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haribobo
07-08-2012, 04:42 AM
I'm a nonsmoker but know a lot of smokers. I tried a cigarette once a year ago and found it to be the most nauseating experience of my life, and I've tried a lot of stuff. I've noticed recently that a couple of my long-term smoking friends seem to get sick a lot (variety from stomach aches to colds to flat out amazing fatigue) and seem to suffer from a wide range of issues. Do you think these things are connected or coincidental? Also, from those with experience who have quit or tried to quit, how hard was it and how'd you do it? Is it really as hard as people make it out to be or is it really just a matter of being mildly strong-willed? I guess its different for every person, but I'm having a hard time deciding if smokers who can't seem to quit are just really good at making excuses for themselves or up against impossible odds or what. Is it possible for smokers and non-smokers to maintain a good friendship? I dated a guy last year who smoked since he was a kid and after a while, all those smoker breaks started to drive me nuts. I've just had a series of depressing experiences with smokers, and at this point in my life I don't think I could ever date another one, which is a shame because otherwise, sometimes they are my favorites. It just makes me sad to be around people who willfully throw away good health like that. :(

berthesghost
07-08-2012, 04:55 AM
Pet peeve #457 smokers who throw their butts on the ground, in my front yard,on the street etc... Hello! It's trash! Do I throw my pizza crusts and old candy wrappers in your yard, or on the sidewalk in front of your house? When I lived in Manhattan, lots of smokers int he building used to smoke out the window and then toss their butts down on the balconies and sidewalk below. The building had to keep issuing letters explaining how stupid and dangers it was, but people kept doing it. Um... After I finish a beer, can I just toss the empty bottle out the 12 th story window? And I'm not even talking about the people who toss lit cigarettes. Or toss lit cigarettes out of cars while driving down highways.

purple skates
07-08-2012, 05:46 AM
I'm a nonsmoker but know a lot of smokers. I tried a cigarette once a year ago and found it to be the most nauseating experience of my life, and I've tried a lot of stuff. I've noticed recently that a couple of my long-term smoking friends seem to get sick a lot (variety from stomach aches to colds to flat out amazing fatigue) and seem to suffer from a wide range of issues. Do you think these things are connected or coincidental? Also, from those with experience who have quit or tried to quit, how hard was it and how'd you do it? Is it really as hard as people make it out to be or is it really just a matter of being mildly strong-willed? I guess its different for every person, but I'm having a hard time deciding if smokers who can't seem to quit are just really good at making excuses for themselves or up against impossible odds or what. Is it possible for smokers and non-smokers to maintain a good friendship? I dated a guy last year who smoked since he was a kid and after a while, all those smoker breaks started to drive me nuts. I've just had a series of depressing experiences with smokers, and at this point in my life I don't think I could ever date another one, which is a shame because otherwise, sometimes they are my favorites. It just makes me sad to be around people who willfully throw away good health like that. :(

I started smoking when I was 17. I quit when I was 34 (I am now 47). My husband started smoking when he was 18. He still smokes.

The first time I tried to quit was after I got a blood clot (DVT (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001209/)). I was 26 and, of course, invincible. I got the blood clot in May, by July I was smoking a pack a day. I was damn lucky I never got another clot.

The second time I tried to quit, I was pregnant with my son. Sadly, it didn't take and I am damn lucky that my son, while a bit premature, was otherwise healthy.

I finally quit (30+ cigarettes a day) because of a combination of things, mainly that my asthma got so bad that I had trouble breathing. I don't think I would have gotten to that point if a pipe smoker hadn't been hired in the buidling where I was working at the time (a building that allowed smoking). That pipe smoke killed my lungs like a cigarette never did. Even then, it took me about eight months to get to the point where I actually did quit. I'd use the nicotine gum, then smoke a bit later. I tried the patch, but would take it off in time to be able to smoke when I got home from work. The pills made me weird.

It was the patch that finally helped me. Even then, it was horrible. Cravings like crazy, on schedule, every 45 minutes to an hour - for something like two or three weeks. I have no idea how anyone quits cold turkey - they have nerves of steel. The cravings finally went away -- until I "stepped down" (the patch system steps down the levels of nicotine as you progress through the program) and I got hit full force again with the cravings. I was shocked by the cravings, but by that point I had too much invested in it to give up.

Is quitting possible? Absolutely. Is it easy? No way. Do you have to want to quit passionately? Without a doubt.

As for your question about illness in smokers - of course it's related. How can it not be? Smoke is a poison.

