letitpass banner
L.I.P. Logo

guide
poem
welcoming
introduction
warnings
punch
understandings
more on
fagerstrom test
reasonings
ways to quit
cravings
health
coercion
smoking class
reasons
breaking free
let it pass
curio-puzzle
colophon
contact
home

More On Understandings


  The author was heavily warned in his youth, "Forty cigarettes per day and it will be a painful death and an early grave for you!" ...Only to discover, upon searching his memory some 35 years later, that this and other warnings had been 'conveniently misplaced' by a brain (his) that normally can remember exactly how much money anyone might owe him at any given time...Smoking is definitely weird.

Excerpted from "the Smokers'Home Companion"

Introduction

  The following contemplations will certainly cover territory already touched upon. But the repetition is well worth it, some views take time to sink in and only by travelling the same paths over and over again, will the needed result eventually be obtained. So here we go again...

Peparations

  This website and its many pages have been designed to comprise a reference book concerning cigarette smoking with multiple threads of 'How to Escape this Trap' running through it. To escape from it's chemical bonds, it's psychological grip and it's mostly damaging physical effects. It is as if by smoking one has been spirited away to some other world where it can be hard to then see how one got in or where the exit might be...

  The evidence points to the fact that smoking is highly addictive; altering the many inner lives of the smoker and then compelling them into its service. After many years of cigarette smoking, the life of the smoker becomes a demonstrably different dynamic to that of a person who has never smoked. The smoker is now living a totally different life. Stopping smoking and returning to how things were meant to be can be an extremely painful experience.

  Consider this the decision to smoke may have begun to form when the future smoker was only 8 years old. The first cigarettes smoked at 11, and smoking begun in earnest at 15... When a decision is made it is colored by the emotional maturity of the person making it. The decisions of smoker today when he or she is controlling the life or death of a corporation maybe those of a forty year old, but every time a cigarette is lit it is the re-enactment of being maybe 15 years old or even younger.
  And this is not all, smoking has an inhibitory effect upon emotional development. In a way it can be understood as an odd adaption of the Oscar Wilde novel 'The Portrait of Dorian Grey'. The emotional life is arrested and stays childlike and naive, whilst the body ages and decays at a faster than normal rate. Upon getting rid of cigarettes the emotion and body both begin to recover and as the emotions in most people heavily influence the mind, then this also will gain in stature. It is as if one of the lost children in the story of Peter Pan suddenly started to grow up.

  As previously mentioned it is often the most seriously addicted smokers who started smoking in their youth and may have continued for thirty years or more. living a life where smoking was always part and parcel of the daily ritual and routine. So it is no wonder that if smokers get rid of their cigarettes then a totally unsuspected and apparently new life might appear. Some have even described it as like a spiritual re-awakening.

  Clearly it is very hard to get rid of cigarettes and this page seeks to investigate WHY? and try to UNDERSTAND the phenomena. It is perplexing, for instance, smokers purchase cigarettes and clearly printed on each pack is a severe warning from the government begging the purchaser not to buy or use the product.


Canned Fruit and Veg with S.G.Warning

  If such a health warning were to appear on canned vegetables or on tins of ground coffee, no one would buy them and sales would dwindle to zero overnight. But with smokes, absolutely not! The cigarette companies merrily dance on from one profit high to the next, seemingly immune to litigation, public opinion and government intervention. The smokers themselves, with their heads in clouds of smoke, seem totally oblivious to the risks they are running (Visit this website C.L.A.S.H.) and seem to have little wish to face reality.

SO WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

Here are thirteen suggestions, written down in random order...


ITEM ONE - False Confidence in the Product

Could it be that, starting many years ago, a seemingly unbreakable but false 'aura of confidence' has built up around cigarettes and the act cigarette smoking?

And could it be this confidence in the product became implanted and grew in the minds and mentalities of our ancestors?

And further could it be that this has been inherited and grown by all successive smokers?

Could it be that this confidence in cigarettes was created, and is not a natural thing?...Could it be that it was invented by the commercial actvities of the then emergent tobacco companies, who, hungry for more profits and increased market share....

