I just saw a post where one member was saying how angry she got when she saw people smoking now and how stupid it all was. I think she meant how angry she was at herself for having smoked for so long, but this feeling can often be interpreted as being angry at smokers and thinking that they are stupid. People don't smoke because they are stupid, but they smoke because they are drug addicts.
Keep in mind, whey you are dealing with people who have smoked for over 40 years, most of them got addicted before there was ever any health warnings on tobacco. They didn't know it was dangerous when they started. People smoking longer than 10 years didn't know that they were taking up an addictive product. Yes they knew it was dangerous--but they never intended on smoking that much or smoking that long when they first took it up.
Even people taking it up today are not sufficiently warned of how addictive and how dangerous this product is. Of course they know its dangerous and they now hear it is addictive, but very few people realize just how dangerous and how addictive.
If people are asked to rank cigarette smoking dangers compared to the dangers posed by pollution, or illegal drugs, or alcohol induced illnesses, or violence in our society, or the risks of being killed by a drunk driver, or the risk of infectious diseases like pneumonia or AIDS, cigarettes may end up in the middle or maybe even at the bottom of the list. In America, more people die from smoking than people killed in ALL accidents, murders, all suicides, all infectious diseases, all diabetes, all cirrhosis and all olf the AIDS deaths all combined.
Most people don't grasp the true magnitude of the dangers. Also, must people don't realize the true grip of the addiction that nicotine exerts. Worse of all, very few people are given any real understanding of how to take control of the addiction once it has been established. The combination of all of this lack of understanding leaves people ripe from taking up smoking and totally unprepared for getting off of it when they want to quit.
Try to see smokers for who they really are. They are drug addicts who very often do not have the understanding and tools in place to break free of their addiction. You do have the understanding and hopefully at some point they may turn to you for help. When they do share with them what we have shared with you. Help them understand that you were once where they were--you didn't understand why you smoked, why you should stop, how to stop and how to stay off. But once you learned all of this you were able to quit and have proven by example that you have been able to stay off. The example you will have proven is that you have stuck with your commitment to never take another puff!