Being tempted watching others smoke

Being tempted watching others smoke

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Mar 2001, 00:55 #1

Ex-smokers are sometimes tempted when watching others smoke. Spending time with a specific friend and watching them smoke may be a trigger especially if it was the most time you spent with the friend since you quit smoking. The first time you have any new experiences, even if smoking is not part of the ritual, the thought for a cigarette will seem like a natural part of the ritual.

Another factor is when watching a person smoke, the natural tendency is for the ex-smoker to start to fantasize about how good a cigarette will be at that given moment. A more productive way to handle the situation though is to really watch the person smoke one, and then wait a few minutes as they light another and then another. Soon you will see that they are smoking in a way that you don't want to and probably in a way that they don't want to either. But they have no choice. You do. Also, I am attaching a letter here that addresses this issue. It is a little harder to describe because it is based on a demonstration I do at live seminars that you have never seen.

One demonstration I do at all my live seminars is a little smoking contraption made out of a plastic Palmolive bottle with a mouth piece inserted to hold a cigarette. The simulation shows how much smoke comes in when a person inhales, and how much comes out when they exhale. Smokers often feel they take in smoke and then blow most of it out, when in actuality, a very small percent actually comes out (about 10%.) I always use cigarettes given to me by people in the audience, if I used one I brought people would think I was using a loaded cigarette. Anyway, below is a letter I wrote for clinic graduates who have seen this demonstration. The concepts here though apply to those who haven't also. Take my word for it, or better yet, Joanne, Linda or Joyce could explain their memories of the demonstration. Viewing smoking as it really looks will minimize the temptation even of a puff.

Anyway, here is the letter.

Whenever you watch a person smoking, think of the Palmolive bottle demonstration you saw the first day of the Stop Smoking Clinic. Visualize all of the smoke that goes into the bottle that doesn't come out. Also, remember that the smoker is not only going to smoke that one cigarette. He will probably smoke another within a half-hour. Then another after that. In fact, he will probably smoke 20, 40, 60 or even more cigarettes by the end of the day. And tomorrow will be the same. After looking at cigarettes like this, you don't want to smoke a cigarette, do you?

I always suggest that clinic participants follow this simple visualization exercise to help them overcome the urge for a cigarette. When I suggested it to one participant who was off for three days she replied, "I see, you want me to brainwash myself so that I don't want a cigarette."

Somehow I don't consider this technique of visualizing smoking brainwashing. It is not like the ex-smoker is being asked to view smoking in an artificially horrible, nightmarish manner. To the contrary, I am only asking the ex-smoker to view cigarette smoking in its true light.

The Palmolive bottle demonstration accurately portrays the actual amount of smoke that goes in as compared to the small amount that you see the smoker blow out. Most smokers believe they exhale the majority of smoke they inhale into their lungs. But, as you saw by the demonstrations, most of the smoke remains in the lungs. When you visualize all the smoke that remains, it does not paint a pretty picture of what is happening in the smoker. Maybe not a pretty picture, but an accurate one.

When an ex-smoker watches a person smoke a cigarette, he may fantasize about how much the smoker is enjoying it--how good it must taste and make him feel. It is true he may be enjoying that particular cigarette, but the odds are he is not.

Most smokers enjoy a very small percentage of the cigarettes they smoke. In fact, they are really unaware of most of the cigarettes they smoke. Some are smoked out of simple habit, but most are smoked in order to alleviate withdrawal symptoms experienced by all smokers whose nicotine levels have fallen below minimal requirements. The cigarette may taste horrible, but the smoker has to smoke it. And because the majority of smokers are such addicts, they must smoke many such cigarettes every single day in order to maintain a constant blood nicotine level.

Don't fantasize about cigarettes. Always keep a clear, objective perspective of what it would once again be like to be an addicted smoker. There is no doubt at all that if you relapse to smoking you will be under the control of a very powerful addiction. You will be spending hundreds of dollars a year for thousands of cigarettes. You will smell like cigarettes and be viewed as socially unacceptable in many circles. You will be inhaling thousands of poisons with every puff. These poisons will rob you of your endurance and your health. One day they may eventually rob you of your life.

