I smoke because I am self-destructive

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Sep 2001, 20:45 #11

Image For Marty. Smoking is an act of suicide but it is not usually from the person being suicidal.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Oct 2001, 01:18 #12

How can someone smoke when they know they are sick? It is not usually because they are self-destructive, or that they even just want to smoke. It is because they have not accepted their addiction. I say it here often, cigarette smoking is just a way of feeding your nicotine addiction. If you treat an addiction as an addiction, you will be able to stay in control it. If you treat an addiction as a bad habit--you don't have a prayer of getting control or keeping control over it. Treat nicotine for the addiction it is--to stay free simply never take another puff!


Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 21:02

16 Feb 2002, 02:46 #13

i remember that many MANY times i said i continued to smoke because cancer ran in my family, and i was certain i'd die young of cancer whether i smoked or not. i had a very close family member die of colon cancer at the age of 43, and she smoked like a chimney ever since i can remember. i used to say...see, she died of COLON cancer, not LUNG cancer. how ridiculous of me.


Barb H (Bronze)
Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 21:58

16 Feb 2002, 10:39 #14

Thanks Joel!

I needed this thread tonight. At my age and circumstances, I needed this very much.


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Mar 2002, 09:38 #15

For Mary:

A lot of people think they have complicated personality flaws that account for smoking. Often it is so much simpler than that--they smoke because the are nicotine addicts and the illogical and bizarre thoughts or actions are simply drug seeking behavior patterns. This article is a good example of just how twisted thinking can become in order to rationalize smoking. I have one other on this on a person who about a week into a quit was excited when she thought she had cancer and could then smoke again. I'll bring it up in a minute.

The way to stay much more sane is simply to never take another puff!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Mar 2002, 09:41 #16

Joel's Reinforcement Library

What A Relief, I Think I Have Cancer!

"Last night I was getting a burning sensation in my lungs. I actually thought I had lung cancer. I wasn't scared, surprised, or even upset. I was actually happy. I can't remember ever looking so forward to being diagnosed of having a terminal illness." This unusual statement was made to me by a clinic participant on her fourth day without smoking. While it sounds like the ravings of a severely depressed or mentally ill individual, in fact she was nothing of the sort. To the contrary, she was smiling and laughing when she said it.

What was the humor she saw in the statement? As soon as she said it to herself the night before, she realized the pain she was experiencing was the same complaints she heard three other people describe earlier that day at her clinic. It was a normal part of the healing process from quitting smoking. She also recognized the fact that she was not looking forward to a debilitating illness and a early demise. She was looking forward to taking a cigarette. When the pain started she rationalized that as long as she had lung cancer already, she might as well smoke. Then she realized she was looking forward to cancer. At that point she recognized just how morbid her thought processes had become. Not because she was quitting smoking, but because she was an addict was she capable of thinking in such depraved terms. Upon recognizing the absurdity of the situation, she laughed off the urge and went to bed.

It is important to remember just how irrational your thoughts were when you too were a smoker. As a smoker you were constantly warned of the dangers through the media, physicians, family, friends who quit, and most importantly, your own body. Not a week goes by when you were not being bombarded by the constant annoying message that smoking was impairing and killing you. But being the obedient addict you were, you disregarded these pestering outside influences to obey your true master--your cigarette. As Vic, the participant in my first clinic once stated, "Everywhere I turned I was being warned about cigarettes. Newspapers reports and magazines articles constantly reinforced that cigarettes were deadly. Even bill boards advertising cigarettes carried the Surgeon General's warning signal. Every time I'd reach for my pack, a warning label stared me in the face. It was only a matter of time before I reached the only logical conclusion. I quit reading!"

