Another slant on how to watch people smoke

Joel

April 18th, 2002, 8:00 pm#1

Recently, a successful graduate called me complaining that she needed a cigarette. When I inquired as to why she needed to smoke, she said that there were many problems at work and she felt that a cigarette would calm her down and make her better able to cope with the current sutuation. She went on to explain that the woman who sits across from her is always smoking which futher enhances her cravings to take a cigarette.

I asked her to describe the lady who was always smoking around her. She said, "She is a co-worker who is really neurotic. She is always a nervous wreck. We have the same boss, and he is the source of much of our tension."

There seemed to be a great inconsistency in her story. She needed to smoke so she could calm down. She saw this lady smoking which made her feel the need to smoke even more. I could understand if her smoking companion was always calm and tranquil when confronted with unbearable stress. But to the contrary, "She was NEUROTIC". It was apparent in her case that cigarettes were not an effective stress reducing technique. Upon realizing the simple inconsistency in her story, she laughed and realized that cigarettes were no answer to dealing with her stress.

Often when an ex-smoker sees another person smoking, they wish they too could have a cigarette. They may automatically think how much the person is enjoying that cigarette. The fact often is that the person may not like the particular cigarette or even realize they are smoking it. They are simply maintaining a deadly addiction, trying to avoid nicotine withdrawal.

Ex-smokers should consider how while they were still smoking they used to envy people who quit cigarettes. No matter which situation you are in, a smoker observing an ex-smoker or visa versa, the other side has its appeal. The ex-smoker has the great advantage. The ex-smoker can go back to smoking any time she wishes. The smoker cannot always quit. The ex-smoker will go hours, days and eventually weeks without thinking of a cigarette. The smoker is constantly reminded by family, friends and associates of their socially offensive habit.

So, next time you observe a helpless smoker maintaining this deadly habit, have pity on them. If they ask how you kicked it, share with them the philosophies we taught you. That may be all the assistance they need. If they need more help, they can always come to see us.

We wish you luck in helping those closest to you quit this dangerous addiction. Once they break free, always reinforce the one concept which can guarantee continued success in staying free from cigarettes. Make sure they understand to Never Take Another Puff.
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wcsdancer (Gold)

April 19th, 2002, 2:50 am#2

Joel, "The Palmolive Bottle" has been a great help when watching other smoke but this article really hits home. I believe many of us feel "deprived", especially when we watch others who are still "able" to smoke. Your post helps to remind me of what I am now "deprived". I no longer "get" to spend my time, money, and health on nicotine. I no longer "get" those dirty looks from non smokers. I no longer "get" to suffer from withdrawals in between cigarettes. And most important for me: I no longer "get" to live my double life as a smoker, sneaking, lying, hiding, and covering up my addiciton. Gee, how "lucky" those people are that still "get" to smoke.

*Candy* Having lost NOTHING and Having gained EVERYTHING 5 Months 1 Week 2 Days 15 Hours 50 Minutes 55 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1927. Money saved: $433.78. Life gained 1week 6days 9hours!!!!!



Edited to add the following videos related to this string:


Last edited by wcsdancer (Gold) on August 13th, 2012, 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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sue from SA

April 24th, 2002, 4:02 pm#3

Yes I agree with Candy's referral to the "The Palmolive Bottle" . With that in mind most of us need to bring down the stress levels that we are feeling, cos its this tension that leads us to fantasizing about having a smoke to break the stress ( a catch 22 situation)
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janetd (GOLD)

April 27th, 2002, 11:36 am#4

If those cigarettes were so enjoyable, why is it that so often I wasn't sure if I had smoked one or not? Hmmmm
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JazzGolden

May 31st, 2002, 7:09 am#5

Joel,

I am really happy to have come across this message while reading today. At just short of 9 days nicotine free I had been feeling a little envious of my smoking friends. After reading this I now realize that they are wishing that they could quit and I no longer envy them!!! I know I am not missing anything good. Thanks so much.
Jazz

1 Week and 1 Day and 20 hours
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misha (Gold )

June 3rd, 2002, 8:43 pm#6

I sat outside with a friend of mine that smokes. I watched him closely. I watched him take a deep drag, I smelled the smoke, even outside, I watched him coughing and coughing, and continuing to smoke, I watched him watch me and ask himself how I did it, how did I quit? I don't miss smoking at all.

