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Reasoning Process

 "The cold night air caused her to hunch her shoulders and shiver, as with frozen fingers she pressed the cigarette to her lips and inhaled. Exiled and exhaling smoke her ghostlike face, lit by the porchlight, was visible through the frontdoor window. The loneliness palpable as she defiantly continued smoking..."

condensed from "The Smokers' Home Companion"


YES, THE REASON-ING! This is where all the work from the previous chapter (Understandings) begins to pay off. Armed with new facts and learning and in a good position to begin putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the aim is now to discover the real reasons why you smoke cigarettes and why you should not.
  This can be lengthy, needing several pages to thoroughly set out the full process. It has been condensed for presentation on the web. There is no substitute for slogging through it, the better the preparation the better the outcome.
  To start, here are a few of the important questions needing some clear answers...
Door Smoker
  • "Why do I smoke?"
  • "Are there any sound medical reasons for smoking?"
  • "What are the seven top reasons for continuing to smoke?"
  • "Why am I so attached to my favourite brand of cigarettes?"
  • "Why do I have to smoke in chilly doorways?"
  • "Why do I find it difficult to face the truth about smoking?"
  • "Why do I continue to smoke when I know that it is dangerous to my health?"
  • "Why should I stop smoking?"
  • "Why is it so difficult to get rid of cigarettes?"
  • "What are the top seven reasons for permanently getting rid of cigarettes?"

If we knew the answers with clarity, getting rid of cigarettes would be that much less difficult.

REASONING Process

  An excellent place to start would be, "Why do I smoke?"
The First step is to write down a list of reasons that come direct from off the top of the head. Whether silly, sensible, weird or odd, it doesn't matter at this stage, just write it down.
  For example:

Lucky Strike Ad - Reach for a Sweet...
  1. Pleasure, I love smoking, everything about it is great!
  2. To stand out from the crowd.
  3. To be accepted by outcasts from society.
  4. I wish to develop a gravelly voice.
  5. Zippo action! the mechanism, the fire and smoke.
  6. I want to smell like a french toilet.
  7. To become more attractive to members of the adjacent sex.
  8. To permanently inhabit the fantasy worlds of film noir.
  9. All my heros smoke.
  10. Smoking defines the kind of person I am styling myself to become.
  11. My Grandfather smoked cigarettes until his ninetyfifth birthday.(He is conveniently no longer around and thus unable to urge us not to be so dumb as to smoke cigarettes!).
  12. To gamble with my health and life at 3 to 1 odds.
  13. To have an excuse for standing in doorways in sub-freezing temperatures.
  14. To contract an incurable disease.
  15. Actually I want to quit but can't stop.
  16. The timing is not right, my stars are against quitting right now.
  17. I might be cheating myself in someway if I were to quit.
  18. Heck! I don't know, I just do it and so on...

  What is important is to make a start...

  The second step is to look at the list, edit out what does not fit. Add to it any missing reasons:

  •   Cigarettes have a mystique.
  •   Cigarettes are widely available.
  •   Smoking cigarettes calms my nerves.
  •   The active ingredients in cigarettes will promote my thinking process.
  •   Cigarettes help to make life more bearable.
  •   etc...

  The third step is to try and make some sense out of these pieces, by mapping out a rough history of ones' cigarette smoking, for example:

door smokers .....When I first smoked it took some effort to get used to it, then having got acclimmated I started to enjoy it. I was still enjoying smoking some years later when at the age of 23 I developed a nasty cough, I then discovered that by controlling the way I smoked the cough would temporarily abate. Gradually I found that I was somehow smoking more and more cigarettes each day to the point where I was perhaps no longer completely in control.... I now smoke over 50 cigarettes per day... I have to smoke in cold doorways, parking lots and alone at home... I always lie when anyone asks how many I smoke each day and have failed in six major attempts over the years to quit...I light up as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, flying on aeroplanes has become a nightmare, and if it was not for the nicotine patch I would never survive the trips .... I really enjoy smoking before during and after a meal and just about everywhere else, these Smoking bans in restaurants are diabolical...and it keeps getting worse. I wonder, where is it all leading to?

  Step four, the history should now be teased, refined and filled out into a much deeper look...

  A possible excerpt...Nowadays every morning upon waking there is this hacking cough and an intense urge to smoke. The first task of the day is to light up a cigarette. By the time breakfast is over at least three have been smoked. These cigarettes are very important in setting me up for the day, they bring a feeling of peace and a chance to reflect. Before leaving home there is the usual check to make sure that an adequate supply is on board. Cigarettes are a vital part of me, my courage and my passion. Life without them would be miserable. The day seems to revolve around lighting up one cigarette after another. Often there are two cigarettes, sometimes even three, going at once, its hard to remeber. Smoking has become an automatic reflex, every time the phone rings another cigarette gets removed from the pack and lit... and so it goes...

