rainy day, I sort of lie in a haze in the middle of the room and let my thoughts wander while I smoke and wonder where the smoke goes."
    The desire to make things is deep-rooted -- and smoke is manufactured by the smoker himself. Smoking provides satisfaction because it is a playful, creative activity. This fact was well stated by one cigarette devotee as follows: "It's a fascinating thing to watch the smoke take shape. The smoke, like clouds, can form different shapes.... You like to sit back and blow rings and then blow another rings through the first ones. You are perfectly relaxed."

    "Got a Match?"
    Some of the appeals of a lighted cigarette derive from the appeals of fire in general. Fire is the symbol of life, and the idea of fire is surrounded by much superstition. In this connection, it is interesting to note that traces of superstition can be seen in the smoking habits of modern man. For instance some people never will light three cigarettes on one match. It is said that this superstition is based on experiences during World War I. As three soldiers were lighting up the third man was hit when the light of a match flared up for the last time. Our custom of lighting another smoker's cigarette for him may sometimes have an erotic significance, or it may serve as a friendly gesture. Match and cigarette are contact points.

    Smoking Memories
    Certain moments in our lives are closely linked with cigarettes. These situations often leave on people's memories an important imprint never to be forgotten. Here is such an occasion, described by an office clerk of twenty-one. "...I can remember the moments when I returned home - no matter how late - after having been out with a girl on a Saturday night. Before going to bed, I'd sit on the fire escape for a while and enjoy a smoke. I'd turn around so that I could see all the smoke going up. At the same time, the windows would be bright with lights on the other side of the courtyard. I would watch what the people were doing. I would sit, and watch, and think about what my girl and I had talked about and what a nice time we had had together. Then I'd throw the cigarette away and go to bed. I feel these were really the most contented moments in my life...."
    "I remember one time we were in North Africa on a trip and it was evening," said one of our respondents, a nurse about twenty=seven years of age. "During the day, I had noticed there was a lovely spot to sit, across the way from the hotel where we were staying. I went there at night, and sat looking at the stars and the tall cypresses illuminated against the night sky. I was far away in my thoughts. I was thinking of God and the beautiful world he had made. The smoke from my cigarette rose slowly into the sky. I was alone, and at the time I was a part of all the world around me...."

    Smoking Mannerisms
    Usually the way we smoke is characteristic of our whole personality. The mannerisms of smokers are innumerable. Some people always have cigarettes drooping from their mouths. Others let the cigarette jump up and down in their mouths while they are talking. Men sometimes complain about the way women smoke: "A lot of women blow out the smoke with a gust of wind, right into your face. They just puff it at you." Some men, when they want to appear to be aggressive, hold their cigarettes with thumb and forefinger so that the glowing end shows toward the palm of the hand.
    Often smokers will assume a pose, because they have found that it fits their personality best, or at least they think so. A not too modest glamor girl revealed to us some of her "smoking secrets": "I think it looks so much better to smoke with a holder. I studied that very carefully. Don't you think I'm somewhat of a Latin type? It all really depends on what type you are.... I always have holders that are long and dark. I think a long holder is somewhat like a big hat: it's alluring and 'don't dare come close' at the same time."
    While every smoker has to go through the motions of lighting and inhaling the smoke, the way in which these acts are carried out varies according to his mood. The nervous smoker has a faster smoking tempo than the relaxed one. The angry smoker blows the smoke in an aggressive way, almost as if he were trying to blow somebody down. A smoker who is about to ask for a raise in salary will press his lips tightly around the cigarette as if to gain courage by holding it that way.

    "Smoking Helps Me Think"
    The mind can concentrate best when all outside stimuli have been excluded. Smoking literally provides a sort of "smoke screen" that helps to shut out distractions. This explains why many people who were interviewed reported that they cannot think or write without a cigarette. They argued that moderate smoking may even stimulate mental alertness. It gives us a focal point for our attention. It also gives our hands something to do; otherwise they might make us self-conscious and interfere with mental activity. On the other hand, our respondents admit that smoking too much may reduce their efficiency.