3 weeks 3 days 12 hours 50 minutes
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Kit Cat (Gold)

June 3rd, 2002, 11:08 pm#7

Joel,
One thing I have noticed myself doing is watching people smoke. I keep telling myself you used to look like that. NOT PRETTY! I ask myself, "Do you miss that?" NO WAY! Watching these people inhale my lungs hurt!
I've been enjoying my FREEDOM and I know it would be pretty tough for me to give this up.
PROUD TO BE A NON-SMOKER
Cat
"I'd rather be an ex-smoker who has an occasional thought about smoking than a smoker obsessing about quitting."
I have not smoked for 4 Weeks 21 Hours 15 Minutes 39 Seconds. NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Last edited by Kit Cat (Gold) on April 10th, 2009, 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DubiouslyDos

June 4th, 2002, 5:18 am#8

Thank you for the great discussions you've had today....this being one of the 3 I've read today....being short on time I couldn't say "here, here" to each one but I really enjoy the postings I've read here and am thankful that I have been nicotine free for 6 days, 6 hours without headache, upset stomache, or crave!!! Best information source ever!!!


Dubiously Dos
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Pelican1(Bronze)

October 20th, 2002, 6:28 am#9

Wow, another great group of threads, just what I needed to read today.
Pelican
9 days 21 hours
one day at a ime
never take another puff
love smellin sweet
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Astonished04

February 22nd, 2004, 4:28 am#10

It's like watching someone shoot up... Only they are blind and don't know it's a needle. NEVER let your fixations, passing desires, or even triggers get in the way of sharing your struggle and victory with a nicotine addict.

Carla
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johnny L irish

February 23rd, 2004, 12:26 am#11


I love the "I'm only going down for one. Be right back." Of course, this happens again one hour later and so forth, hour after hour, day after day, week after week and year after year. I've heard someone say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. If you do this thing -- this smoke thing, why wouldn't you suffer the consequences? How, if you are in your right mind, can you expect otherwise? Obviouisly, those who "go down for one" aren't really in their right minds. Must be short-term memory loss.



Johnny

1W 1D 10h 19m 35s free, or, 8 days as the flies
Last edited by johnny L irish on April 10th, 2009, 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mocha

July 29th, 2004, 11:06 pm#12

Something I observed.... I used to go outside during my breaks and chat with the rest of the smokers. Recently, I started going outside again because I missed the atmosphere. The majority of smokers (actually, all but one) suddenly were disconnected. They didn't ask how I was doing it, congratulating me... conversation just abruptly ended after I announced the reason why they hadn't seen me was because I quit. Things are a bit uncomfortable now when I go out. Maybe they're envious of me, maybe they feel like I'm going to preach to them, I'm not sure. But I still go out because I miss the heat and the things that were associated with my cigarette break. * Note: I do not miss the smoking. It actually feels very nice to be able to go outside and not "need" a cigarette. It still smells pretty good though . But it wouldn't deliver the "aaahhhh" feeling; that I know and besides, NTAP!!

Good read. It's not always greener on the other side

Nastassja
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gold osomashi

September 24th, 2004, 3:51 am#13

This is a very helpful post. I love learning ways to re-program my junkie thoughts.

Nastassja,

Thanks for sharing that about your colleagues. I get nervous when go into situations with buddies who still smoke. Not because of the smoking triggers (like some great people have said here---we have to embrace them and knock'em down) , but because maybe they may think I'm a different person.

I've started to feel the same way you do with a close friend of mine who still smokes. I think she may even be avoiding me since I quit. What I'm trying to do is just take it step by step and show her I don't judge her.

