Ahmed Ben Yaghlen

Student, JCI Tunisia

This conversation is closed.

Let's quit smoking

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.


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    May 31 2013: Hi, I'm a non-smoker but I am willing to share with you my view about smokers and smoking.Smokers usually smoke in public.They give out what is called as secondary smoke.This secondary smoke is worse than the primary one.The secondary smoke affects non-smokers around the smoker.In my case, whenever I meet a smoking smoker, I would usually get my asthma attacks immediately (and that was before I could fled that place!).Therefore, my conclusion would be, smoking kills everyone whether directly or indirectly. In fact, in my opinion, lighting a cigarette would be like lighting your own money!
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    • Jun 3 2013: *taking a big deep breath*

      Bring it!!
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        Jun 4 2013: Hey Liz,

        Gonna jump in here:

        I see Mary M suggested using music.

        Have you ever written any songs about your addiction?
        • Jun 4 2013: Not this particular addiction, Casey... there is more going on with it than a 'simple addiction', and I admit I am more than a little scared to explore it.
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        Jun 4 2013: AND

        Which would devastate you more:

        not being able to smoke,

        or not being able to sing?
        • Jun 4 2013: This is yet another one of my inner conflicts. And another way I can wrongly justify it!
          I have been singing as long as I have been smoking, and my technique and vocal range has only increased over the years... now how can I explain that?!
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        Jun 4 2013: "and I admit I am more than a little scared to explore it."

        Well, just like this TED conversation, exploring your "smoking issue" (because its more complicated than just an addiction) might be able to give you a better understanding of why you smoke. From what I can tell from the conversation between you and Colleen (she really is great! ;-) it seems like your "smoking issue" is just as much about you as it is about smoking.
        • Jun 4 2013: That it is, Casey.
          Wow, I am filled with appreciation right now at this overwhelming support.
          And nervous... what if I fail... again?
          But you know, I joined this conversation without hesitation, so that must mean something!
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          Jun 4 2013: Thanks Casey.....good point that an addiction is as much about us, as it is about the thing we are addicted to....maybe even MORE about us? Maybe even ALL about us? We are the one making the choices for some reason....yes?

          What if you fail Lizanne? What do you lose by trying? You will be right back in the same situation you are in now.....right? There is nothing to lose.....is there?
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        Jun 4 2013: "And nervous..." sounds like them cigarettes talking!
        I think you're excited because you're on the right path to putting those little evil doers away for good!

        "what if I fail... again?" Instead, think about what if you SUCCEED? It's tough, but you got to try your best to stay positive. AND, the fact that you're here shows that you haven't given up!
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          Jun 4 2013: Another good point Casey....focusing on failure, gives "failure" energy to exist. The only thing to fear, is fear itself. So if we are afraid of something, we probably will manifest that outcome.

          What happens when we focus on success?
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        • Jun 6 2013: Kate, this brings me to the 'Why are we afraid to make mistakes' conversation - starting to smoke was a mistake, but that's not what I fear. Trying to quit, but making the mistake of not being able to maintain it, that's my fear.
          With anything else, I am ready to take that leap and fall flat on my face. But quitting this habit, and falling on my face, implies lack of integrity, lack of belief in myself, weakness.
          "Nothing good can happen without persistent effort" is a FACT, yes. And once I am ready to embark on making that effort, I know how hard it'll be (because I've been there before).

