How do you handle being with smokers?

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

21 Apr 2001, 11:39 #31

Thanks Zep,
After reading this thread I have decided that I'm too new at my quit to have the strength or experience with the craves to sit on break with my friends who smoke. With all my other quits, I relasped while on break with those said friends. I don't want to be tempted before I'm ready for it. I'll wait..
Thanks Again..
Kim (SewQuilts)
5days, 23hours, 53mins 10sec. since I used nicotine..
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2001, 11:54 #32

You know what's best for you Kim. Trust your judgment !! Just don't wait too long and when you do, don't stay but a few minutes or until your triggered crave arrives and then do what I did a couple of times (run like h_ll). I'm embarassed to admit that I waited 22 months before touching my first cigarette. I wouldn't even pick up cigarette butts that folks had thrown in the street, it was terrible. Talk about a phobia! I knew that some day I'd have to but I put it off far longer than I should have. There is nothing that you need to give up but your nicotine, absolutely nothing!
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:00

21 Apr 2001, 12:27 #33

At 3 month's of freedom, I should be stronger about this subject, but I still do not want to be around smokers for fear of relapse & also because I have had enough of the poision - nicotine. I have failed in my previous attempts because I thought that I could handle being around smokers - THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE - this time I go by the laws of addiction - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF & right now I avoid all smoking situations - Hannes @ 3m of fresh air freedom. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF & TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Apr 2001, 12:40 #34

You sound like me Hannes! I don't go in the pub at the end of the day with the guys anymore but only because I've punished these lungs for far to long to ask them to endure the cloud of second-hand smoke that lives inside. I spoke with one of the guys at length by phone today and I tried explaining but I really don't think he understands. I promised to drop in once next week but I already know that I won't be staying long. I love them to death but I'm putting my air first. Hopefully they'll drop by and we can spend time together away from the cloud.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jun 2001, 22:16 #35

Zep's average encounter with a smoker:
"Do you want to quit? You do!"
"Do you have access to a computer? You do! Great!"
"Can you remember www.whyquit.com?"
"Yes, why quit, it's just one word with no space in between."
Last edited by John (Gold) on 05 Dec 2011, 09:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

01 Jun 2001, 22:51 #36

When I first quit, I was determined not to become an evangelist, one of those people that I had (until the day before) always hated. You know, "the worst ones are the ex-smokers", people who stuck their aggressive new-found purity right in your face. And I also used to feel that to preach quitting to others was hypocritical.

So when I quit, I told no-one , and inevitably I couldn't avoid friends or work colleagues who were smokers. In fact, I never regretted that because being with smokers, watching them smoke, and smelling smoke never had any effect on me. It was entirely neutral. I didn't like or dislike it. It certainly never made me want to smoke, and often I hardly noticed it was happening.

About a month into my quit, after I told people I had quit, many people would then ask me if I minded them smoking. I have to admit that I got a kick out of casually telling them it was no problem for me. After 3 months (when I started to get an education here ) I then used to add "but it sure is a problem for you". If they asked why, I quietly turned into the once-hated evangelist .

The biggest change took place at 4 months. I remember it started when I experienced an extraordinary 24 hours when all the benefits of my quit came together and hit me in the face. I made a post about it here. Since that day, I have started to worry about people I see smoking, worry about their health and their sanity. I have big-time problems seeing young people and friends smoke. Now, for the first time since I quit, I tell people I'd rather they didn't smoke. I've always been squeamish (I cannot watch TV programs showing operations and so on) and I am now squeamish about smoking. I get mental pictures of their lungs, I get a vision of the person looking like Bryan Adams, and so on.

None of this threatens my quit. That is mine alone to have and to hold. But it has created a whole new feeling of discomfort, and sometimes agony, that I will now have to learn to live with.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jun 2001, 23:32 #37

I think it's a phase that most of us go through Marty. My own quit pride was initially far greater than my concern about the harm to other smokers too. But, as I slowly grew to deeply believe that any smoker who desires to quit can quit, I began to feel guilty for passing them by without offering any hope at all. I'd done nothing. The knew the path to glory and I'd kept it to myself. Would they live another year? I had no idea. So what if they get upset with me for reaching out, so what if they've never layed eyes on me before, so what if I interrupt their life for a few seconds to hand them a key, so what if they forget how to find us, the message has been delivered - there is "hope." Can you imagine being Joel walking up to a group of smokers standing outside a door like the one above. I'd love to be a fly on that wall
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