Best,
Mari
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Joel

November 14th, 2004, 9:51 pm#14

I saw where one member wrote that she was not handling emotional aspects of her life with much grace since she quit smoking. I thought she would appreciate this one. While smoking may have at one point in time been viewed as graceful and debonair, that time has passed in most circles of society. Not only do people appear to others to be more anxious and out of control while smoking, they often feel it internally. Posts that address this side of smoking are I have to smoke because of all my stress and How would you deal with the following situations?
To handle life with what is likely to be viewed as a greater degree dignity, strength, self-control, intelligence and not to mention, just smelling a whole lot better, as well as to look and feel healthier and to likely live longer, just always remember why you first quit and are still committed to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Newfoundme1

January 22nd, 2005, 3:05 am#15

I observed something today that made me really appreciate that I quit. I was at a store and was observing two people sucking down cigs. They looked really stupid and like addicts. It was as if they didn't smoke the whole thing before going into to store they would die. I remember so many times doing the same thing. I thought that when I quit I would never be able to drive a car again. But it has been 21 days and I am driving ok. Sometimes feels like something is missing and a little air headed but I know I can do it and I will be better for doing it. I just keep reminding myself of why I quit and how disgusting I looked and how sick I felt when smoking. They say as time goes on you forget the bad things about your addiction so you must journal and reread all the pain you go through and remember it is lies your mind is telling you about the good reasons you smoked. There is really no good reason. Tracy
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Joel

February 10th, 2005, 8:29 pm#16

I used to be like that.

The above link highlights the valuable reinforcement you can get by really watching and analyzing others who still smoke.
Last edited by Joel on April 12th, 2009, 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold

February 24th, 2006, 11:03 pm#17

Another way to look at Ourselves & Others -

Did I smoke cigarettes for more than 80% of my living breathing days so far? - Yes.
Will I always be a 'Smoker' - No
(there are no 'smokers' per se, only nicotine addicts using tobacco cigarettes as their preferred option to deliver their drug).

Could I smoke cigarettes again - Yes
Do I want to - NO!

Will I always be a nicotine Addict? - Yes

....and it is that fact, the root cause factor - unchangeable & undeniable - that I must always be aware of.

Any of us will stay free and in control of me as long as we continue to decide to NTAP!
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BonitaJean0

April 12th, 2006, 1:23 am#18

I went to a conference last week and I was worried because I was not on my turf an all my friends who reside in that area smoke. After all the worrying...I realized that what I observed was kindof funny.....in a way.

I decided to drive to and from the conference and when we would arrive at our destination they would just about open my car door to exit that they not only had their cig's and lighters in their hand but were quickly trying to light their cig. Also, we weren't far from the enterance and wow....you talk about quick long drags! It appeared to be a desperate measure to finish the cig in 60 seconds flat!

We go inside to find a seat and sit down and I realized that when I did smoke (before my quit) that I must have really stunk a horrible stink after I smoked....did I really think I could hide that smell with a breath mint?
Now; we have our first break during the conference and you notice that a crowd of people are going outside, in the rain and keep in mind it's cold and damp, to smoke a cig.

I realized that I am very happy to not have that Monkey hanging on my back anymore!

Thanks for reading,
Bonita
Been smoke free for 93 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 13 seconds. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!
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JoeJFree Gold

April 29th, 2006, 7:34 am#19

Ex-smokers should consider how while they were still smoking they used to envy people who quit cigarettes. No matter which situation you are in, a smoker observing an ex-smoker or visa versa, the other side has its appeal. The ex-smoker has the great advantage. The ex-smoker can go back to smoking any time she wishes. The smoker cannot always quit. The ex-smoker will go hours, days and eventually weeks without thinking of a cigarette.* The smoker is constantly reminded by family, friends and associates of their socially offensive 'habit'. - Joel



* My boss, who has a 22 year CT NTAP quit. told me today that he gets a crave (actually a trigger and fixation event) every couple years. When it happens he weighs One = All and all he has to lose by having that first puff and does not. Not a long discussion nor is it a tough decision according to Bob.

