What did we love about smoking?

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

What did we love about smoking?

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

08 Dec 2002, 07:13 #1

What did we Image love Image about smoking?
Think hard. What is it that we loved about smoking? What was so wonderful that we were willing to damage or even destroy our lungs and gradually clog the arteries in our body? What was it about smoking nicotine that we liked so much that at the time we were willing to stay with it, flip a coin, and accept a 50/50 chance of departing earth 5,000 days early? Let's use this thread to share all the things that we truly thout we loved about smoking nicotine laden cigarettes?

According to Philip Michels, Ph.D., a USC School of Medicine professor who is also a cessation facilitator, it's normal for us to look to our own behavior in order to obtain clues about our attitudes and beliefs. We tend to draw conclusions about what we must like by watching what we do. Dr. Michels puts such reasoning this way:
"If I smoke, I must like to smoke. If I smoke a lot, I must like to smoke a lot. In other words, I must love to smoke because I've done it so long and I've tried to quit so many times before, but I still smoke. I really must enjoy smoking."

Be honest with yourself, is there something you felt that you truly loved about smoking? If so please Imageshare it with the group. Or, is it more likely that the vast majority of our cigarettes were smoked while on auto pilot as our subconscious worked filing ashtray after ashtray in order to keep a constantly falling blood serum nicotine level (which was reduced by about half every two hours) sufficiently elevated so that our conscious mind did not have to sense the onset of the signs and symptoms of early chemical withdrawal?

As Dr. Michels points out, after watching ourselves do something harmful to our bodies all those years it would be normal to "reason that if its bad for me and I still do it then I must really enjoy it." But in light of what we've learned about nicotine being a true chemical dependency that's frighteningly akin to all other drugs of addiction, including heroin and meth, is such thinking truthful?Image

Look at your list of reasons for quitting. Is love of the long, lost "you" on the list? An honest assessment of where we've been can result in far fewer romantic fixations about missing the 4,000+ chemicals, including 43 carcinogens, that arrived inside each destructive puff of smoke.

Even if it were true that the aaah feeling that we sensed within 8 to 10 seconds of that first puff -- as our nicotine tank was once again replenished - was something worthy of being called love, what comparisons did our mind make in order to label it love? Do you have any current memory of what it was like inside your mind before nicotine put you on an endless roller-coaster ride of nicotine/dopamine highs and lows ("where are my cigarettes, I need a smoke now!!!!!!!!!!")? How does the real you compare? Did we smoke for the aaah feeling or did we smoke so that we didn't have to sense what happened when we went to long without an aaah feeling?

Isn't it time to view any remaining smoking thoughts that continue to visit your mind in truthful light? Do they reflect love or are they the product of obedience to a true chemical addiction?
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, John
Sincere thanks to Philip Michels, Ph.D., Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, USC School of Medicine, whose "Quit While You're Ahead" cessation program materials were the primary source for this post.
Last edited by John (Gold) on 15 Feb 2009, 16:08, edited 3 times in total.

So gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

08 Dec 2002, 07:42 #2

Hi John,

I loved not feeling withdrawal symptoms. That was the only thing I loved about smoking. And now that I don't smoke I love the same thing.

6 weeks and change

misha (Gold )
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

08 Dec 2002, 10:01 #3

The only thing I loved about smoking was it took away the feelings of withdrawal, which of course came from smoking in the first place.....
I am so grateful to be free of that constant need to keep the nicotine levels up. I am so glad that I can live my life without being chained to cigarettes. I can go where I want, do what I want, and nothing is pulling me outside to smoke. I can go and swim for hours, and never get the urge to smoke. I love it.
Last edited by misha (Gold ) on 15 Feb 2009, 16:07, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

08 Dec 2002, 10:07 #4

For me cigarettes made me feel cool, people would look at me and say wow he looks good with that Camel hanging from his mouth. Oh yes I have to mention them in the sleeve of my t-shirt and then to the front pocket t-shirts, this made you cool also. I LIKED THAT i really did.
This was all lost to auto pilot as John put it. I smoked to smoke.

I have chosen not to smoke for 3 Weeks 1 Day 21 Hours 7 Minutes 23 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1144. Money saved: $228.80.
ImageHave fun it can be done.Image
Thank You Freedom

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

08 Dec 2002, 11:03 #5

Sorry John, I'd been looking for a chance to use this gif : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on 15 Feb 2009, 16:10, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:25

08 Dec 2002, 12:15 #6

A vicious cycle I'm glad to be out of.
John, I know I never truly "loved" smokeing. I just smoked to relieve the "fit"
brought on by being low on nicotine in
my system. It also gave me something to
do with my hands. But now I'm wondering why I had to do anything with my hands in the first place? I'm finding it alot more difficult to answer this thread, than I would've in the first week or month of my quit. Is'nt that great?