  Step five, make an analysis.

  Examine the evidence and look at the trends and it may appear that cigarettes were taken up on perhaps no more than a whim, but the truth of how things actually are NOW shows a very different story.
  What is going on? Could the snippet of history be viewed as the psycho-pathology of an increasingly severe "Addiction" ?
  If so and no one sees it, what put the blinkers on the mind? Keep prodding until the truth appears.

  Step six: find out what prevents the truth from being seen.
  Step seven: discover what the case actually is.
Steps six and seven will be worked on together.

  Tobacco smoke is dual acting, and can be used as a stimulant or sedative, it can alert or soothe. It is also a mild hypnotic, life gets viewed through rose colored glasses, including a smoking habit/addiction.

  Smoking cigarettes delivers nicotine and who knows what other drugs present in tobacco, plus an unhealthy dose of toxins direct, via the lungs into the blood system and hence to the brain which eagerly mops up the nicotine(+) with its nicotinic receptors, which activates the dopamine reward system. It then comes to rely upon the nicotine(+) for this continued stimulation and does not want you to stop. The rebalancing systems in the body react over time to this increase by cutting down the number of receptors, the brain responds by upping the demand for more cigarettes...eventually spiraling out of control into a full blown cigarette addiction...(many of the difficult and knotty problems, that occur when stopping smoking, stem from the diminished number of nicotinic receptors and the need to retrain the brain to respond to different and finer stimuli.)

  Smoking may have been taken up to enjoy an acquired pleasure, but it then becomes enforced smoking for the avoidance of pain, the pain the brain will cause if a sufficient nicotine(+) concentration in blood is not maintained. As nicotine is rapidly metabolised by the body, smoking is now performed ...

"TO PREVENT THE ONSET OF WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS"

... caused by the ever falling nicotine(+) concentrations. And...

"BY FORCE OF HABIT "

... promoted by the constant repetition. And...

"TO SATISFY CHRONIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS"

... promoted by the brain as a substitute for having a real life.

  Over the years smoking has become much more sinister than simply an accessory to personal way and style. By now it is impossible to fully enjoy a meal, a sunset or a movie without smoking.(A whole chapter could be taken up with this subject alone.)
  The pleasure of smoking is now rarely experienced for its own sake. It is mostly felt as a relief from pain, albeit a psychological pain. Each new day is started by having to service this ever increasing need for nicotine(+). This is accomplished by pumping up the nicotine(+) levels in the blood with those several early morning smokes. Keeping at it during the day by smoking more cigarettes, again to prevent the onset of withdrawal symtoms. Thus the cycle keeps going. Every day a preparation for the next day when the same process will be repeated... and so on it goes, over and over again, ad infinitum.

B and H Cigarette Making Machine   Welcome to Smoking Hades, the smokers' version of the Greek hell of impossible to fullfill labors. Smoking has become predominately a never ending game of catch-up. The brain, EXACTLY LIKE THE TOBACCO COMPANIES, will influence the psychology in a direct attempt to prevent full realisation of the truth of all this. It will encourage at all times the stuffing of lit cigarettes into the mouth, for this or that wonderous purpose, any doubts or nagging feelings that all might not be well, getting quickly squashed.

  If there had been a valid reason for smoking cigarettes before that first puff, it all might have turned out very differently, for then smoking would have been by design for medicinal, religious or self directed psychological purposes. Smoking would have been from the very first under the persons' control rather than the brains'.

Quit Smoking Sign The brain delivers its psychological pain in forms that a 'Darth Vader' would well understand, cravings of all kinds, nerves, depression, anxiety, fear, threat, ...etc. Should a person choose to get rid of cigarettes, then the mentality and the emotions will need to be made strong enough to handle the process. Good support from family and friends would also be vital for a lasting success.

From this brief excursion into the realms of reason it should be possible for anyone to think it through and formulate seven sound reasons for permanently getting rid of cigarettes. With the provison, "if the brain will allow it."

All this might seem a little too strong, "Isn't there an easier way to do it?" one asks, yes there are ways that seem easier, but do they work? and will they produce lasting results? Take off the 'rose colored glasses', there are no short cuts, there is no easy to get at the 'Reset Button' only hard work and an honorable, honest and clean success.

Let it Pass.

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