          One teeny baby step is: I've made a vow to no longer smoke in the car. It's a start!
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  • Jun 2 2013: Whenever I am in the second hand smoking position,I feel extremely uncomfortable.For smokers,if they smoke alone,I respect them.But if they don't consider others' health to smoke among others,at least I think the person lacks of considerate consciousness to others.
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      Jun 2 2013: I feel the same way about cigarette smoke.
      I also get massive migraines when I am around it.
      I had a friend who died from second hand smoke.
      Her husband smoked....she, a non-smoker, died of lung cancer....he is still alive. :(
    • Jun 3 2013: Ed, I agree - I am even bothered by secondhand smoke, which makes NO sense at all!
      I am extremely aware of those around me, though, and ensure no one is affected by my filthy habit. There are still so many, though, who are still disrespectful.
      • Jun 3 2013: Hi Dear Lizanne Hennessey.Indeed,most of time I saw those guys light up a cigarette in the street and walk around,which really made no sense at all.
        Lol,you do know it is your filthy habit,but why it is so hard for u to give up?it makes me doubt if anyone who is a chain smoker who can give up?If there are,I really show my deep respect for them:they are really awesome:)Because I do see a few smokers they do want to give up,but never been successful...
        I really hope u can:) Dear Lizanne Hennessey.Best wishes to you :)
        • Jun 3 2013: Hi Ed!
          Thankfully, I am not a chain smoker!! That would be a nightmare.
          It is such a complex issue, but this conversation is the beginning of a change for me, I can feel it... :)
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      Jun 1 2013: Intersting LaMar....good thoughts!!!
      I have not done any research regarding your questions/concerns ....until just now.

      One site says that "worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year. In the US, of the one in 5 deaths annually from smoking, 49,000 of these deaths are the result of secondhand smoke!"


      I respectfully suggest that we take one step at a time. To quit smoking takes more awareness. An individual generally wants to do something better for him/herself. When we become more aware of our "self" and our relationship to the whole, we tend to look at the bigger picture, as you are doing. Looking at the bigger picture sometimes feels overwhelming, so folks say....what the hell....I might as well keep doing what I'm doing because it doesn't make any difference. That being said, I strongly encourage one step at a time:>)
    • Jun 1 2013: Your argumentation suffers a fundamental flaw. Considering everything we know, i.e., scientific results and historical experience, it is just not effective to ban a certain drug. Maybe you could repair your argument by just assuming tabacco would magically vanish. However, a ban would have no dramatic effect on consumption rates (not by any realistic means of law enforcement).

      Just think of alcohol prohibition, or the laws regulating other drugs. They do not achieve the desired goals, but are contraproductive to the problems they are supposed to fight.
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        • Jun 1 2013: Maybe, it was just a misinterpretation what you have meant with the word "ban".

          I have read it as "If tobacco was made illegal, X happens". Therefore, my suggestion was that this should be rephrased "If tobacco would vanish, X happens".

          I am aware, that this was not the main point of your argument, but that it just is a thought experiment.

          If I just misunderstood, what banning tobacco means we do not have to talk about this further. If I understood it correctly, it should be changed so that your thought experiment is internally consistent.
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        • Jun 1 2013: I am probably just allergic when I face the assumption that banning something makes the problem vanish, as it causes so much suffering in this world.

          I cannot prove that a ban will always fail as it is not true in principal. But there is hardly any reason to believe that it is practical in any realistic setting. Principally, we could enforce a ban with the required effort. However, it just isnt realistic.

          Also I am particularly thinking of bans of drugs, other domains might allow easier law enforcement.

          I do not have anything against the thought experiment about what would happen if tobacco was gone.
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    May 31 2013: I quit January 6th 2013, was a joint effort of which I am the only one sticking with it.

    I do have something to add, I had more issues from smoking when I smoked commercially available cigarettes, now when I bought purely naturally grown tobacco and rolled my own, I experienced less issues from smoking as well the ability to quit was as easy as stopping chocolate or talking by yelling, heh.

