Good article John. I agree whole-heartedly, facing your biggest obstacles makes you realize your ability to face smaller ones. It takes out a major anxiety factor of not smoking. The most important trick is go into these situations being mentally prepared for anything. It will generally turn out much easier and better than you think.
While I always tell people that everything they do as smokers, they can do without smoking, they will often find that there are some things that they no longer choose to do once quitting. Sitting in a smoke filled room is one of them. While it is in their ability to do so, without relapsing I should add, it still can become so uncomfortable, irritating, or in some cases, where somebody has preexisting conditions such as asthma, emphysema or a heart condition, down right dangerous, that no matter what the social factors involved, the ex-smoker realizes it is not worth it.
Sometimes it is not only the smoke which is an annoying factor. Sometimes the environment that you have to be in to smoke is its own challenge. This is seen commonly in the case where the only smoking section is outdoors, and outdoors is currently a subzero climate.
As I said, everything you do as a smoker, you can do as en ex-smoker. But common sense will tell you it is not worth it. While everything you can do as a smoker you can do as an ex-smoker is a true statement, the reverse does not always apply. I could probably come up with a long list of things here that don't work for smokers as they do for ex-smokers, but I am going to leave it at one. Sometimes you can breathe air you so that your heart can pump and you can live another minute as an ex-smoker. Over 400,000 Americans smokers lose that ability everyday.
Thanks for sharing and starting a topic that should be near and dear to everyone's heart. (And lungs, and brain, and a whole bunch of other organs which smoking can slowly destroy).