Getting to Understand
"When you were young, did you not see other young people smoking? Perhaps exchanging
cigarettes as tokens of friendship? Maybe they were smiling, blowing smoke rings,
laughing, sharing some unspoken joke or just simply being there? A little club with
its own secrets, very inviting..."
excerpted from "The Smokers' Home Companion"
How did I ever get to become a smoker?
Will I ever be able to get rid of smoking?
The page of the many beginnings.
To begin the research here are some moot questions to ponder.
- Where has smoking all those cigarettes got me to? Where am I now? How did I get here?
- What is smoking doing to my physical and mental health?
- Why on earth did I never stop before now?
- Is this where I want or ought to be? Where will it all end if I keep smoking?
- Is there a way out? Is there a way that will work for me to get rid of cigarettes?
- If so...,
- What and Where is it?
- How do I get started?
- What will I have to face?
- How do I keep going?
- Will it ever end? and if so..., Where does it end?
- Do I still have the wherewithal to make the trip?
- OR, Have I left it too late?
- When is the best time to begin to get rid of cigarettes?
This research will be both lengthy and deep if these questions are ever to be
fully answered. It will need to be come at over and over again, from a multitude of different points of view.
To keep returning to the beginning until there is some solid ground, a glimmer of light, or,
significantly, a vital breath of fresh air.
These are some of the indicators of the way out of this dank and smoky labyrinth.
REMEMBER The answers are ultimately to be found in oneself, this website is but an attempt
to expedite the journey by providing a invaluable thread that leads to the exit...
To begin again, here is something to meditate upon...
... Compare the these two words...
- Ign-It-Ing.............Lighting it up?
- Ign-Or-Ing..........Stubbing it out?
Could it be that as smokers we are the self made victims of several ignorances?
Here are five to think about...
- Ignoring the warnings printed on every pack of cigarettes.
- Ignoring our fears concerning the health consequences.
- The ignorance and total lack of comprehension concerning the meaning of the
word 'addiction' at the time we start smoking.
- The ignorant behaviour patterns of the 'Smoking Culture' we inherit from the history of
the millions of smokers who went before.
- The wilful ignorance of the Tobacco Companies in their quest for profit.
Why self made victims? We could have avoided the trap but, most by default, chose
to rush heedlessly into it...
It is a good idea thoroughly grasp this before proceeding....
The next step is to begin a survey of the smoking life and history, gather the facts, take a thorough look.
Discover that years of devoted effort have gone into becoming a 'Smoker!'.
This life of being a smoker has grown to become an integral and organic part,
it is persistant and tenacious and does not want to die.
It won't give up, stop, or disapppear simply because on one monday morning a decision is
made to stop smoking.
It gets worse, the 'Brain' is also hooked on nicotine(+) and is not about to give up its something for nothing without a fight. At first it won't get directly involved, it knows that it is probably safe from the previous record of attempts. However, it is cunning like a fox and will slyly wait. If it sees its fiefdom threatened it will act, escalating its attacks, wearing you down and not stopping until it gets what it wants.
Any attempt to stop will produce this head-on conflict, you versus the 'smoking life' and the brain, fighting battles that will not be easy to win. Like any military commander
the key to success lies in intelligence, planning and having superior fire power.
(Knowing the enemy and having the wherewithal to deal with it.)
And this is only a part of what anyone has to face and come to terms with in their attempts to get rid of cigarettes.
To begin yet again, heavily research why on earth anyone would want to start smoking at all, never
mind keep on smoking in the face of mounting evidence of physical damage
and yet find it next to impossible to stop.
The exercise works best if it is written down.
In this process it is vital to go where the truth leads and arrive at an individual point of view.
Listed here are a few basic research topics together with some helpful hints and web-links.
- The link between smoking and the continuing identity needs and psychology.
- Smell and smokers breath, and in general how others perceive smokers,(make up a questionaire).
- The cultural pressure to grow up and appear to be a 'Someone' ahead of time.
- Rebelliousness and the need to defy any authority.
- What part did and does 'Boredom' and the need for something to do, play in helping
to develop and maintain a smoking dependence.
- The force of unrecognised habit having its way.
- Look to see what kind of example was set by our family and peers.
- Discover that there is no longer any controversy surrounding smoking, its a cut and dried case!
- Study the diverse persuasions and deceptions of the Tobacco Companies and their
need to sell 'product' and make profits.(Take a really good look at their advertising,
past and present, and those odd brand names that they use.)
- Find out if nicotine really is a highly addictive drug.
- What the many parts of the human are and how they work together.(A lifetimes research)
- What damage smoking causes, from lack of physical fitness to assiting in
the onset of chronic disease.(Visit a doctor)
- What illnesses can smoking cause? and what is their prognosis?(Visit a hospital).
- Fears of all kinds that have kept and keep a person smoking. (Find at least seven distinct fears)
- The many fears concerning what smoking might do to human health.
- Your love-hate relationship with cigarettes and your favorite cigarette brand.
- When, Where and Why do you smoke each day? How many cigarettes do you
smoke each day, and how has this varied over time? (Make Charts and keep records)
- The full history of all your previous attempts to quit.
(Dates, times, places, find out why the attempt didn't work out.)
- Discover your own unique topics and research them.
Time is short, so begin again, again, now.
Start to research and put a few pieces of the puzzle together,
and get a good early picture of the situation and put yourself in it.
Enough to start upon the path to getting rid of cigarettes.
The research will broaden and deepen as matters progress.
Only long after the last cigarette has been smoked, will anyone be able to perceive and fully understand
both the predicament of being a smoker and how this 'Smokers Life' came about.
Addiction Self Test
Here is a link to an oddity which may be a something useful .
It is a clinical test called the "Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionaire".
It is part of an early attempt by clinicians to define nicotine addiction.
Better, more refined tools may have appeared since but it can provide a rough picture of the severity of an addiction.
Most cigarette smokers know that nicotine addiction is far more than simply developing
'tolerance' to a drug. The fuller truth lies elsewhere.
(It would be like viewing inflation as an increased 'tolerance' to money.)
Helpful Hint #1
Begin by deciding to no longer link to the past.
From now on, to CEASE to IDENTIFY with being a smoker, ex-smoker,
quitting smoker or any kind or state of smoker.
If having an identity is inescapable, for a while try being a researcher into the causes of smoking.
Helpful Hints #2
For those who would welcome it, here is a link to a fleshed out set of understandings concerning,
"why on Earth do we smoke cigarettes?"