    I feel chemicals are added to cigarettes to increase if not completely the urge and need to smoke in the brain of the user.
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    Jun 5 2013: Green tea and guitar playing helped me. Occupied my hands.I quit during the winter season, so the tea replaced that warm feeling.
    Also keeping a pack around while you are quitting is a good way to know that you are in control. You have to WANT to quit, like time traveler said. and not HAVE to quit.
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    Jun 3 2013: I have successfully quit. The plain simple truth is, YOU HAVE TO WANT TO STOP.
    A QUIT phamplet helped. It time lined things so that I knew what the benefits were after 2 hours, after 4 hours, after 24 hours, 1 week ,2 weeks, 6 months etc.
    I envisaged myself as being the person I was before I started smoking and just breathed air. They say it takes 3 weeks to break a habit and seriously you have to be determined and committed.
    For me I just battled my mind against my body. I was literally craving a cigarette but just thought, yeah body feel it, you aren't going to break me. I was resolute, I'd sip water and just breathe and relish in every cough filled phlegm that I knew was removing the tar from my lungs. I was slowly getting better.
    Sometimes you may need a catalyst to help initiate the plunge to start and use that as a starting point to quit. The minute you stop smoking, you become a non smoker!As the hours pass cigarette free and you busy yourself doing other things, time will pass and the desire lessons.
    Eventually you become turned off cigarettes and don't even feel like them, ever again. Stay focused on the goal and resolute in your determination but above all be 100% ready to do it and STOP, that's it finished, I've done that enough in my life, hand up to my mouth and down. I was so determined and went straight cold turkey, finished, quit, non smoker from the start, Winning! :D
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    May 31 2013: This book made it possible for me to quit:

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      May 31 2013: Nice Mr.Gilbert and I advise you to seek to share this book with your friends, your family and the people of your destination who smoke to help them to quit smoking.
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      May 31 2013: Glad you quit Pat! We want to keep you around for awhile:>)
  • Jun 1 2013: Ahmed,
    when I read the title of this debate, my inner addict screamed, 'Noooooo!'

    I have tried to quit numerous times, and can't seem to knock this disgusting, expensive habit!
    When I was pregnant, I quit cold turkey both times. No problem. But now, without the right motivation or desire, it's literally killing me.

    I like to think that I a rational, intelligent person, and yet, I can somehow switch that off and have a cigarette without any problem whatsoever. I am so tired of lying to myself...!

    I know I am in a trusted environment, where I will not be 'scolded' by any of you for admitting that I smoke. But I am participating in this conversation, in the hopes that the solution for kicking this habit lies therein.

    Pat, I have heard of Allen's book - may I ask, why it worked with you? I have become wary of spending (more) money on stuff to help me quit, as nothing has helped me yet.
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      Jun 1 2013: Dear Lizanne,
      The motivation and desire to quit when you were pregnant was to have more healthy babies? That's why I quit when I was pregnant too.

      Then after I had the babies, I started thinking about the "model" I was providing for them. I thought about second hand smoke, and how it was probably affecting them..... I thought about the fact that I wanted to live to see them become adults, and participate with them in the life adventure...I thought about the fact that I LOVE to sing, and smoking probably was not good for the throat and lungs....

      Ask yourself the questions which may lead you to the final question.....how long do I want to live, and do I want to be truly healthy?

      Did you look at the image Mary provided the link for on this thread? Did you look at the list of additives I provided the link for? If/when you are genuinely ready to quit, you may investigate ALL the information.

      Sending you loving energy:>)
      • Jun 2 2013: Thank you so much Colleen!
        You know, my problem is that I can still justify it. Everything you say is also in my mind, I still have visuals of the grey-ish black smoker's lung that our biology teacher showed us in 7th grade... Not to mention, like you say, the example I give to my children... How can I separate these rational thoughts, and still justify it?? I need that mind switch to happen... and it needs to come from me...
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          Jun 2 2013: Hi Lizanne:>)
          I find that as long as a pattern serves me in some way, I can justify it, and I think/feel that is called being human!

          When I am trying to change a pattern, I change the mind chatter. When a "justifying" thought is a focus, we are successful at justifying, because the behavior somehow serves us in some way. Figure out how it serves us. As soon as the justifying thoughts pop in, change it to the pattern of thoughts you wish to nurture.....make any sense?

          I ask the questions....how does this serve me? Why do I want to continue this pattern?
          You are absolutely right....it is a mind switch which needs to come from you:>)
          How about keeping that visual of the grey/black smoker's lung in your mind and focus on it?
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          Jun 2 2013: Just a quick reply to the following:
          "Colleen, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "You don't need a reason other than it's ok to take time for yourself?"
          I have a lot of difficulty allowing myself time for myself just for myself...

          Fritzie - I actually do have a beautiful coffee cup and I take it with me outside... But I think you're on to something. It's clear, I need to replace this habit with one that is less self-destructive."

