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Quote unquote: on giving up smoking

“I’ll tell you why people find it “hard” to give up smoking: they don’t really want to do it, is why. Using force against yourself is a bad idea. It sets you up for magnificent failure later on, as anyone with bulimia will tell you. What I say to people who don’t 100% completely absolutely and totally actively want to give up smoking, actually enjoy the idea of living without smoke, anticipate with joy the thought of nurturing their health and becoming energised breathing human beings, is: don’t bother. Carry on smoking, because if you don’t want to give up, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. Anyway, the rest of us aren’t interested in your self-sacrificial whining. It’s your life you’re saving, not ours, don’t expect us to be grateful!”
Alice who is back from her camping expedition

[Editor’s note: apropos the second link, as usual the blogger.com/blogspot archives are not working correctly]

12 comments to Quote unquote: on giving up smoking

  • T. Hartin

    Sounds like Alice spent her camping expedition cooped up in a tent with a “former” smoker.

  • A_t

    🙂 excellent point though.

  • Yeah, I’m a lot happier since I gave up trying to give up smoking.

    The sinful sad fact is that I like it too much.

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  • Nordic

    Yes, keep smoking and the rest of Britain will buy you a new lung.

  • Ian

    Nordic, is this a dig at smokers getting free treatment from the NHS?

    Smokers pay in tobacco taxes several times over the cost of all pulmonary disease treatment by the NHS, however caused.

    Sometimes I wonder whether if we all stopped smoking tomorrow the government would be absolutely f*****.

  • M. Simon

    Try this link to the genetics of addiction including tobacco.

    There are a few other articles of interest there.

    It is not just will power.

  • David Mercer

    Wow, thanks Simon, didn’t realized we’d unlocked so much of the genetic basis of some addictions.

    It should also be noted that when nicotine enters the blood stream, it becomes nicotinic acid, a neurotransmitter. What happens when there’s excess nicotinic acid (say, from tobacco use?)

    The body stops making it, and takes quite a while to ramp production back up. So, every time one feels the need to smoke, it’s because you’ve dropped below comfortable levels of a fundamental neurotransmitter. Indeed, you’re used to having far more of it than normal, hence it’s stimulant properties.

    And when it’s withdrawn, you are NOT your normal self, not even your former non-smoking self.

    Self inflicted? Yes, but I wouldn’t have started had I known the level that it would rule my life. And I’ve got plenty of will power otherwise: I’ve done sitting meditation for hours straight without moving, and hiked 10 miles in the snow after not eating in 3 days or sleeping in 2, for a few extreme examples.

    So I suggest Alice reads the piece linked to above by Simon, and maybe she’ll realize that just because it’s not a problem to quit for HER, that’s not the story for all of us.

    And I found her suggestion that one tactic for dealing with one’s you care about who can’t quit is to “stop caring about them at all” to be very cruel.

    My, how compassionate.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    I continue smoking simply because the health Nazis hate it.

  • David Mercer,

    Stopping smoking isn’t as easy as falling off a log, but it’s a whole lot easier than watching your loved ones die of cancer. I think I’d feel more sorry for them, really.

  • I just quit in February. It’s my second go-around at quitting, and as long as I don’t get a divorce or something, I’ll be ok.

    I can attest that in my case, both times I’ve quit I was ready–I wanted to. Every time I failed it was because I didn’t want to be without my sweet, sweet tobacco. Smoking is just an enjoyable habit, period. When it stopped being enjoyable at all, I quit.

    It’s an astonishingly simple thing.