As for dealing with smokers, well my husband is one. We made a pact when our son was born that we would never smoke in the house, and to this day (17 years later) he doesn't. However, we still have to accomodate him. For example, we have to stop driving on long trips for him to smoke since we dont allow it in the car. We have to hear him coughing up a lung each morning. We have to worry about his health. We have to realize that no matter how much we bitch about it, he won't stop unless he wants to. We have to buy cancer insurance against the time when he gets lung cancer, so we won't be financially wiped put when it happens (and it will). We can't get affordable life insurance on him because of his age and his smoking, so we hope he can continue to work as long as possible so that we (my son and I) won't be left in financial trouble.

My advice? Run far away from smokers. They are generally very friendly people, but do you really want to tie your future to someone who is doomed to die young if they cannot stop?

Japanfan
07-08-2012, 07:46 AM
I've noticed recently that a couple of my long-term smoking friends seem to get sick a lot (variety from stomach aches to colds to flat out amazing fatigue) and seem to suffer from a wide range of issues. Do you think these things are connected or coincidental?


Aside from health issues that can be directly attributed to smoking, it really varies. I smoked heavily for years and hardly ever got sick, and am in some ways healthier than other people my age who never smoked. I have no joint or back or heart problems, for example. Does it make any difference whether I am close to a healthy weight, have maintained an exercise program for many years, and don't have too bad of a diet?

I honestly don't know, but I think to a large extent it is genetic.




Also, from those with experience who have quit or tried to quit, how hard was it and how'd you do it? Is it really as hard as people make it out to be or is it really just a matter of being mildly strong-willed?


I think it's more the norm for it to be incredibly difficult and more than a matter of being just mildly strong-willed. Some people love the habit of it, whereas others are just addicted to the nicotine, which makes quitting easier. And when it's a coping mechanism for a mental health issue/condition, quitting is all the harder. For example, schizophrenics smoke a lot more tobacco and marijuana than the average population. The way they are wired is such that the two habits help them to cope/feel better.

Discipline is part of it, but discipline isn't an infinite quality and people have varying amounts of it. Sometimes a person's finite quantity of discipline is all used up by different things and there just isn't any left at the end of the day to lose weight, quit smoking, eat better or innumerable other things that are good for a person, but take some discipline.




I guess its different for every person, but I'm having a hard time deciding if smokers who can't seem to quit are just really good at making excuses for themselves or up against impossible odds or what.


A lot of people self-medicate with various things, not only cigarettes and drugs. Overeating, sugar, coffee, shopping, and watching TV are all examples. TV is a process rather than substance addiction - and there are lots of those - but IMO is probably the biggest addiction of the times. But it is socially endorsed, as is workaholism. I'll add that many of the anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications out there today can be addictive as well, but are socially more acceptable than smoking or using illicit drugs.

Rather than make judgments, maybe you should ask the smokers you know what their experience is? It's really easy to make judgments on other people's habits and behaviours. Smokers top the list of 'the judged' these days because they are in a minority. It's much easier to pass judgment on habits and behaviours that are not your own, or on things you yourself have mastered. For example, I could lecture my overweight, inactive female friends with varying aches and pains about the benefits of exercise. I could tell them they should start and that they'll keep at once they get going, because I did, and it was easy for me. However, this is assuming that they are just like me.


Is it possible for smokers and non-smokers to maintain a good friendship? I dated a guy last year who smoked since he was a kid and after a while, all those smoker breaks started to drive me nuts.


I guess it first depends on whether you actually like the smoker as a person or enjoy that person's company. Then, I guess it takes tolerance on both sides.



I've just had a series of depressing experiences with smokers, and at this point in my life I don't think I could ever date another one, which is a shame because otherwise, sometimes they are my favorites. It just makes me sad to be around people who willfully throw away good health like that. :(

Plenty of people these days don't want to date a smoker. There are enough non-smokers to choose from. But people can have plenty of annoying and/or unhealthy habits. I'd prefer a whole lot of 'bad' habits to someone who in sat in front of the TV 24/7.

haribobo
07-08-2012, 01:06 PM
For example, I could lecture my overweight, inactive female friends with varying aches and pains about the benefits of exercise. I could tell them they should start and that they'll keep at once they get going, because I did, and it was easy for me. However, this is assuming that they are just like me.