          While I understand quite a bit about self-destructiveness, vile habits, being private and so on.... all this still makes me want to go out and smoke. Funny thing being that I'm typing all this while taking some time alone and listening to The Doors - "The End" - "...and all the children are insane...waiting for the summer rain..."

          Anyway, good topic, Ahmed!
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          Jun 2 2013: It is common Anna, to not think about taking time for ourselves, and I felt the same way when I was younger. At some point, I realized that if I did not take time for myself, and nurture myself, I had nothing to give to anyone. I also realized that smoking was not very nurturing for my "self".
      • Jun 2 2013: That's exactly it, Colleen.
        Right now, going outside for a smoke is the time I can be alone (in a house with two little kids, even the bathroom is no longer private!), and think and be with myself. I come up with some of my best ideas out there. I sing, I look at the beauty around me.
        Every time I have quit, for some reason, I never did this. I found myself with tons of extra time (it's incredible how much time is wasted by smoking!!!) which got filled with the needs of others.
        In a bizarre, selfish way, smoking is how I can 'justify' time for myself...
        How wrong is that?!
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          Jun 2 2013: So Lizanne,
          You equate smoking with having time to yourself, thinking, being alone, being creative, singing, observing the beauty around you....

          It's not a matter of being right or wrong....it's a matter of how it serves you.

          Why are you unwilling to give yourself that time to be alone, creative, singing, observing beauty all around you without a cigarette?

          Perhaps it is a habit that connects these elements for you?

          How about realizing that you CAN take that time just for yourself? You don't need a reason other than it's ok to take time for yourself?
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          Jun 2 2013: Can you replace this habit with another? For example, do you drink tea or coffee? Could you buy yourself a beautiful cup, like a old china cup, and take your coffee or tea outside in your special cup?
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          Jun 5 2013: Lizanne, I understand that completely. I've spoken to a lot of people (myself included...) with a lot of either family or work responsibility, or both, who need to take a thinking-break, a sort of out-of-others'-lives-into-my-own-world-and-peace-of-mind for some minutes. People who are not physically addicted may just go for a walk, hide themselves in the bathroom, go to a local shop while not relly wanting to buy or needing anything, just for a thinking-break. Sometimes I take a shower not because I need one (I hope ;-)), but because it's my meditation, just as music, sports, walking, jogging etc. may be for some people - a way to maintain balance and emotional equilibrium. A smoking-break may be in that category.

          To Mary M. - I like the song, but my intuition tells me that programming children with it may lead to prejudice and improper approach or behaviour towards completely harmless people who like to smoke once in a while ("he smokes, he must be a bad man, let's avoid him and tell others that he smokes... Let's nag him about that because that's what the song implicitly implied.")

          What would happen if Bilbo and Frodo of Hobbiton heard this song? They would not be positive towards Gandalf and his pipe and... who would then say "You shall not pass!" to the ancient demon in the mines to save them? I know it's a story, I'm just trying to show some perspective, fiction can help with that, since it's childrens' literature we're speaking about.
      • Jun 2 2013: Colleen, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "You don't need a reason other than it's ok to take time for yourself?"
        I have a lot of difficulty allowing myself time for myself just for myself...

        Fritzie - I actually do have a beautiful coffee cup and I take it with me outside... But I think you're on to something. It's clear, I need to replace this habit with one that is less self-destructive.
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          Jun 2 2013: Why do you have difficulty allowing yourself time just for yourself? You cannot take care of anyone else unless you first take care of, and nurture yourself.....true? Does the smoking feel like nurturing?
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          Jun 2 2013: Have you tried using Music?

          About 13 years ago the American Heart Association had an educational kit for elementary schools called Heart Power!

          It included a video of songs about eating healthy stuff....moving around enough.....and living tobacco free.
          I tried to see if someone had downloaded a copy of the video on youtube.
          But no luck.

          Nevertheless, here are the words to the song on smoking.

