What should I call myself?

What should I call myself?

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Oct 2000, 22:01 #1

What should I call myself?

Recently one of our members here at Freedom asked whether or not she should call herself a non-smoker since she had quit smoking. Basically the answer is yes, although for some people it can create a state of confusion. These are people who look at the term from a historical perspective and sometimes, on official documentation such as insurance forms there may be a legal distinction. But for personal purposes, the term is fine as long as you understand that there is a difference between a non-smoker and a never-smoker.

Other terms that can apply are ex-smoker, reformed smoker, recovering smoker, or arrested smoker. Although, I think they should all be preceded by "very happy" as in "very happy ex-smoker" so the term doesn't have a tone of sadness or deprivation to the person it is being said to.

As I said above, non-smoker really does apply, since you don't smoke, but historically, before smoker and non-smoker had any real negative or positive connotations, many people coined the term to refer to a person who never smoked a day in their life. I guess the more accurate term for what is considered by many as a non-smoker would be a "never smoker." But it is hard to undo commonly accepted terminology.

Again, there is a big difference between a never smoker and an ex-smoker. Even though physically and mentally they may feel the same, all attitudes might in fact be exact; there is a physiological difference. The ex-smoker still has an addiction. It is asymptomatic but exists none the less. The difference may only be apparent in one major situation.

A never smoker could, if they really wanted to, which, for no logical reason should ever happen, take a nice deep puff on a cigarette. In all likelihood, they would cough, gag, and sometimes, even throw up from such a stupid and impulsive act, feel crummy for a while and never consider doing it again.

An ex-smoker could do the same irrational act, taking a drag, coughing, gag, and maybe even throw up. They could feel absolutely horrible, physiologically, maybe even worse than the never smoker who did the same thing. They could end up hating themselves for having done it. Then within minutes, or hours or maybe days, they will have an uncontrollable urge and take another. May even get the same reactions, feel absolutely horrible and sick. But soon they take more and hit possibly levels of multiple packs per day.

But the difference lies in the fact that the first drag, even though unpleasant, creates the uncontrollable urge in the ex-smoker as compared to a repulsion in the never smoker. For the act of a drag to the ex-smoker is a drug relapse. The addiction that was lying dormant is brought back to full force.

You are an ex-smoker now, or whatever term you are comfortable with. But always in the background of consciousness, remember you are still and always will be a recovering nicotine addict. It is not necessarily a pleasant way to think of oneself, but it is essential to have the basic understanding that because of a past behavior you always have to be on guard. For as negative of a connotation than ex-smoker may have to an individual, it is far superior to having to say, "I am a smoker."

A smoker is a person who is currently under control of a drug, constantly administering dose after dose, with every single puff, dozens to maybe hundreds of times a day. And with that active drug, nicotine, they are also talking in 40 carcinogens (cancer producing chemicals), four thousand other chemicals, hundreds of them poisonous (Arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, just to name a few.) They are increasing their risks of some of the most debilitating and fatal diseases known to man. They smell perpetually bad, they are social outcasts while actively practicing their drug delivery system.

Yes ex-smoker may not sound perfect, but active smoker is a horrible thing to have to admit to and experience. To keep your current status of whatever you want to call it, and never be caught again in the deadly way of life of a smoker, remember...never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Jan 2001, 07:25 #2

For those who are calling themselves non-smokers. It is fine for the outside world, but please keep remembering and celebrating the fact that you broke free from the iron clad grip nicotine once had on you, and one, that if you ever give it the opportunity again, will take you down the road of active addiction in a second. You are a non-smoker currently, and an ex-smoker, and to keep both of these states of being going always remember to never take another puff!



Joel








New video version of this post created August 4, 2012


Another new video that ties into this string, added June 11, 2013:


"I'm trying to quit smoking"


A February 2014 video that ties into this string: Carrying mock cigarettes
Last edited by Joel on 02 Mar 2014, 18:19, edited 5 times in total.
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

18 Jan 2001, 05:25 #3

Image for all our new EX smokers....from another EX smoker and loving it....I never want to forget that I smoked even though I regret it.......to do so might send me back to the arms of my addiction and living this past year as an exsmoker has been wonderful....these two words have been music to my ears "I QUIT".

linda......After smoking for 41 years...I have been smokefree for one year, two weekS, 4 hourS, 23 minuteS and 46 secondS. 7603 cigaretteS not smoked, saving $1,140.55.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Feb 2001, 07:04 #4

Before Joel had a little talk with me I really did consider myself a nonsmoker. I had made up my mind! I didn't need being taught otherwise! I took the news pretty hard. I was mad at Joel for a couple of days. How dare he spoil my vision of myself Image But it made so much sense that I decided to be honest. I'm an ex-smoker and dang proud of it!
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fezman (GOLD)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:26

09 Feb 2001, 03:58 #5

From my LUNGS to Your LUNGS.

Who cares what it is called as long as we are FREE.

Maybe that's what WE should called it .

CIGAFREE!!
That would be pretty cool,

Hey buddy you fot a cigarette!

Nah im CIGAFREE!
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Mar 2001, 19:41 #6

This one kind of hits on the issue covered yesterday of why people take the second puff, at least ex-smokers that is. Why you originally took the second puff before you were ever a smoker that is not so clearly understood and may be variable. I suspect for a lot of people, they took the second one for the same reason they took the first, to look cool or fit in with the person or group that initiated the first. Others I suspect found the jolt of nicotine exciting and pleasurable, even though the other chemical burned their lungs and caused them to gag, they recognized the pharmacological hit and kept trying to recapture it. Whatever the reason, the end result was the same. One of them finally hooked them and brought them to the state that by the time they showed up here, they had smoked thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, and were sick enough of smoking to come search us out.

So don't worry about the second puff anymore. The first puff is the only one you are fighting today. Everytime you win that fight, you remain a champion over your addiction, you keep the control, your health and most likely your life. To stay a winner always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Mar 2001, 23:06 #7

I saw where Triinu wrote that she was not a smoker anymore. That is true for everyone here, and we are happy about that for all. But everyone must still remember that they have become ex-smokers, not never smokers. Never allow distance of time and experiences of not smoking lead to complacency. You can all do everything as ex-smokers that you did as smokers and still stay successful in your quit. Everything with one exception, the one thing you can't do as an ex-smoker and stay successful is to forget to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Mar 2001, 21:55 #8

Kind of ties in to the carrying cigarettes issue again. Ex-smokers, non-smokers, and never smokers don't buy or carry cigarettes. Active smokers and smokers still trying to quit do though. What category sounds best to you? If it is the the ex-smoker--non-smoker classification, don't carry cigarettes and remember to never take another puff!

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

09 May 2001, 14:50 #9

My name is Zep and I'm an X-smoker!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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Ter (green)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

09 May 2001, 23:17 #10

I'm proud of being an ex-smoker too! Just thinking about what I've done for myself and my future - why would I want to hide that from anybody? I smoked. Then I quit, and this is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I feel like I should be able to put it on my resume: THERE IS NOTHING I CAN'T DO NOW!Image
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