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#815669 - Thu Aug 16 2012 02:16 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: jabb5076]
guitargoddess Offline
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Originally Posted By: jabb5076
Ren, I don't think anyone is speaking about those who began smoking long before the public had any inkling it was harmful. I think what is puzzling to most non-smokers is why anyone would begin smoking now. The dangers of both smoking and second -hand smoke are so well documented that it's mystifying why anyone would want to begin a habit that is so difficult to stop.


For me personally, it wasn't anything to do with being grown up or looking cool (most of my friends disapproved, in fact), it was just something to try. See for myself what it was like. I've tried lots of things out of pure personal curiousity. Smoking was one of them. I never thought, "I'm going to take up smoking as a full time habit", and luckily it never became one (I was smoking like a pack every two weeks, at the very most), but I'm sure for some people it easily becomes one.
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#815721 - Thu Aug 16 2012 04:09 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: guitargoddess]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
Time to come out here and confess I still smoke - around 10 a day. I've smoked since I was about 15, have given up more times than I can count, but somehow seem to always end up lapsing again. I exercise a lot, two or three miles walk a day with the dog, an hours walk every time I cut the grass (twice a week), digging, carrying bags of compost etc. I think I probably get around three hours aerobic exercise a day on average without going near a gym, and that helps counteract the effects.

I remember the times when Doctors used to smoke during surgery hours, we had a couple of teachers in primary school who smoked during lessons, it was almost anti social not to smoke. Like Ren that is the environment I grew up in and I still find it hard to accept that to most people smoking is now an anti social menace.

Having said all that I do find it hard to understand quite why kids take it up these days. They know the risks, which we didn't, there are so many places they can't smoke yet you see them outside every pub and club. It must be some sort of rebellion thing I suppose.

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#815723 - Thu Aug 16 2012 04:42 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Copago]
Cuish Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 01 2011
Posts: 27
Loc: Scotland UK
Lets just say I'm one of those strong anti-smoking people, that if it were up to me, I would ban it completely. Absolutely filthy habit. Why people do it will always be a mystery to me.
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#815792 - Thu Aug 16 2012 10:10 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Cuish]
bitterlyold Offline
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Registered: Sat Oct 15 2011
Posts: 121
Loc: Arkansas USA
Well, Christinap, you and I are alone on this island. That's good, because we have space. LOL

I have been a smoker since I was 7. Still smoke like a freight train on fire. And you teachers and students who remember smoking in school, you'll love this -- I still have the ashtray (in my desk - yeah, I'm a teacher, too, and OLD). I pull it out occasionally just to amuse the kids. I try to get them to quit or to never start. I realize that most people think we smokers stink, but I love the smell of smoke. I was completely rude one day to a lady in an elevator: she wrinkled her nose at me and said, "you stink like a filthy cigarette." (This was the 80s when it became chic to try to shame smokers.) I wrinkled my nose at her and told her that her cheap K-mart Jungle Gardenia perfume did little to cover up her body odor and nothing for her grotesque appearance. I immediately felt awful until the other people in the elevator began hooting. She harrumphed and got off on the next floor. Meh, another opportunity for a date blown.

Of course, it could be that I'm a southerner (US). We tend to have more smokers than any other region, I think. I would kinda like to quit, because I think I would save about $2,400 a year.

Maybe I need a buddy to bet me $50 this New Year's Eve.

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"As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake."
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#815820 - Fri Aug 17 2012 02:25 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: bitterlyold]
Copago Offline
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Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
I bet you $50, Bitterlyold, that you can't give up smoking for a year from New Year's 2013. laugh

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#816297 - Sun Aug 19 2012 01:24 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Copago]
tellywellies Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 13 2002
Posts: 5379
Loc: South of England
I started smoking aged 9 at a boarding school for asthmatic boys. Smoking wasn't associated with bad chests in those days so I don't feel at all stupid for taking it up. We had lots of roll models who thought there was nothing wrong with it too. These included film stars parents and relatives. Smoking was definitely the done thing and all my friends smoked to some degree or another. I can't understand anyone taking it up now though, what with all the information that is around on the subject.

I stopped smoking with great difficulty 32 years later ..mainly out of fear. I'd already lost one kidney because of a tumour on it and had a few growths zapped inside the bladder with a laser over the period of a year or so. On the last recurrence, I thought I was on my way out. When I saw 'Must stop smoking' written in large red letters on my now huge wad of medical notes, I stopped the cigarettes. Smoking can cause cancer not only in the lungs.

I'm still here 26 years later and in better health than the above might imply. I can ride my bike for miles. No more bad chest and no recurrence of lumps anywhere (checked out once a year).