Gena (bronze)

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

09 Dec 2002, 00:03 #7

Something to Do With our Hands

ImageI'm sure many of us used to feel the same way, Gena, as smoking gave all of us something to do with our hands (I know I harbored such thinking) but your realization is right on the money - unless we turned to chewing tobacco we had absolutely no choice but to use our hands. None!

I wonder if those addicted to chewing tobacco have falsely conditioned their thinking to believe that one of the primary reasons that they chew is so that they'll have something to do with their lips, gums, cheek and/or tongue.

A big part of the psychological adjustment process is in transforming our thinking by objectively analyzing our prior behavior in light of new understanding.

Joel teaches us that if we treat smoking as we would any other true chemical addiction, knowing that a sip, fix or hit will result in relapse, then we lay honest ground rules for what it takes to gain and retain control of our addiction. Understanding that we were each chemically addicted to one of earth's most captivating substances is a critical first step. Taking the time to apply the full significance of our addiction realization to the beliefs and conclusions we developed regarding the countless memories we created and stored during years of nicotine dependency can be of assistance in helping us move on to a life with fewer or even no mixed feelings or mental conflicts.

John felt that smoking made him look cool and when I started smoking so did I. Although tobacco companies continue to market nicotine as "an adult choice activity," the image of smoking being "cool" is likely to continue to diminish even in eyes of youth peers if they receive objective facts regarding nicotine's power to captivate, control and destroy. With new studies like the HONC Mass. review, the message of quick and permanent chemical addiction is just now beginning to filter out and as it does I hope that being addicted will not be high on the list of "cool" things to do this week. I like to think that knowing the difference between a habit and true chemical addiction would have made me stop and pause. I sometimes wonder.

Sten, I think one of the greatest things about a solid quit is the warmth that flows from the thought of never having to quit again : )

Last edited by John (Gold) on 15 Feb 2009, 16:15, edited 1 time in total.

Clare Silver
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Feb 2003, 09:54 #8

I would tell people that I liked smoking but I realised that I only said that to convince myself so I would keep doing it. It was only the fix I liked/had to have. One thing that I have noticed is I feel like I have had to learn all over again to have a conversation with someone without my 'crutch' Its true.. For the past week, I haven't been game enough to talk to anyone out side at the place I used to smoke, the verandah. I plant my feet in the kitchen when someone comes over, and talk to them there.I can't believe how much the addiction controlled me. So today I realise there was nothing I liked about smoking.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Feb 2003, 10:55 #9

I realized several years into my addiction that I was literally smoking to ward off withdrawals...by then I was way hooked. Twelve years of feeding my addiction knowing if I didn't stop it would eventually kill me- Found Freedom, mustered up every bit of courage I could find, looked in the mirror, said "good-bye junkie" and that was it.....there was nothing good about smoking-let alone anything to love. It was an awful, life sucking, emotion sucking worthless waste of body and soul. I don't miss it at all...craves? I am still healing yes....I will NEVER smoke again- what a waste...
1 Month, 5 Days a bunch of hours- Smoking is AWFUL! FREEDOM is FAN-TAB-U-LOUS!

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

07 Feb 2003, 12:10 #10

I really like this topic. I'm not sure if I ever liked smoking. I know I did it an awful lot. I know I relied on it in every situation. I thought I liked the way it relieved my awkward situations, the way it took away my boredom, the way it helped me unwind or wake up, the way it seemed to enhance my drink and add to the experience. The truth is that I didn't need this drug to help me. I remember thinking all through my addiction that as long as I have cigarettes everything is fine. It is sad but true. I thought of them as my badge of courage or something. My friend. My addiction was killing me and I knew it. My body was crying out to me and I would just say hang on and I will quit soon. This was a big rollercoaster. No enjoyment anymore. My smoking took control of me. I hope I don't sound to strange but the point is I realize that all these new experiences without tobacco are and will be so much better. For the sheer fact that I will be TRULY IN THE MOMENT. No more escapes. I used to like to escape. I am more brave today. Thank you John for this. Lena 2 months 3days without a puff!!