          You should picture a young child dressed up as a man with a hat and a suit and a long black beard. Boxes of cigarettes are fastened to the suit, and he is talking (singing) to kids around him, trying to convince them to start smoking. The kids reply what they think.
          Finally, the kids gang up on him, and make him disappear (positive peer pressure).

          Tobacco Man

          Hey kids, you wanna smoke?
          Get your teeth all yellow and start to choke?
          Get your heart beat faster,
          Oh it'll be grand
          Come out and play with tobacco man.
          Huff-a, puff-a huff puff huff puff man.

          Chorus (kids)
          No, no, no! We're too smart,
          We know tobacco is trouble for your heart
          and there's no way we're ever gonna start.

          Hey kids you wanna puff?
          Get your hair and clothes all stinky from the stuff?
          Get your heartbeat faster, OH it'll be Grand!!
          Come out and play with Tobacoo Man.
          Huff-a, Puff-a Huff Puff, Huff Puff Man.

          Repeat Chorus

          Well now there, don't be a fool,
          Ev'rybody's doin it, it's so cool,
          So get on the bus, get on the van,
          Come out and play with tobacco man.
          Huff-a Puff-a, huff puff, huff puff man.

          No, no, no, no, no way!
          Polluting our bodies is not ok.
          And what we say is very clear,....

          (The video next shows tobacco man going up in smoke, disappearing, and the kids jumping for joy)

          Lizanne, you've received alot of loving kindness from those of us who care about you.
          When you are ready just give cigarettes a kick in the butt!!


          Sending smoke free love your way,
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      Jun 2 2013: well, do you have health insurance? I imagine your plan has some program to help people stop smoking that you could enter, and perhaps it would not cost you anything as it is part of your coverage. If you do it, let us know what it entails, and whether it helps.

      It seems to me that if someone knew they should stop and still kept doing it, they might need some psychological help from a psychologist. I hope my saying that doesn't make this community seem less "soft," I don't think there's anything embarrassing about seeing a psychologist, billionaires and movie stars do it, I myself have had about ten years of psychotherapy total here and there, that's 500 one-hour sessions.
      • Jun 2 2013: Greg,
        at one point, I did see my doctor about quitting. She offered me anti-depressants, which I was glad to be OFF of at that point! I asked her about some kind of therapy or program, but there was none. I was very ready to quit, so she looked at me, and in that typical Dutch Calvanist attitude, said, "You're strong enough to quit - just do it".
        That worked, for a few months...!
        Nope, if I am going to do this, I am going to do it on my own will power.
        Only challenge now, is to FIND that will power.

        Come on, fellow TEDians! Hit me with your best shots!!!!
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          Jun 2 2013: I'll think about it, L. How big a problem is it for you, if it's only a few a day maybe you're knocking yourself out for nothing. I often feel a little turned-off by the idea of willpower, because it seems to me it divides you, there's the part of you that is "weak," and then there's the part that's supposedly strong, that dominates and controls the weak part. This seems disunified to me. But I might be overintellectualizing here.

          Do you go outside to smoke, or smoke around your kids? If you refrained when pregnant, I would think you'd refrain around your kids, for the same reasons. If you forced yourself to go outside every time you smoked one, that might cause you to smoke less, as it might be cold or lonely outside.

          What does smoking do for you? Do you just like the taste? Maybe more gourmet food could meet that need. Need something to do with your hands? Take up knitting. Calm anxiety? Maybe try more exercise, exercising calms anxiety, you've never said, do you exercise?

          My uncle was able to stop with the help of a hypnotist.

          I still like the idea of talking therapy. I agree with you antidepressants are a drag, but talking therapy is pleasant and beneficial. From what I see you're a really positive person, but maybe you have something inside that is causing the smoking. Is it always the same circumstances under which you light one up?
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          Jun 2 2013: Ok Lizanne....this is my "best shot".

          How about reminding yourself that you are worth being healthy?
      • Jun 3 2013: Greg, have you never had an inner conflict? Wow. I doubt I'm the only one who can see both sides of a situation, albeit it within myself, and have difficulty in harmonizing the two... Maybe you've never had an addiction? Knowing darn well that it is not good for me, but continuing anyway, is my inner conflict and yes, it ALL comes down to will power.
        The power is there, the will is not...