I'm not supposed to ever be exposed to cigarette smoke but I don't worry about that too much. I don't see smoking as a filthy stinking habit. As I remember, it was a rather enjoyable one. Relaxing with a cigarette while drinking a cup of coffee, downing a pint of beer or after a meal was good. I can do all those activities now without thinking about smoking but missed it for a few years. If people smoke in my presence, I'm not going to walk away or think worse of them. About the only rule made is no smoking in the house or car. One of our children smokes but goes in the garden to do so.

I think people getting cancer due to smoking might be partly genetic. If it's in a person to get cancer, then smoking possibly brings it on. On the other hand, there are people who smoke into their eighties and nineties without problems.
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#816329 - Sun Aug 19 2012 05:19 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: tellywellies]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
Hey bitterlyold, welcome to the island. Pull up a chair, have a cigarette!

OK, I accept that people who don't smoke don't like the smell and object to second hand smoke, I accept that a lot of non smokers are, like converts to anything, quite vocal on the subject, however, like it or not, smokers are people and we have rights too. Like tellywellies said, smoking is actually enjoyable, I enjoy it. Unlike some other recreational habits smokers rarely if ever kill people with their car because they are smoking and driving, neither do they mug people for money for their next fix. Neither does smoking turn them into spaced out zombies. If we weren't paying sky high taxes on our habit the rest of you would have to make up the shortfall, and believe me you would notice the difference.

When it comes down to it it is a question of freedom of choice. If I choose to smoke knowing the risks, well, it's my body. If someone else chooses to drink a bottle of vodka a day knowing the risks, well it's their body. Difference is the drinkers aren't nagged by society in general to give up, in fact drink is cheap, look at any Supermarket, happy hours etc. We are all going to die eventually, no matter how much Governments of all nationalities nag us to eat this, not eat that, do this, don't do that, we are not going to live forever, and lets face it, the way a lot of countries treat their elderly these days who wants to. We're here for a short span and that is it, might as well enjoy it in whatever way we want to.

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#816353 - Sun Aug 19 2012 07:34 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Christinap]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11963
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Well said Christina! As an ex smoker I couldnt have put it better!
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#816373 - Sun Aug 19 2012 09:11 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: ren33]
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 390
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Freedom of choice is a bit hollow when you are talking about one of the most ADDICTIVE substances on earth. I know ex heroin addicts who cannot kick smoking. The problem is the tobacco companies market to minors who think they are bullet proof and have them addicted before they have an adults common sense.

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#816435 - Mon Aug 20 2012 01:47 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: mountaingoat]
Christinap Offline
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Registered: Sun Jul 27 2008
Posts: 1700
Loc: Essex UK
I don't think they do market to minors, or not here anyway. There is no tobacco advertising, it's been banned for years, and there are heavy fines for anyone selling cigarettes to anyone who is under-age, and they regularly carry out spot checks with mystery shoppers, usually children of trading standards officials. Minors are also subject to heavy anti smoking campaigns in schools.

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#816436 - Mon Aug 20 2012 02:38 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Christinap]
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 390
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
When they sponsored the football, research in Australia showed in each State the minors smoked overwhelmingly the brand their football advertised. Smoking is shown in about 45 percent of films even though only about 20 percent of people smoke. In the Superman movie a truck with Marlboro covering the whole side was smashed up. They also have cunning ways of getting into social networks. The cigarette companies need to recruit new smokers to cover the ones dying all the time. They have no morals and are now attacking third world countries with a vengance.

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#816467 - Mon Aug 20 2012 06:30 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: jabb5076]
pitegny Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Sun Oct 29 2006
Posts: 104
Loc: Gex France
I grew up with two parents who were heavy smokers and my father had two smoking-related strokes. The dirty ashtrays are what turned me off at an early age. If that hadn't done it, watching him struggle to recover from the strokes would have for sure. There were stroke victims as young as 35 in his unit. I don't smoke and I live with a virulent anti-smoker. I am always surprised at the numbers of people still smoking here in France and find that it is more often women than men. Nearly all my female friends smoke and none of the males.

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#816542 - Mon Aug 20 2012 01:01 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: guitargoddess]
cairnster Offline
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Registered: Wed Nov 25 2009
Posts: 22
Loc: Singapore / Austria
Originally Posted By: guitargoddess
Originally Posted By: jabb5076
Ren, I don't think anyone is speaking about those who began smoking long before the public had any inkling it was harmful. I think what is puzzling to most non-smokers is why anyone would begin smoking now. The dangers of both smoking and second -hand smoke are so well documented that it's mystifying why anyone would want to begin a habit that is so difficult to stop.