Oh, I know this. Never in my life has any person who is not currently exercising on a regular basis shown any interest in going with me to the gym or classes. They are waiting for a death sentence from the doctor to start. I don't lecture people about exercise just like I don't lecture people about smoking. They know all about it, but choose a life of health problems instead, and I blame their parents for allowing them to grow up thinking being inactive is normal, generally. That is not to say I think I am a better person or anything like that, and I have my own issues in life that I'm sure many smokers and overweight people don't have. I just consider myself very lucky that my parents enrolled got me started in soccer and swimming at age 5, and were also vehemently against smoking (not that kids can't sneak it anyway but I was never tempted). Cigarettes should be illegal and exercise should be mandatory for parents so they don't pass on their bad habits to their kids. But that is life and this is America. :/

sk8er1964- thanks very much for sharing your story and perspective. It was very interesting to read. Congratulations for your success!

sk8pics
07-08-2012, 01:15 PM
I have only smoked about 5 cigarettes in my life, so I can only talk about this from the perspective of my aunt, who died a few weeks ago from lung cancer. She smoked her whole life. I don't know how old she was when she started, but she was 80 when she died, so maybe 60 years. She did remarkably well over the years, but it finally caught up with her, and it was not pretty. I think for her it was more of a habit than anything. She was hospitalized a few times over the years for back surgery and hip replacement surgery and never had an issue with not smoking when she was in the hospital, but would start up again immediately when she came home. She did quit cold turkey when the lung cancer was diagnosed. My mother smoked, too, and it took 3 heart attacks before she would quit.

No doubt cigarette smoking is a powerful addiction, whether it is a nicotine addiction or something else.

snoopy
07-08-2012, 01:31 PM
When I was younger, I never had much in the way of a criteria list wrt dating - very much in the japanfan mold of not wanting to be judgemental and thinking it was all good. I would :drama: my friends who had their laundry lists of must haves in a partner - thinking it was a narrow world view. After some experience, however, I came to think having some criteria is a beneficial thing for both parties. It is not about judgement IMO but lifestyle compatibility. One of the turning points for me was dating a heavy drinker. I don't drink, not because of moral issues, but because I find it impairs my performance in a variety of ways. Especially in the days when I was into performance fitness- even just one beer would impact my results the next day. And this guy's lifestyle was such that alcohol was a big part of how he socialized. The lifestyle issues were different enough that neither of us were going to be happy over the long term. I've never dated a heavy smoker but it sounds like there may be some overlap.

Holley Calmes
07-08-2012, 02:34 PM
Several of my best friends smoke, and it doesn't bother me so much when I am around them. But random smoke drives me nuts.

I absolutely despise people preaching to me about "do this or that." Who do they think they are? Essemtially they are saying "Be more like me and you'll be a better person." My husband was in the running community for years, and they are some of the worst about this. They might think they are saying it out of concern for you, but I'm not convinced they aren't just puffing themselves up. I think it is in the way one goes about saying things. Like, if someone said, "Ya know Holley, I've been taking extra Vitamin C lately, and I think it's given me more energy. Just thought I'd pass that along." Now that I can handle! :)

I am NOT saying everyone who runs or exercises or is vegan etc etc is a holier-than-thou. Some are just enthusiastic and happy about what wonderful things they are experiencing and want to share. But preachiness does seem to happen.

Smoking and all the other addictions above might not start out but generally turn into a form of numbing. I'm really bad about overwork. It keeps me from thinking about what's wrong! And that extra wine to make me go to sleep...I know if I quit drinking that I'd probably lose that"stubborn belly fat." And yes, I know that's the "bad heart" fat. I guess I'm just not quite fat enough yet to get alarmed, but I know I should do something.

I guess if you love someone enough who smokes you'll stick with them and eventually hope something will happen to get them to quit. That's what I'm thinking about my dear girlfriend, who was a ballerina, and the weight issue/smoking thing is enormous for her generation. She's 45. I'm not going to let her smoke keep me from loving her and being there.

I will close by saying that in the past 2 months, my other girlfriend Flo (who doesn't smoke) has lost one friend to lung cancer who had stage 4-all over his body. By the time they found it, it was in his brain-he lasted 6 weeks from diagnosis. Her best girlfriend in Florida just went to the doctor 2 weeks ago from a muscle pain in her left shoulder, and she too has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. No symptoms. Both types of cancer are very influenced by smoking. We are praying that she will have a little more time, but the treatments are brutal.

Both of these people were heavy smokers and both were 67, which is way, way too young to die. Yes, some people live to be 80 and smoke, but not many! And yes, anything can get you at any time, but cessation of smoking is one of the best ways to increase your longevity. But hey-I'm not preaching. I'm not perfect and I have my own indulgences. I do understand.

Parsley Sage
07-08-2012, 02:34 PM
On the illness front, my youngest niece just turned 29. She has been treated for cervical cancer, has asthma and may have COPD. She is still smoking. She smoked through both of her pregnancies. Her daughter was 9lbs at birth and her son was 11lbs. My sister's response "Imagine how big they would be if you hadn't smoked"

Holley Calmes
07-08-2012, 02:52 PM
On the illness front, my youngest niece just turned 29. She has been treated for cervical cancer, has asthma and may have COPD. She is still smoking. She smoked through both of her pregnancies. Her daughter was 9lbs at birth and her son was 11lbs. My sister's response "Imagine how big they would be if you hadn't smoked"

I smoked through my pregnancy as well until I was 8 months, and then it wasn't something pleasureable any more. My daughter was only 6 lb. 8 oz, and she's been skinny all her life. I think she just had ectomorph DNA. But I will never forget being in the hospital right after the delivery, dying for a ciggie. My pediatrition came in and I asked, "When can I start smoking again?" and he said "any time" and pulled out his own pack and offered me one. In the hospital room. That was 1972. My how things change!