        Colleen, *wham* that was a good shot indeed. This has definitely got me thinking. Self-worth plays a big role in this for me, I am discovering.
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          Jun 3 2013: Yes, I have had an inner conflict. No, I've never had an addiction.

          You're welcome to see it any way you want, L. If it works for you to see it as one part of you being weak and desiring cigs, and another part potentially being smart and ruling over, bossing, the part that wants the cigs, and that turns out to help you, it's great. My thought would be to look at that part of you that wants the cigs and change it, somehow make yourself not want the cigs, rather than just trying to dominate and overrule the "weak" part. But maybe this is unrealistic, it might sound good on paper but not really work in real life.

          For me, part of how I can avoid smoking is I'm kind of tight with a buck, in other words cigarettes are rather expensive, and really all they provide you is smoke, it's an awfully low return for a big expenditure. Possibly this attitude would help you? When I lived in Los Angeles, I had quite a good friend who was a rather heavy user of crack cocaine. A great guy, but definitely had this one bad trait. He sort of recognized that it was wasteful, he said with chagrin when he used crack he could sit there and watch all his money go up in smoke.

          My uncle really did cure his smoking with the help of a hypnotist. However, the hypnotist could not help him cure his alcoholism, which killed him young at age 55.

          You're a great person, L. I'm sure you will beat it. Still wonder what it does for you?
      • Jun 4 2013: Greg, that's the stupidist thing about it - it does nothing for me.
        The addiction is greater than any pleasure I have in it. Relieving that addiction takes place in the moment I light up - the rest of the time is spent just smoking the thing.
        This is good - bringing the addiction back to its purest form, so to speak, and seeing plainly the absurdity of it...
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          Jun 4 2013: Thanks, L, as I said I love how you get back to people. I'm trying to understand your comment here, is it possible you just get pleasure out of striking a match? Do you have a fireplace, perhaps you'd get pleasure out of building a fire in it every night, or many nights, my family had a friend who almost every night would build a fire in his living room fireplace, I thought it a charming custom. You could strike a match there, perhaps it would replace the cigs.

          Or maybe you're saying you just like the ritual of it? I know some people love ritual, love repeated observances, love going to church and doing things in the same order, first singing, then sermon, then communion. For me this has never worked, I tend to prefer that every day be different, that I get variety. TED's kind of nice for that.

          Throwing out ideas, you could reward yourself, like every month without cigs you take yourself for a massage. Or punish yourself, every time you smoke one, go run a lap around your house.

          You know, I'm sure experts have written books on how to stop smoking. Maybe there's a classic work in this field that has helped many? That seems kind of up your alley, to read a book on the subject.

          It seems worth saying that cigs are pleasant, once in a while I'll find an unsmoked one on the street and take it home and smoke it. I read the autobio of actress Mary Tyler Moore. For many years she had a two-pack-a-day habit, and she could honestly say she enjoyed every single cigarette.
      • Jun 5 2013: It really is the most stupid thing, Greg. It's unfortunately not about just lighting a match (we have regular campfires around here, and funnily enough, lighting the fire is not my cup of tea at all...), it's about the first drag. It's about satisfying that part of my brain that craves those nasty chemicals.

        Like you say, it's about the ritual. I'm just like you, though, I really don't like too much structure in my day either, but it's the one thing I do adhere to, religiously (no pun intended)!

        Pat mentioned Allen Carr's book, which I have also heard of. I think I'll make another apointment with my doctor to see what she recommends, forms of therapy or literature, perhaps...
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          Jun 5 2013: Yeah, thanks, L. Yeah, I sort of get your position, I don't know if I could explain it intellectually, but I sort of understand it in my gut. It's like you were missing the taste, and that first taste satisfies that, and when you get that first taste it reminds you that gee, now you have a whole cigarette to smoke, 20 or 30 drags. I'm thinking it's not just that first drag, technically if it was just the first drag you could stub it out after that first drag, then relight it next time and get that first drag, stub it out, relight later, stub again. It wouldn't mean you wouldn't smoke at all, but it would be hugely diminished. Yeah, addictions are funny, and in fact life is funny, the things that come easily to one person come hard to another, and vice versa, I probably have problems that you could solve in five seconds, but for me they're hard.