    Cigarettes Help Us to Relax
    One shortcoming of our modern culture is the universal lack of adequate relaxation. Many of us not only do not know how to relax, but do not take time to learn. Smoking helps us to relax because, like music, it is rhythmic. Smoking gives us a legitimate excuse to linger a little longer after meals, to stop work for a few minutes, to sit at home without doing anything that requires effort. Here is a nostalgic comment contributed by a strong defender of smoking: "After a long day's work, to get home and sit in a chair and stretch my legs 'way out, and then to sit back and just smoke a cigarette and think of nothing, just blow the smoke in the air - that's what I like to do when I've had a pretty tough day." The restful effect of moderate smoking explains why people working under great stress use more tobacco.

    "I Blow My Troubles Away"
    In times of high tension, cigarettes provide relief, as indicated by the following typical comments of one of our respondents: "When I have a problem, and it comes back and back, warningly saying, 'Well, what are you going to do about this?' a cigarette almost acts like a consolation. Somehow it relieves the pressure on my chest. The feeling of relief is almost like what you feel in your chest after you have cried because something has hurt you very much. Relaxing is not the right kind of word for that feeling. It is like having been in a stuffy room for a long time and at last getting out for a deep breath of air." That man's explanation comes very close to stating the scientific reason why smoking brings relief. Worry, anxiety, depress us not only psychologically but also physiologically. When a person feels depressed, the rhythm of his breathing becomes upset. A short and shallow breath creates a heavy feeling in the chest. Smoking may relieve mental depression by forcing a rhythmic expansion of the breast and thus restoring the normal pace of breathing. The "weight on the chest" is removed.
    This connection between smoking and respiration accounts for the common expression, "Smoking helps us to let off steam." When we are enraged, we breathe heavily. Smoking makes us breath more steadily, and thus calms us down.

    Cigarette Taste Has to Be Acquired
    Most people like the smell of tobacco but dislike the taste of a cigarette. Frequently we were reminded that "a cigarette never tastes as good as it smells. One usually very much dislikes his first cigarette. Taste for cigarettes must be acquired slowly. And whenever a smoker tries out a new brand, with a lightly different taste, he finds that he has to repeat this process of becoming accustomed to the taste. Often smokers who say they do not like the taste of certain brands really mean that they are not accustomed to it. Few advertisers of cigarettes realize that it takes time for a smoker to change his taste habits. No matter how pleasant the taste qualities of a brand may seem to be, at first the unaccustomed taste will be disliked. One of our respondents made the following interesting comment on this point: "I went to Bulgaria once and was forced to smoke Bulgarian cigarettes. I tried one brand after another till I had gone through five brands. Finally, the sixth brand seemed to be perfect. I discovered much later that any of the other brands might have become my preferred brand if only I had tried it in the sixth place. It just took me that long to learn to appreciate Bulgarian tobacco."

    How Many a Day?
    Despite all the millions spent on comparing the potentially harmful effects of different brands of cigarettes, our respondents seemed very little concerned about this matter. But all of them, even those who do not smoke excessively, worry abbout the quantities they smoke. Scientific and medical studies on the physiological effects of smoking provide a confused picture: Some conclude that smoking is harmful; others deny it. This same confusion prevails among smokers themselves. Nevertheless, all of them worry about smoking too many cigarettes, as shown by the fact that nearly everyone has tried, at one time or another, to "cut down on" smoking. "I'll tell you something I do," one smoker confided. "I give up smoking cigarettes every year for one month, and I say to myself that I'll prove to myself I can still do without them." Periodic abstemiousness of this kind indicates an underlying feeling of guilt. Such individuals really think that constant smoking is not only harmful, but also a bit immoral. Efforts to reduce the amount of smoking signify a willingness to sacrifice pleasure in order to assuage their feeling of guilt.
    The mind has a powerful influence on the body, and may produce symptoms of physical illness. Guilt feelings may cause harmful physical effects not at all caused by the cigarettes used, which may be extremely mild. Such guilt feelings alone may be the real cause of the injurious consequences.