01 Jun 2001, 23:36 #38

Fly on the wall? You could sell tickets. LOL
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jun 2001, 23:46 #39

Wouldn't it be fun for a group of Freedom Oldbies to get together and gang up (in a very loving way) on a few hundred of our brother and sister smokers. What would it be like for them? Their jaw would probably drop to somewhere down around their ankles. It would be fun working as a team - sort of like taking "Freedom" on the road! We could visit each major city of the world for just a weekend. I can see us now
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

02 Jun 2001, 01:53 #40

I'm going to reply to this thread, because I've had to handle being around smokers since day 1 of my quit. Because of this, I've though a lot about the temptations this poses, as well as what I can learn from still-smokers. First of all I call them still-smokers because I hope that one day they will all quit. And yes, I've become one of those rude, aggressive ex-smokers that bother everyone while they are just trying to get their nicotine fixs. But I can't help it.
My step-father is a smoker, he's smoked since he was 14-he's now 60. Currently I live with this man. I can honestly say I've never been tempted to relapse when I've been around him. I think it's because of his age, but I can so clearly see what his addiction is costing him. He hacks when he lits up, and his face is covered with black heads probably due to the all the soot from his smokes. He has HUGE bags under his eyes, he can't sleep a whole 8 hours without getting up to smoke. I've pasted the web address for the why quit site to the computer. Beyond that all I can do is pray that he will try to quit one day soon.
However, with my friends, all of whom smoke, I have been very tempted. They all have kids around the age of my daughter and our usual routine is to get together for a play date and sit outside while watching our kids run around.
I waited until after my 72 hours to hang out with them. I knew I had to face it quickly though or both my daughter and I would feel isolated and lonely. The first play date was the hardest but I came prepared. I read everything in Joel's library on watching smokers. I also brought a two pound bag of carrots and a HUGE jug of cranberry juice. The urges came fast and furious, and there were two times that I had to go inside and cry. But I made it though and it's never been so tough since. Now I watch them smoke, and you know what? I don't see them enjoying themselves at all. I see addicts who are under the control of the nicodemon and it scares me that I was once one of them.
Yes, they have all offered me a smoke, especially in the beginning. But now they have realized I've broken free of the chains that hold them still. I think it's embarassing for them to see me, cool and calm in the face of a past addiction-one that they still haven't beaten. As far as touching cigs go. I've done that too. The first time I was shocked by the feel of a cig in my hands, I had never noticed how smooth they are or how hard they feel. When I was still smoking I never had the energy to notice things like that. All I had time for was quickly lighting up so I can get my fix of nicotine. I remember many a time where my hands shook so hard I couldn't lit the smoke myself and had to get a friend too.
Now I'm like that recent commercial against smoking pot. I sit in a circle of my friends and I can pass their drug of choice around but I don't have to join in and that's fine by them. And it makes me feel TERRIFIC! Sometimes I see one of them staring at me and I hope that soon they will find the strength to quit as well.
Alright I can hear some of you saying "but what do you do with your hands?". Well I felt akward just sitting there doing nothing except changing oxygen into carbon monoxide so I started bringing out my cross stitch with me. I sit there and cross stitch and snack; and talk to my friends. The last two times we've gotten together (and let me tell you, it's almost a daily occurence for us) I haven't even had one urge to smoke.
The only thing I've noticed is that the smoke stuffs up my nose and I'm constantly blowing it the next day. I've also noticed that the smell of a cigerette still smells nice to me. But I also learned here at Freedom that they are suppose to, they have tons of things in them to make them smell nice. So I no longer feel quilty about that. After all I enjoy the smell of coffee, but that doesn't mean I'll ever drink it.
So ya'll, here's my book on this thread. Now I have to go back to packing the car. (ugh!)
YQS Keilit
Four weeks, one day, 17 hours, 51 minutes and 0 seconds. 297 cigarettes not smoked, saving $63.21. Life saved: 1 day, 45 minutes.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

02 Jun 2001, 06:30 #41

When I'm confronted with smokers I tend to feel sorry for them...quitting was my decision, and I hated the way I felt when I smoked....especially because I always knew that I had to quit or it would kill me. I could be them, puffing my way to death if I so chose...I choose not too...