          I'll keep thinking on it. I'm trying to remember what positive effects nicotine is reputed to have, is it supposed to calm you, or what? Or does it have any?
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      Jun 2 2013: Hi Lizanne. I like your comment and I want to help you to quit smoking because we want to keep you arround us. I share the same ideas with Colleen but she was the first to give it to you. In my opinion, this the best solution ( loving this life and first think about your family especialy your children ) and I will add to you a french proverb I wish it helps you " If we want, we can ".
      • Jun 3 2013: Ahmed, what a touching thing to say, thank you!
        This thing goes so deep... My grandfather died of lung cancer, literally months after he had open heart surgery. He went through hell, as did his loved ones, to get better, but ended up destroying himself by smoking. I saw my father cry for the first time, when he lost his father. I saw my grandmother live for 2 decades, alone.
        Even THIS cannot motivate me to stop.
        How strong is this stupid addiction, that even a story so close to home, can't convince me to quit??
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          Jun 3 2013: Lizanne,
          Did you check out the additives in the links Mary and I provided on this thread? It might help you answer your question?
      • Jun 4 2013: I did, Colleen... unfortunately, it made little or no impact on me. I keep hoping some image or event or something will cause that mind switch to happen... But that mind switch is embedded deeper than I thought...
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          Jun 4 2013: Lizanne,
          You are waiting for some external force to "cause that mind switch to happen"? You are giving up your choice to some external force? You are giving the habit/addiction power over your ability to make choices for yourself? Why?

          It may be "embedded".....who embedded it?
      • Jun 5 2013: That's it, Colleen. Like most, I hope there's some 'miracle pill' that will magically take it all away.
        I embedded it all myself, and denying my strength to un-embed it is just a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        But you know what, it feels extremely good to dissect this thing. I think it's the beginning of finding that strength...
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          Jun 5 2013: Lizanne,
          The closest I can think to your idea..."miracle pill that will magically take it all away", is maybe the "patch" method?

          Talking through something usually helps us find our truth:>) I have read MANY of your comments, you seem like a very strong person, and you are doing so many things to benefit yourself and our environment, I just don't understand why you are seeking a "miracle" for this issue in your life. It feels like this is the beginning of something different for you, and I'm sending loving energy your way:>)
      • Jun 6 2013: I know, Colleen! I am so aware of this contradictory behavior too! And I have no explanation for it, except nonsense justification and lame excuses to defend the addiction.

        Every time I read a comment here, most of brain is going, "Hmm, they have a point!" but that other addicted part of my brain is going "Nooooooo! It's all lies! Go have a cigarette right NOW!"
        Both parts are mine, though.

        I also feel it's a beginning.
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      Jun 2 2013: I read you, Lizanne. I get a lot of peer pressure when it comes to this topic and when I saw this conversation I thought the following:

      Let's quit smoking?
      Could we please stop talking about quitting smoking?
      It makes me tense and wanting to smoke more!

      Nobody's perfect.

      Best wishes.
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        Jun 2 2013: Anna,
        It is interesting that you thought..."Could we please stop talking about quitting smoking?"
        You joined the conversation:>)
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          Jun 2 2013: Yes, I see the contradiction. And forgot to add a :>) in the comment above :)
          I felt provoked and compelled to join, you know ;-).
          Best wishes, Colleen.
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        Jun 2 2013: Glad you are here Anna....whatever your reason:>)
      • Jun 3 2013: I'm gad you're here too, Anna. Sometimes, even seeing someone smoking in a movie can motivate me to want one. Although, there are times when I can go for hours on end without one. Depending on the situation... which is worth examining. Like, in an airplane, or in America, for that matter, when I visit my parents, smoking is so taboo, I tend to smoke less. Here, it is still socially accepted, despite the fact that it has just recently been abolished in public places and indoors, it is a reason to go outside and meet with people. I have had some of the best conversations with strangers in my life, while having a cigarette! I know though, that the cigarette is 'but' an accessory... the conversation would've happened anyway. But the reason I went outside, was the cigarette.
        Ugh, how complicated can I make this??
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          Jun 3 2013: Hi Colleen and Lizanne,