For me personally, it wasn't anything to do with being grown up or looking cool (most of my friends disapproved, in fact), it was just something to try. See for myself what it was like. I've tried lots of things out of pure personal curiousity. Smoking was one of them. I never thought, "I'm going to take up smoking as a full time habit", and luckily it never became one (I was smoking like a pack every two weeks, at the very most), but I'm sure for some people it easily becomes one.


Yeah.. I started smoking more than 15 years ago and was very well aware of health risks (in all honesty, I have never understood all those group litigations against tobacco firms especially in recent years. )
Also, none of my friends knew for ages while I had told my (obviously not very happy about it) parents almost straight away. I tried it and liked it and sneaked in morning cigarettes on the way to school from approx day 2. Which is scary - I wish I had done it to impress someone instead of just instantly really wanting to smoke.

I have tried to quit a couple of times and the attempts were pathetic but even now the thought of giving up terrifies me.

I love smoking, but I hate how much control it has over my life! I come from the smoker-friendliest country in the EU and live in a pretty strict country now (at least that helps curb it a tiny bit). I am 31 now and a baby might be on the horizon, I am fairly sure I can give it up for a pregnancy (but stick to it afterwards, I don't know? Fingers crossed)

Meanwhile, I am just seriously enjoying my cigarettes and hoping that I'll be wiser anytime soon.

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#816713 - Mon Aug 20 2012 10:02 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: cairnster]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12724
Loc: Western Canada
cairnster, if you can give it up for the length of a pregnancy, you've beaten it.

My experience was that the physical addiction took about five days - I felt like I was running a low grade fever. Then it was just a matter of coming up with new habits to push the old ones away - that took about another couple of months. By the end of nine months, it was just occasional urges, sometimes days apart. If I stayed away from smoking "triggers" - I found another place to go on my work breaks, I had my morning coffee on the way to work rather than while reading the paper, etc - it was even less than that.

Don't go through all that just to have to go through with it again in a few years.

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#816715 - Mon Aug 20 2012 10:12 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: agony]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11963
Loc: Fanling
  Hong Kong      
Yes . let's think positively now. Ways to give up that worked for you?
For me: I smoked my first an hour later every day. This works well when you are on holiday from work. Well it did for me. There were times when I took one puff and threw it out for a few weeks after the first step. But in general it was the leaving it later method that was best.
My mum saved every penny of what she was not spending and bought her dream gift, a poodle. That worked for her.
What worked for you?
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#816804 - Tue Aug 21 2012 08:16 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: ren33]
CmdrK Offline
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Registered: Sun Jan 17 2010
Posts: 1742
Loc: Nevada USA
Over the years I tried all sorts of things to quit, limiting the number of cigarettes each day, nicotine patch, just plain cold turkey - nothing worked for longer than short periods. This year my doctor suggested I try Chantix, a medicine that makes you think you just had a cigarette and so don't need one. The mental gymnastics issue aside, it worked for me. I took it for two months and have been able to face each day since.

It helps me that I'm retired now and don't have work stress to deal with in addition to everything else. If I get a craving I either work through it or tell my wife so she can talk me out of it. But I still have the urge most days.

For anyone who wants to quit, I wouldn't recommend waiting until you retire! But it's something everyone has to decide for him/herself.
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#816805 - Tue Aug 21 2012 08:21 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: CmdrK]
guitargoddess Offline
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Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 37026
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
I think what stopped it become a full blown permanent habit for me was that I had to smoke outdoors, and by November every year, it was too darn cold to go outside "just to smoke". So if you live in a cold climate, maybe setting a rule that says, If you want to smoke, go ahead - but must do it outside. You might change your mind about wanting that smoke!
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#816825 - Tue Aug 21 2012 09:29 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: guitargoddess]
jabb5076 Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 240
Loc: Georgia USA
Since my mother smoked for 40+ years, I never thought she'd be able to quit. When she began to have symptoms of emphysema, she was frightened enough to make a serious attempt to stop. What worked for her was a combination of acupressure treatments and hypnosis. Whenever she had an overwhelming urge for a cigarette, she listened to a tape from her hypnotic sessions and that seemed to make the biggest difference. I think whatever you think might work for you is well worth trying!

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#816896 - Tue Aug 21 2012 12:48 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: jabb5076]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12724
Loc: Western Canada
For me, to be perfectly honest, it was setting up petty rules for myself, very much like the rules all smokers have to follow now. I did that for a couple of weeks - made myself go outside, wouldn't have a smoke in the morning until I'd left the building, etc etc. By the time I got to the date I'd set for quitting, I was fed up with all the nonsense and happy to be done with it.