The control cigarettes exert on you when you are in the grip of the addiction is complete. It makes you say and do things that when observed by outside observers makes you look weak, stupid or crazed. At the same time it robs you of your money, health and eventually life. Once free of cigarettes you can recognize all these symptoms of your past addiction. To avoid ever living such a miserable existence - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 23:40 #17

Elsewhere on the board today we are talking on how negativity often keeps people smoking and how working on the positive side of not smoking can help secure people's quits. Just thought I would bring up a few strings that highlight this issue.

AuntBea (Silver)
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 00:33

21 Dec 2002, 05:10 #18

I had an aunt who died not from the cancer that she had, but from the condition of her body when the cancer was discovered.
She always stated that she wasn't worried about her chain-smoking habit or being very overweight, because she intended to enjoy life to the fullest. She didn't care when she died, because she would have enjoyed every minute of the time that she had.
It took the doctors a long time to find the cancer, because they all told her that she didn't feel well because she was overweight and smoked. They finally located a small lump in her chest and scheduled her for an outpatient biopsy. She never came home.
The surgeon found a very large tumor that had invaded one of her lungs. According to him, this was not a particularly agressive tumor, and he was very satisfied that he had gotten it all.
In spite of all of this, this wonderful lady in her early forties died two days later.
According to the doctor, her lungs were so weakened by the years of heavy smoking that they were unable to heal. She was never taken off of the respirator. Her poor heart, also abused for years from smoking, finally gave out, and she left us.
The saddest thing of all, however, was the fact that in the end she changed her mind. She wrote to us over and over--"please don't smoke", and "I'm not ready, please don't let me die!" The doctors said that although she was dying, she was also going through nicotine withdrawal. She had quit.
I apologize for the length of this. I have just heard this from so many people--they don't care, when it's their time it's their time, etc. It is only the addiction talking.
Never take another puff!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Dec 2002, 05:39 #19

Thanks for sharing that story Bea. It is a powerful addition to this string, not too long at all. Here is another string you might find of interest, looking at the twisted way people think of smoking from a little different angle: What A Relief, I Think I Have Cancer!

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Dec 2002, 23:19 #20

Judge says nursing home resident can smoke
Saturday, December 28, 2002 PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A woman dying of lung disease should be allowed to smoke despite her nursing home's ban on lighting up indoors, a judge has ruled.

Virgie Meade, 57, sued Western Reserve Extended Care in Kirtland last week because new managers last month started enforcing a no-smoking policy residents say was largely ignored since 1989.

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci ruled in her favor on Friday, rebuking nursing home officials for resisting a "dying woman's last request to smoke."

"This is a short-lived request because the patient is short-lived," he said. "But it is a reasonable request and you will grant it."

Meade has lived four years at the home about 15 miles east of Cleveland. She's dying of emphysema and progressive lung disease, her lawyer said. She lost a leg to cancer and needs pure oxygen to breathe, but she still smokes three or four cigarettes a day.

Lucci said the nursing home must allow Meade to smoke four cigarettes a day, giving her four minutes for each. She must be supervised, face an outside window and blow the smoke out the window, he said.

Meade will not be allowed to take her flammable oxygen tank into the designated smoking room, and the other 170 residents must be kept away while she smokes.

Western Reserve officials protested, saying nursing home workers would be forced to help Meade smoke when they are needed elsewhere. They also argued that the ruling could violate regulations against residents smoking indoors.

Amy Knapp, a spokeswoman for Arkansas-based Beverly Enterprises Inc., which owns the facility and 460 others in 27 states, has said smoking restrictions are made in residents' best interests.

The home's policy was never enforced until a new administrator ousted Meade and other smokers from a TV room about a month ago, Meade's attorney said. Residents were told they could smoke only on an outside porch, protected from the weather by sheets of plastic.

Meade has said the cold makes her chest hurt and she feared catching pneumonia.

"You will accommodate this patient before she dies," Lucci told the home. "Her addiction is a medical problem and you will attend to the addict."

Meade has smoked for 37 years, since she was 20.

"It's worth the fight," Meade said a week ago. "I feel like they're taking away my rights to enjoy what life I have left."
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