    The First Cigarette
    Much of this guilt feeling can be traed directly to one's first cigarette, which the older generation remember as a forbidden and sinful thing. Their fathers considered the habit an educational problem, whereas many parents nowadays have adopted a "modern" attitude toward smoking. Here is what one such father said: "I told my son I thought he was a little young... He is seventeen. It might not do him any harm to wait another year or two. Then I remembered my own first cigarette and what awful stuff I had to smoke in secret. In a way, my son is lucky to be able to start with a good cigarette without running the danger of ruining his health. I gave him a pack of the brand I smoke."
    Most of us remember vividly the first cigarette we smoked. "I certainly remember my first cigarette," said one of our respondents. "We were a bunch of boys on our way to a football game. I had trouble lighting my cigarette, and at that moment a man passed by and yelled at me: 'Throw that cigarette away, you rascal!' I was so shocked and frightened that I obeyed his command without hesitation. But only a few minutes later, I lighted another one just to demonstrate to myself that I was not afraid.

    "No, Thanks, I'll Smoke My Own"
    This is the reply of most smokers when they are offered a brand different from their own. Brand loyalty among smokers is strong and persistent. Individuals smoke one brand consistently, so that they become identified with it. A guest who discovers that his host smokes the same brand considers this a personal flattery. If a young lady changes to the brand of an admirer, he understands that he has surely made an impression. Here is the experience of one young man, and his interpretation of it: "I was very fond of a girl. She was giving a farewell party before leaving the country. I didn't have any idea how I stood in her affection. The only clue was that at her party she had my brand of cigarettes. I always felt that that was in deference to me." "My brand" has a special significance, as if it were a part of the smoker's credo and personality.

    A Package of Pleasure
    A new pack of cigarettes gives one a pleasant feeling. A full, firm pack in the hand signifies that one is provided for, and gives satisfaction, whereas an almost empty pack creates a feeling of want and gives a decidely unpleasant impression. The empty pack gives us a feeling of real frustration and deprivation.
    During the seventeenth century, religious leaders and statesmen in many countries condemned the use of tobacco. Smokers were excommunicated by the Church and some of them were actually condemned to death and executed. But the habit of smoking spread rapidly all over the world. The psychological pleasures derived proved much more powerful than religous, moral, and legal persuasions. As in the case of the prohibition experiment in the United States, repressive measures seem to have aroused a spirit of popular rebellion and helped to increase the use of tobacco.
    If we consider all the pleasure and advatnages provided, in a most democratic and international fashion, by this little white paper roll, we shall understand why it is difficult to destroy its power by means of warnings, threats, or preachings. This pleasure miracle has so much to offer that we can safely predict the cigarette is here to stay. Our psychological analysis is not intended as a eulogy of the habit of smoking, but rather as an objective report on why people smoke cigarettes. Perhaps this will seem more convincing if we reveal a personal secret: We ourselves do not smoke at all. We may be missing a great deal.
  • Windchaser

    Not when we first met, Lyin, but within this past year, I started smoking, heavily. I roll my own to save money and smoke at least 20 a day. I have a hacking cough, chronic congestion and my skin is yellow and becoming noticeably more wrinkled. I heard on the news this morning that there will be a nicotine lozenge available next month to help get over the cravings when you quit (like the patches). 75 will cost $39.95 and I think I may give it a try.

    I am totally addicted and LOVE to smoke. I have lost so much weight that EVERYONE I know comments on it when they see me. I do not want to gain weight ever, ever again. Maybe working two jobs will help me overcome my addiction, but it's going to be hard no matter how I do it.

    Wish I could help you, Lyin.

    Love you,
    Dottie l

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