Comfort does come, wait and see. Happened for many, happened for me, and will happen for you if you only NTAP!

JoeJFree - Day 473
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whosthisitsmesilly

April 29th, 2006, 7:41 am#20

I am glad i have Quit and stayed Quit with the help of this site. Obviously people Quit for different reasons and are under different illusions if they ever could contemplate picking up a cigarette to smoke it.






Cathy
I have been quit for 1 Month, 3 Weeks, 42 minutes and 46 seconds (52 days). I have saved £215.92 by not smoking 1,040 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Days, 14 hours and 40 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 08/03/2006 00:00
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JoeJFree Gold

January 18th, 2008, 7:00 am#21

Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on April 12th, 2009, 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joe J free

January 18th, 2010, 9:31 pm#22

I used to be like that

Being tempted watching others smoke

The 'joy' of smoking



The above links highlight the valuable reinforcement you can get by really watching and analyzing others who still smoke.
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FreedomNicotine

March 17th, 2010, 4:42 pm#23

Often when an ex-smoker sees another person smoking, they wish they too could have a cigarette. They may automatically think how much the person is enjoying that cigarette. The fact often is that the person may not like the particular cigarette or even realize they are smoking it. They are simply maintaining a deadly addiction, trying to avoid nicotine withdrawal.

Ex-smokers should consider how while they were still smoking they used to envy people who quit cigarettes. No matter which situation you are in, a smoker observing an ex-smoker or visa versa, the other side has its appeal. The ex-smoker has the great advantage. The ex-smoker can go back to smoking any time she wishes. The smoker cannot always quit. The ex-smoker will go hours, days and eventually weeks without thinking of a cigarette. The smoker is constantly reminded by family, friends and associates of their socially offensive habit.

So, next time you observe a helpless smoker maintaining this deadly habit, have pity on them. If they ask how you kicked it, share with them the philosophies we taught you. That may be all the assistance they need. If they need more help, they can always come to see us.

We wish you luck in helping those closest to you quit this dangerous addiction. Once they break free, always reinforce the one concept which can guarantee continued success in staying free from cigarettes. Make sure they understand to Never Take Another Puff.
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Krissy

March 26th, 2010, 3:27 pm#24

Has anyone seen the anti-smoking commercial with the rat constantly going to the water bottle for a drink?  It totally reminds me of my friend--going outside again and again for another fix.  I used to be just like her...in fact, that's how we all used to be, going back for dose after dose of this life killing drug.  It's never enough....it's like putting beads on a string with no knot at the end.  Thank God we saw the light. 


Krissy - Free and Healing for Twenty Five Days, 10 Hours and 56 Minutes by avoiding the use of 509 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $152.89.
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prucat

July 22nd, 2011, 1:44 am#25

Thanks for a good article, Joel, on looking at smokers. I had to admit there are times I watch someone smoking and wish I could have one. Then of course, i know that this poor smoker goes on smoking day in and day out, never getting any respite from the demand for nicotine, and all the awful things I remember from that.

So why is there any appeal? I know I quit smoking for very, very good reasons and I so hated cigarettes at the end that I can't even find words for it. Because our marvelous minds allow us to forget things in order to move on with our lives, we also run the risk of misusing this gift. The appeal of the smoker is the fantasy of smoking -- not the smoking itself, but the fantasy addicts entertain from time to time.

Well then. From time to time I entertain the notion of having a different life, different hair, a different job. I think about it, muse upon it, and let it go. Now I do that with smoking. Let the 'fantasy'idea run through my mind and then simply acknowledge that it's a fantasy. When I shift to the reality of what smoking was in my life, it's easy to let it all go.

Each day it gets easier. Life IS better on this side of the bars. Thanks for a good look at watching people smoke.
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