Consider all these consequences of smoking. Then, when you watch a smoker you will feel pity for them, not envy. Consider the life he or she is living compared to the simpler, happier, and healthier life you have had since you broke free from your addiction. Consider all this and you will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Last edited by Joel on 19 Jul 2014, 18:08, edited 2 times in total.

hannes (gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

04 Mar 2001, 02:25 #2

This is the post I needed - the visualization of the smoke in the lungs when I see a smoker via the palmolive bottle. Right now I feel free for this post did the trick for today - thank you Joel for thinking of it. For today I am a non-smoker that is not going to take another puff. I'll keep trying and posting - hanging in there @ 1 month and 2 weeks. What a great way to beat this addiction.

Triin (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

04 Mar 2001, 03:37 #3

Thank you Image

I had a pretty bad day today, and I really needed this post. It was something new to me - I hadn't ever thought about it. It means that the smoker who smokes usually with the interval 30 or 40 minutes, has constantly a fog in the lungs. This smoker has NEVER clear air in the lungs!?! Wow. Disgusting. I better breathe and smell Image

I have been Quit for: 1W 5D 21h 35m 54s. I have NOT smoked 257, for a savings of $17.74. Life Saved: 21h 25m.

Tash (Gold )
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:17

04 Mar 2001, 08:00 #4

I really like this post, I can see the demonstration perfectly. I feel like throwing the rest of my dish soap into any container lying around and making my own contraption to show my stinky smoker boyfriend. Actually, if I had my videocam, I would even tape the demo... show it to everyone! Well, anyone that would stay & watch it. :) Seriously a great idea for a demo! It doesn't matter that I haven't seen it, it's great. Keep this post near the top for the newbies, I would have loved it in the first week, but can always add to the reenforcements. I'm so happy to be quit. I love my Freedom family, you guys Rock!!!

Image Tash
Two months, 4 hours, 30 minutes and 31 seconds. 828 cigarettes not smoked, saving $140.87. Life saved: 2 days, 21 hours, 0 minutes.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Mar 2001, 22:00 #5

Still having trouble finding the article on nicotine in second hand smoke exposure. Let me put it like this. You would have to be in a smoke filled room, non-stop for 100 hours, yes I am saying over 4 days to get the equivalent dose of nicotine delivered to a smoker from one cigarette. This is a unique property of nicotine though. Other chemicals in second hand smoke can reach some pretty toxic levels much quicker than that, in minutes not days.

The side effects felt from being exposed to second hand smoke are from Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Cyanide and some other noxious chemicals that can reach levels that are well above OSHA standards for safety. If a non-smoker happens to have a heart condition or an asthmatic or bronchial problem, and exposure to second hand smoke induces an incident on the spot, it would be said by all that the second hand smoke was more dangerous to that non smoker than the first hand smoke was to the smoker him or herself at the time. But rest assured, if the second hand smoke could induce the attack, if that person had smoked him or herself it would have induced a lot earlier and probably more severely. I have to say probably because the second hand smoke exposure may have fatal consequences for the predisposed non-smoker. But again, if second hand smoke did it, if that person were a smoker they would likely have experienced much sooner from their own self induced exposure.

The best way to keep your exposure to nicotine and the 4000 other chemicals and poisons to a bare minimum is to never take another puff!


maid n oz (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:14

08 Mar 2001, 22:42 #6

Thanks Joel,
I read a comment in regards to passive smoking a little earlier and was a little rattled by it. When I actually stopped to think I realised I was actually giving myself an excuse to quit my quit (imagine that..) Thankyou for enlightening me (so quickly, lol) on a few extra facts. You sure are good to have around. Sort of like a protective father. It's so neat.
oh, p.s. 2 weeks, 13 hours and 38 minutes....yay team!!!! lol

Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 21:59

08 Mar 2001, 23:46 #7

Hi quit sisters/brothers,

Tempted by others (friends & strangers) who smoke ?
Nope, not for one second. Why? Ok, have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror with a cigarette sticking out of your face ? If you are honest about it, you would probably say you looked rather stupid...imagine having a smoking white tube hanging from your lips, your eyes all squinted because of the stinging smoke, your face contorted because the smoke is half choking you (funny that the smoke doesnt choke you when inhale, but it chokes you when it sort of wafts around your nostrils).