Kalie

---
1w 3d 15:42 smoke-free, 374 cigs not smoked, $93.50 saved, 1d 7:10 life saved
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

02 Jun 2001, 07:06 #42

Zep,
Good question/thread. Most of the time I notice if a person is smoking around me but from time to time it's weird but I haven't actually noticed that another person has been smoking and I only think about it a lot later. When I first quit I did not want to be around other smokers altho' my partner was smoking at the time. I got more used to them because John was smoking and I never found the "way" that he smoked very appealing/attractive. Two very close friends of mine have always been instrumental in me not being able to keep a quit because I've always socialized with them in that context. However, since I've come to Freedom, I have discovered that I have more intestinal fortitude with them especially and their smoking hasn't really bothered me at all. As it happens, I have mentioned this web site to both of them in the hopes that they, too will find their way here and try not to be a huge pain in the butt (!!!) so I won't turn them off the idea. Attraction rather than promotion is how I'm handling it. However, I am not really keen on the idea of going into a bar that has a lot of smokers in it and it's not because I'll get into a crave situation it's that they are beginning to look really disgusting and dirty to me and I don't want to be hacking and coughing in the morning. Not really worth it - rather go to the movies.
Diana
have not smoked for: 2 months, 3 days, 1 hour
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jul 2001, 18:50 #43

Again with the holiday coming up in the next few days it is important for everyone to be psychologically prepared for encountering people who are smoking. Just keep your reasoning up of why you initially quit and why you don't want to ever have to go through quitting again and worst yet, you never want to go through smoking again. Remember both perspectives accurately and you will always choose to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jul 2001, 05:35 #44

How do I handle being around smokers?
I invite them to Freedom!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Aug 2001, 21:45 #45

For Kristen and other newbies venturing out around smokers this weekend!
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zoo
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:58

11 Aug 2001, 00:57 #46

The bar seen and getting a little tipsey or a lot tipsey is what killed a few good quits for me in the past (2 1/2 months on one of them) I have learned now how to stay away from those situations. Having a few drinks around a bunch of smokers can spell disaster for your quit.

3weeks 1 day nic free
,zoo
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Aug 2001, 02:35 #47

For Diana as she prepares to leave on vacation
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Sep 2001, 00:50 #48


Walking Among the Addicted
Nicotine addiction has taken a tremendous toll on humanity. It knows no boundaries and does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, religion, health status or skin complexion. Regardless of the nation which we call home, we each must learn to remain comfortable as we walk among the addicted and watch them engage in public nicotine feedings.

The World Health Organization's national cigarette per capita consumption figures are calculated by dividing the total number of cigarettes sold in a nation by the total number of adults age 15 and older. They're very telling because they reveal the actual density of cigarettes being consumed daily in each country. Let's look at a few examples:
Average Number of Cigarettes
Smoked Per Adult Per Year
India 129 Ghana 161
Nigeria 189 Kenya 200
Ecuador 232 Bangladesh 245
Bahamas 438 Honduras 595
Nepal 619 Costa Rica 690
Norway 725 Mexico 754
Malaysia 910 Hong Kong 1,016
Thailand 1,067 Venezuela 1,079
Sweden 1,202 New Zealand 1,213
Egypt 1,275 Finland 1,351
Ukraine 1,456 South Africa 1,516
Argentina 1,527 Germany 1,702
Russia 1,702 United Kingdom 1,748
China 1,791 Brazil 1,802
Italy 1,901 Australia 1,907
Canada 1,976 France 2,058
Israel 2,162 Ireland 2,236
United States 2,255 Czech Republic 2,306
Netherlands 2,323 Spain 2,364
Turkey 2,394 Japan 2,403
Belgium 2,428 Hungary 2,431
Croatia 2,578 Bulgaria 2,575
Switzerland 2,720 Republic of Korea 2,918
Poland 3,291 Greece 4,313
Imagine getting medical advice on quitting while living in Greece where 50% of all male doctors/physicians in the entire country are addicted to nicotine. I'd love to be a fly on the wall.

Regardless of where we live and how many times a day we're faced with watching a smoker publically elevate their falling blood nicotine level, we can continue to stand tall and proud! That isn't us anymore! We are the masters of our minds!