I quit smoking in 1976 and haven't touched one since, but I remember how much they gave me pleasure and relaxation.

PDilemma
07-08-2012, 03:27 PM
Oh, I know this. Never in my life has any person who is not currently exercising on a regular basis shown any interest in going with me to the gym or classes. They are waiting for a death sentence from the doctor to start.

Or maybe they are waiting for the financial means. My husband and I were recently on the receiving end of a lecture from his sister about not belonging to a gym or (consistently) being enrolled in any kind of fitness classes. The fact is that we would like to join the local YMCA very much. I would like to regularly take adult ballet and pilates which I have done occasionally in the last two years. But the Y membership does not fit in our budget no matter how we figure it. It just doesn't. And ballet and pilates only fits when I find a groupon or Living Social deal--got six classes for $30 this summer but they are done now. I'm waiting for the next deal. Regular price at one studio is $14 per class. I can buy a lot of groceries for one month of that. And I buy the groceries out of my income. My income is exactly $0 in July and August.

As for smoking, it is the one thing I will say something to people about. My grandfather smoked three packs a day at one point. He died at 71. His last ten years of life were occupied by surgeries, hospitals and oxygen. My brother finally quit just before Thanksgiving after smoking for over 20 years. He went to the doctor about another concern and she ordered a lung x-ray as a precaution because he was a smoker. It hit him like a ton of bricks and he quit cold turkey. He says it is absolutely the hardest thing he has ever done in his life. But he literally threw out the cigarettes and never smoked another. It can be done. One thing he did--which my mom was more than happy to do for him--was that at times when he really wanted to smoke, he often called her and talked about anything other than that to get past it. He did other things like that as well. He smoked at certain times of the day, so occupying himself with something else helped.

Reuven
07-08-2012, 03:43 PM
Former smoker here. Started when I was about 12, quit when I was 32. I smoked cigarets, cigars and pipe, and inhaled them all.
In 1976, I had just met my wife-to-be and at the same time her father, who just retired, was Dx'ed with lung cancer from smoking. He died 4 days after we were married. From all accounts, he was a mensch, but I never got to know him. I quit soon thereafter. Just stopped. I changed some of my routines that were associated with smoking so as to lessen the need for a fix. My body reacted by all kinds of gastric distress which at the time I couldn't figure out what was going on, it was only later on I realised it was nicotine withdrawal.
I resolved NOT to be a pushy former smoker, because I know how hard it is. Nicotine is more addictive than cocaine, so I cut people slack. A smoker will quit when they want to, and not before. Nagging won't do it. Encouragement and support does help.

michiruwater
07-08-2012, 04:24 PM
My stupid sister started smoking when she was 15. She's 21 now. It blows my mind that in this age, when we have so much concrete information that smoking will kill you, when she's a smart girl, that she still decided to smoke and eventually became addicted to it. Our grandmother died three days after Christmas in 2010 of severe lung cancer that ate her whole body up. She'd smoked her whole life. She was 67. She was the only grandparent I ever had.

TheGirlCanSkate
07-08-2012, 05:31 PM
My grandmother smoked from high school until her late 40's and quit and has not smoked again. She said for the past 42 years every single day she wants - a huge desire - a cigarette. I think it's more than will power.

She was healthy as a smoker and she is healthy as a non smoker. At 82 she is very active.

BigB08822
07-08-2012, 05:55 PM
Every day I pray that they will pass a law in Louisiana to not allow smoking in public places. They no longer allow it in restaurants but casinos and bars still allow smoking. We go to the casino and about die sometimes with someone sitting next to us blowing smoke in our face. It is so incredibly rude. If you want to kill yourself with that crap, fine, go do it at home. I should not be forced to breath your poison. We often decide not to go to the casino because of the smoke so they do lose business from us and others we know because of allowing smoking (although probably not as much business as they would lose if they banned smoking). We almost never go to bars because of smoking as the smoke in a bar is much worse than in a casino which is much more open. If they banned smoking there would be a lot of pissed off smokers who think they have a right to force to me to stay at home in order to continue to live but they would get over it rather quickly and go about their lives, saving their cigarettes for when they get to their cars or when they get home.