  • Deliberately invented appealing brand names and images, cleverly insinuating them into popular culture?
  • Ran pervasive and persuasive advertising campaigns using billboards, magazines, radio shows, then later television and nowadays the internet?
  • Got a free and powerful endorsement from the military, who recognising the value of the product as an essential maintenance for their troops during times of war (innocently?) colluded with the tobacco companies?
  • Commissioned paid endorsements from trusted celebrities - movie stars, entertainers and other famous personalities?
  • Lobbied and bought influence with government leaders and officials for priveleged and favorable legislation? (And apparently they still do)
  • Consciously and deliberately, putting profit before human values, supressed and distorted evidence concerning the addictive nature and harmful health consequences of cigarette smoking?
  • Portrayed cigarette smoking as a cultural norm, part of the collective cultural hand-me-down syndrome?

  As time passed, cigarette smoking became more established as the fashionable thing to be seen doing. Films were made featuring the movie stars smoking throughout, providing further incentive for its take-up. Coupled with all this was a newly developing communications technology, a surging demand for female emancipation, wars and the snowball effect of mass public acceptance and usage.

  Could it be that all this caused our parents and elders to become smokers?...And thus they radiated this FALSE CONFIDENCE in the product, and knowing no better, in turn passed it on to us their children?

  If this is only partly true, could it be that the power of commercialism is far greater than we think? Far more persuasive and invasive than our independently minded egoes would ever like to admit? Which makes the point, That we have been, heavily and intensively, psychologically preconditioned by external sources to take up cigarette smoking. It may have appeared to be an independent choice but in the main we were persuaded by forces that were hard to resist.

  When young we moved from home into the world, and everywhere we saw advertising urging us to take up with cigarettes. Most of these advertisements making spurious claims that this or that brand would do wonders for our wellbeing and public persona or image. We saw smoking and non-smoking signs in railway carriages, smoking and non-smoking sections in airplanes, the same repeated in restaurants and most other buildings where we went. All this gave tacit approval to cigarette smoking. These signs demonstrating the existence of two human stereotypes and implying an accomodation between Smokers and their counterparts, the Non-Smokers. A stereotype that is perverse. For it implies that it is normal to smoke and labels, marks or stigmatizes those who do not smoke. (It recalls to mind the ending of the film "The Night of the Body Snatchers"...). There are many more fascinating things to discover by revisiting this paragraph. But for now this writing presses on...

  Nowadays and hopefully for not much longer we are forced to live with the contradictions that this societal accomodation engenders. For instance when we read the government mandated warning label on the cigarette pack. On the one hand the government postions itself with the tobacco companies and says, "Smoking is good for the economy, the treasury, the tobacco farmers and the balance of trade!" And then on the other hand the government positions itself with the proponents of public health, and says, "Smoking is harmful to the health of smokers and their families and bad news for the economy." They seem to want to have their cake and eat it, and in doing so plant confusion in the minds of all concerned.

  Fortunately public attitudes towards cigarette smoking are changing and if a newly enlightened government should ever appear and be able to have its way then there will be no more generations such as our own. However, WE WERE BORN INTO THIS TRAP AND NOW NEED TO FIND THE WAY OUT!...

  Currently we all live in world where the tobacco companies have fought hard to ensure that cigarettes are legal, widely distributed and readily available. So the smoker - unlike the heroin addict - does not feel any guilt, is not threatened with prosecution, and does not have to hunt for a source of his/her drugs. Cigarettes are there. Ready and waiting in every convenience store. Allowing each and every smoker to quit every morning and resume shortly thereafter...

  So this appears to be the first hurdle...


ITEM TWO - The Brains

  Could it be that smoking can become a special, must do ritual and almost sacred act for the brains? And as a consequence, where smoking is concerned, do the brains become controlling of the smoker's life with the smoker no longer in control? Is it possible that the brains have become so conditioned and fixed that they won't allow the smoker to stop? If this is so then some very powerful tools will be needed to release the smoker from the brains' domination and deal with the host of secondary problems that will automatically arise.

ITEM THREE - Habit and Familiarity

  Could it be that the smoker becomes familiar with smoking? For example has cigarette smoking become like the spouse in a marriage that's going 'off' - an on/off love affair with habitual use and abuse, the smoker no longer respecting the agents of comfort and satisfaction? Mindlessly smoking as one might mindlessly make demand upon a 'the spouse' - one moment praising, the next complaining. It can be very easy to miss how powerfully and psychologically binding this state of affairs can be.