I'm not very patient with pettifoggery.

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#817062 - Wed Aug 22 2012 12:49 AM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: agony]
tellywellies Offline
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Registered: Sat Apr 13 2002
Posts: 5379
Loc: South of England
It costs quite a lot to smoke in the UK these days. Around £7-40 for a pack of 20 now isn't it? I used to roll my own cigarettes. That cut the expense down but apart from that, I thought hand-rolling tobacco provided a better smoke. I used to buy it in 2 Ounce tins. A 50 Gram tin is about the equivalent now and I read the cost of this is around £15-00. Wow!
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#817300 - Wed Aug 22 2012 03:25 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: tellywellies]
lesley153 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
Not even a tin - a 50g pouch will set you back nearly £15. Add about £1 if you want it in a tin.

You can pay less if you look around. For instance, I found a "Che Shag Smoking Tobacco (25g Pouch)" - a red pouch with a picture of Che Guevara on the front, and shag inside - for ONLY £4.30.

It comes with a warning that it attracts a lower rate of tax because it's pipe tobacco, and it's illegal to use it for hand-rolling. So obviously nobody is going to use it to roll cigarettes with, because that would be illegal. Just checking.
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#817313 - Wed Aug 22 2012 04:01 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: lesley153]
guitargoddess Offline
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Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 37026
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Huh? How could a METHOD of smoking a legal product be illegal?
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#817364 - Wed Aug 22 2012 07:28 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: guitargoddess]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13908
Loc: Georgia USA
I grew up in a large family. My siblings who smoked are all gone now. The rest of us seem to be living to a "ripe old age." Just saying...
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#817382 - Wed Aug 22 2012 08:41 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: guitargoddess]
lesley153 Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
Posts: 734
Loc: Bedford England UK           
You can call it illegal till your face turns blue, and you still won't be able to enforce it. Here's what it says on the website:


"Shag Tobacco:
"Due to some hand rolling smokers using shag tobacco for hand rolling purposes, HMRC have taken action to stop this abuse of the tobacco taxation. HMRC have defined that any tobacco where the strands are less than 1.5mm will be taxed as a Hand Rolling tobacco. All shag tobacco produced as of January 2011 will be cut above 1.5mm. This is a pipe tobacco and is taxed accordingly. It is a criminal offence to use shag tobacco for hand rolling and we do not endorse this." whistle


You wouldn't dream of using it for cigarettes once you'd read this warning, would you?
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#817784 - Thu Aug 23 2012 04:47 PM Re: What's your smoking status? [Re: Jabberwok]
Rowena8482 Offline
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Registered: Mon Mar 12 2007
Posts: 1408
Loc: Hartlepool Durham England UK
I smoked from the age of twelve, until I was 40. I peaked at 120 (yes, one hundred and twenty) a day, and then it killed me.
Literally - I had a heart attack, a mild one, and stopped smoking, but a year later I succumbed and started again. About six months after that I had a massive heart attack which killed me, and it is only due to a miracle and some VERY dedicated and skillful paramedics, and the staff of the hospital I was rushed to for emergency heart surgery, that I'm still here. I was revived twice (just like on tv apprently, with the paddles and the CLEAR! and the ZAP) and will have an oblong scar on my chest, where the current burnt me, forever. They even lined up my children and said "say goodbye to mummy" before loading me in the ambulance as they didn't really think I'd make it.
And having been all dramatic and said all that, I STILL crave a smoke. I even find myself dreaming about it, I breathe in deeply if I walk past someone smoking in the street, I chew pens and pencils, I fidget, I have an utterly horrid little plastic "thingy" to chew on instead, I had nicotine replacement cartridges that went in it, and I still miss the real thing. I even actually sit and dream about the day when I will start again, once all my children have left home and are settled as adults.
I don't know if I actually will, I guess the cravings could fade eventually, but they haven't yet.
I reckon nicotine (and the actual act of smoking it) must be THE most addictive substance there is. Words cannot describe how hard it is to resist sometimes. I've heard talks from people who have kicked heroin and other seriously hard drug habits, and they have almost all said that they still smoke, and can't give up cigarettes.
So far, the two of my children who are old enough haven't started - what happened to me has put them off, and I am very, very thankful for that! I think that the only way not to smoke is to never start. Never let it get a grip so to speak.

Edit for silly typo.


Edited by Rowena8482 (Thu Aug 23 2012 04:49 PM)
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