How do you handle being with smokers?

Sewquilts (GOLD)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

21 Apr 2001, 11:39 #31

Image 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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John (Gold)
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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hannes (gold)
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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John (Gold)
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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John (Gold)
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."
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Last edited by John (Gold) on 05 Dec 2011, 09:43, edited 1 time in total.
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marty (gold)
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 Image ) 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 Image .

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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John (Gold)
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 Image
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marty (gold)
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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John (Gold)
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 Image
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Keilit (Gold )
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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