          Thanks for your support, I come in peace :>) Thank you for inspirational words and comments with debth, I sometimes get a smirk and a 'yeah, right, what do YOU know about ANYTHING", it's tough to have to prove that I actually do know some things and they are based on documented experience (documented i.e. not only in my head as some people sometimes suggest, to my utter bewilderment). What I'm probably missing is a beard and a belly, that would make me look philosophical and trustworthy. I do have glasses though, they sometimes help :) Sorry for the digression, completely unnecessary.

          But when it comes to knowing things - I do know a bit about smoking, unfortunately. I was brought up in clouds of tobacco smoke, that was always natural to me. I did criticise my family quite often and...took up smoking at the age of 19 when pressure took a hold on me... I did have breaks but smoking environment at schools and work made it difficult to continue the quitting plan. I'll probably get a new one as soon as I feel compelled to.

          I agree with Lizanne though - the vile, smoking habit does enhance, speed-up and sometimes enables socialising. Not only in bars, also at work. "Would you like some coffee/would you like a cig-break etc." is sometimes the best way for a shy person to say "Let's socialise." Socialising with a nicotine patch doesn't give the same inter-personal experience. Socialising without clouds of smoke around is much more beckoning though.

          Best wishes.
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        Jun 4 2013: Hi Anna,
        I care about you, and I know you will make whatever decision seems right for yourself.

        No one in my family smoked.....well....an older brother, but never at home. I had a cigerette when I was 13....with the rest of the group, sipping our cherry cokes and having a cigerette.....thinking we were very cool and grown up!!! Throughout my teens, I had one every now and then.....finally quit at age 20 because it just didn't feel good for my body and mind.

        I cannot relate to smoking as socialising because I don't think I ever perceived it in that way.....but maybe.....to be one of the gang! I agree...socialising without clouds of smoke around seems to beckon more than the alternative.

        Anyway, I know you will do what you feel is best for you:>)
        • Jun 4 2013: I think social reasons were why I started in the first place, partially to fit in, and partially not.
          I had a very controlling father-figure type boyfriend, who told me what I could and couldn't do. I wasn't 'ready' to listen to free jazz, and I wasn't 'allowed' to take a drag from his cigarette.
          As a result of our heated, short-lived love affair, I took up smoking the same day we broke up.

          When I was in art school, I noticed one of my teachers would never sit with me to talk about my art. I began to pay attention to who he DID sit with - the ones who smoked. He would sit with another smoker, roll a cigarette or bumb one off of them, and go into detail about the work. I wanted some attention too! One day I sat there, pulled out my pack, and lo and behold, he sat next to me.

          Lame excuses, justification, coincidence... whatever it is, these decisions to include smoking in my life weight heavily on my choice to continue smoking.
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      Jun 4 2013: So, Lizanne,
      You started to smoke to show your boyfriend that you could do whatever you wanted to do....when you wanted to do it?

      Was it a good lesson for "him"? Or could it be a lesson for you?

      You smoked in art school because you wanted to feel accepted by the teacher? So you did what pleased HIM? How is that working for YOU........NOW?

      Are these needs still feeding you in some way?
      • Jun 5 2013: Exactly, Colleen. Pathetic, huh.
        It comes back to the 'life trap' we talked about in another conversation. People pleasing. Even the idea of quitting, should in my mind be for someone else... that is where the addiction truly lies.
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          Jun 5 2013: I wouldn't say "pathetic" Lizanne. I would say that "people pleasing" is a human behavior....one which girls/women are taught. My message, is that we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anybody else....that just makes sense to me.
          Try not to "should" on yourself:>)
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    May 31 2013: They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

    Here is a picture as a contribution to this life saving conversation:


    [edit...I just figured out that your link above is like mine, but in a different language]