It's ok to notice them, it doesn't hurt a bit, but continue to see them for what they truly are, captives of an endless cycle of rising and falling serum blood nicotine levels who are trying their very best to blend into society while engaged in publically feeding their addiction. We would have to be blind not to notice them.

Don't allow the fact that you do notice them make you think that you're doing something wrong! You're not! We all notice them! After a lifetime of addiction, ourselves, it's normal and it doesn't mean that we're having a "crave" or even a "thought" about smoking - they're simply there and we each have eyes!

Each year there will be fewer and fewer public buildings in which nicotine addicts can legally light a fire between their lips. Each year we'll see more and more smokers forced out into the streets as they smoke while standing around outside buildings, walking or while driving in cars. They're not there to tease us - LOL (stands for laugh out loud)! They're there because they only have two choices - feed the beast or endure withdrawal.

When you see a smoker, keep in mind that surveys show that over 70% of them don't want to smoke that next cigarette - they want to be like you but they don't know how. Failure upon failure, they now close their minds at the mere mention of quitting while inside clinging to the hope that maybe someday soon they'll manage to break free.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

21 Sep 2001, 03:03 #49

The first time I had to be around smokers was on the 3rd day of my quit. I did not "smell" the smoke but I saw the attendees of a seminar out on a patio during a break. I stood at the glass and watched them and started crying feeling as if I had lost my best friend. Thank goodness for Joel's article that I happend to stumble on that night. Now, one month into my quit it really doesn't bother me. I can watch and smell - I just know I can never take another puff. I am starting to become one of those dreaded "reformed smoker evangalists".
Kind of funny reading your statistic on Greece John. It it soooo true. I lived in Greece for 3 years in the mid 80's. If you went to a restaurant, it was not uncommon for the waiter to have a cigarette dangling from his mouth as he took your order. I had a girlfriend that had a baby in the hospital in Athens and the Dr. came in the room with a big puff of smoke trailing behind him. He also, when finished with his cigarette, crushed it out on the floor with his shoe. Seems nasty now but back then all I though was "cool you can smoke in the hospitals here!" I am now glad that I don't have to try and attempt a quit living there!!

vee
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:15

21 Sep 2001, 11:05 #50

My advice: Move to California!!! The fact that you are not allowed to smoke ANYWHERE (not even bars) bothered me a lot at first, but when I realized that it made me smoke less I didn't complain too much. NOW I'm just so thankful! I'm only faced with other smokers when I walk down the street and that has so far been manageable. (Plus I still have a pretty bad cold which I believe has helped through my first 95 hours of being smoke free! Hey: Whatever works, right?)

My boyfriend is back from Holland and although I've missed him and look forward to seeing him again, I wonder how hard it will be for me: He's a smoker. But maybe he'll be inspired and smoke less around me, and maybe he'll even consider quitting too! I guess that's how I should look at it, and not worry so much beforehand!

We just have to remain strong and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!!

Hugs,

Liv~
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Oct 2001, 03:26 #51

This is for Sabrinia and John, a married couple,
who are just beginning their journey of healing!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John : )
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Dec 2001, 01:51 #52

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Dec 2001, 12:14 #53

The initial step in turning a New Year's Resolution to quit smoking into a new nicotine free life is to make it through New Years, and being around others whose lives revolve around regular nicotine feedings. When you're there and the clock strikes twelve and the New Year arrives, followed by that first opportunity to destroy your new resolution, don't think ahead but instead just focus on saying NO then and there!

Don't trouble your mind with what will happen in ten minutes, an hour or when you awake in the morning, but simply focus your entire determination on saying NO for just three minutes! If you succeed for three minutes you will have a single victory of which you can be proud! It's a big victory too for without it your resolution and new beginning would have ended before it began.

When you lay your head on your pillow, be proud of yourself! Tomorrow you'll awake and take baby steps again, just one tiny 3 minute battle at a time, and before you know it, the victories will begin building and so will your confidence!! Baby steps to glory! Like climbing cliffs - focus on getting a good grip upon the rocks in front of you! Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! YQB John : )
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

05 Jan 2002, 01:44 #54

For newbies
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

06 Jan 2002, 11:02 #55

Forward we go!
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