ITEM FOUR - Significance

  Could it be that cigarette smoking has become of major importance in the smoker's life, it having become one of the few, if not the only, real and meaningful things that the smoker does? And there is perhaps this fear that without the continued presence of cigarettes, life for the smoker will become empty and devoid of meaning?

ITEM FIVE - Rebelliousness

  Could it be that within the ongoing developing adult life, the smoker is still acting out, via smoking, the rebellious instincts of youth that may have been one of the prime signals for its take-up? For example, is it an ongoing emotional sustenance for the smoker to secretly smoke in the restrooms at work? And finds it impossible to surrender these and other illicit pleasures of smoking?

ITEM SIX - Solace

  Could it be that the stability and quiet power of the smoker's life gravitates and rotates around the smoking rituals, providing solace at the times when human companionship is absent?

ITEM SEVEN - Self Image

  Could it be that the smoker's self-image and ego development so strongly incorporate and feature cigarette smoking that it has become inextricably and permanently woven into the very fabric of the smoker's life?

ITEM EIGHT - Out of Control

  Could it be that the whole affair between the smoker and cigarettes is up and running at speed, and accelerating out of control? Where, should the smoker resist smoking by the act of denial, the urge to smoke comes back even stronger upon return to smoking; causing the smoker to smoke more and more with probably less and less value for the cigarettes smoked.

ITEM NINE - Social etc Stress

  There is a demand upon a person by the contemporary culture to project an image that is realaxed, cool and confident, so ....Could it be that cigarette smoking is part of the method the smoker uses to reinforce this composure? and project the required image? and equalise the anxieties and tensions caused by social pressures of all kinds? We hide behind our roles and if for one moment the threat of appearing naked looms, then its time to reach for a prop or another role. If a smoker, the prop will most likely be a cigarette and the role 'being a smoker'.

ITEM TEN - Composure

  Could it be that the smoker fears that if he or she were to get rid of cigarettes, then it would create giant holes within the already developed composure and theatre of the life, and would appear to others as something resembling a piece of erratic swiss cheese?

ITEM ELEVEN - False Enhancement

  Could it be that the smoker is completely sure that:

  • It is impossible to think creatively without a lit cigarette nestling between the smoker's nicotine stained fingers?
  • Not being allowed to smoke in a restaurant would ruin the enjoyment of a good meal?
  • That likewise the enjoyment of drinking, driving, playing cards or just about any relaxing pastime or occasion would be ruined if not acompanied by a cigarette or two (or more).

  And this need for 'enhancement' (albeit a bogus one) has become so compelling that the smoker fears to leave home without an adequate supply of cigarettes and means to light them up?

ITEM TWELVE - Addiction

  Could it be that this ADDICTION to cigarettes has grown to such an impossible size that the smoker is now psychologically and chemically dependent to the 'max' upon cigarette smoke and the toxic substances it contains?

ITEM THIRTEEN - Self Deception

  This continues the story from 'ITEM ONE', where it was proposed that our parents and elders radiated a false confidence in cigarettes; a confidence that had been engineered deliberately by the tobacco companies in their greed for exponential increases in profits. And that those of us who 'decided' to smoke inherited this false confidence.

  Could it be that the smokers takes this confidence on board and into their lives. Which then makes the smokers DECEPTIVE TO THEMSELVES AND TO OTHERS ABOUT THE EXTENT AND STYLE OF THEIR CIGARETTE SMOKING? Even to the point of deliberately lying to self and others? Even to the point where a total blindeness onsets and they refuse to contemplate the harm that smoking is causing to the body and will continue to cause?

  (Cautionary note: This blindness can result in the smoker blaming everybody else as a truth avoidance tactic. For example its not entirely the fault of the government, tobacco companies and ones ancestors if smoking gives the smoker an incurable disease - he or she could have resisted smoking, listened to the naysayers, gathered the evidence for and against and decided for themselves before smoking that first cigarette.)

Conclusion

  These selected thirteen insights or 'can openers' should to help to start the process of understanding the nature of the cigarette trap. Clearly the first requirement, absolutely essential for success, is to decide to be COMPLETELY HONEST WITH ONESELF..


(BACK TO TOP)


Website, Text and Some Images Copyright © 2002 tzingaro.com, all rights reserved.