Try it. Roll a white piece of paper into a small tube to resemble a cigarette and see how silly you look in the mirror. Go on...have a good laugh.

So why did Marlboro man looked so cool when he wa pictured in the advertisements years ago. Simple answer is that the ad agency had a good team of photographers and he was specially posed in a such a manner as to let the light and shadow on his craggy face and low brim of his hat give you the idea that the man was rugged and remember how his head wqas tilted to one side?

Hehehe, Marlboro, Camel etc...they had us all fooled.

So now when I see a friend smoking, I find it highly amusing...about how silly he or she looks with that ciggie sticking out of her face, and I wouldn't want to look the same too.

improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

09 Mar 2001, 00:37 #8

Glad you brought that up Sam I was walking down the street the other day and as I was crossing an old lady was driving her car with a cig sticking out of her mouth I could tell that the smoke was bothering her she almost went into the curb. I really had to laugh thinking that I looked like that. GROSS. (by the way she was older than me) but still the picture she presented was in no way how I want to look ever again! I have been Quit for: 2M 2D 12h 59m 3s. I have NOT smoked 1906, for a savings of $285.93. Life Saved: 6D 14h 50m.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:46

09 Mar 2001, 01:03 #9

This sure is an eye openener. Thanks for bringing this up.

Sitting here thinking about smoking and read this. hmmmm Sure glad I came here today.

Can always find infor here to make sure you never take another puff.

Elaine, Inquirer
Nicotine free 3 weeks now and very proud of it. (especially for this old lady) hehe

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Mar 2001, 06:10 #10

In response 5 of 9 here I talked about how long a person has to be exposed to a smoking environment to get an equivalent dose of nicotine absorbed by a smoker from one cigarette. It looks like Zep went further, not looking at the older studies I was referring to, but went right to the heart of the story. If I read right in his response in the other string I think he contacted the study authors. That was brilliant! I see we only have a preliminary response, that the amount of nicotine and cotinine (a nicotine metabolite which is likely inactive for withdrawal purposes even in smokers but can be used for drug testing nicotine) found in the non-smoking spouses was only 1% of that of a smoker. That doesn't surprise me one bit, pretty much backs up the earlier reports saying that you'd have to be in the smoke filled environment 100 hours to get the equivalent dosage as one cigarette. We are talking trace amounts here and trace amounts are quite harmless. Understand, people get trace amounts of cyanide, arsenic and a host of other poisons in natural occurring products like fruits and vegetables. Don't mean to shock anyone here but there are even trace amounts of nicotine in tomatoes and some other plants. But we are talking about doses so low that they are basically inert in action. You would have to ingest this stuff in quantities that would cause you to explode to get the dose of a puff.

But a puff does not deliver a trace amount. That should be obvious to anyone who thinks back to their first puff as a kid. It was potent. It often induced dizziness, nausea, making some people gag, cough and even throw up. It delivers a huge huge amount of a whole bunch of stuff, enough to cause an immediate reaction. This was to you as a non-addicted person, once an addict that same dose does more than gives you an instant (7 seconds) jolt to your brain, it establishes the brain centers to again need nicotine or repeat withdrawal, in other words, it is a dose amount that was capable of causing a relapse.

Try to avoid second hand smoke when possible, no so much for nicotine risk but for other poisons that actually do reach dangerous levels. But always know the way to minimize your risk of all smoking diseases, and the way to guarantee that "you" will never relapse and go through full-fledged smoking again or full-fledged withdrawal is for "you" to never take another puff!