Why Don't I Qiut Smoking?

In Days of Old

In days of old it may have been considered cool to smoke. Today with all the results of studies showing life threatening diseases and illnesses we realize it is not cool at all to smoke. But the addiction to nicotine is said to be comparable to heroin, so it is not an easy habit to break. Perhaps realizing your own mortality will help you to seek help in kicking the smoking habit. (smokingstatistics.org)


Reasons People Smoke

That's a really good question. May not be number one on my hit parade but "Why don't I quit" plays through my mind, over and over. Before I talk about why I don't quit, let me reminisce about why I started. Back in the '60s smoking was cool. Everybody smoked and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to start. After all, we had the Marlboro Man! Our parents smoked, all our friends smoked, and the movie stars smoke in almost every movie made. If you watch and old movie, pay attention to how much smoking you see!

So, why don't I quit, let me count the ways.

  • Addiction - the rush of nicotine running through my system calming my nerves and satisfying that gnawing craving. I try not to smoke but after about two hours the need and craving start coursing through my body. I get edgy and emotional and the only way to calm down is a cigarette. Did you know tobacco is more addictive than amphetamines? My body does. They say the addiction is caused by the nicotine. Of course the wonderful cigarette has so much more to offer as well; tar, carbon monoxide, taste improvement chemicals, fungicides and pesticides, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Nickel, something like 600 chemicals. It's easy for people to say its not really an addiction, let them try it for a while and see what happens. So why don't I quit smoking?
  • Satisfaction - For a non-smoker this is a hard one to understand. There's a twisted satisfaction in holding that paper tube, inhaling smoke and blowing it back out into the air. It's like you're blowing your troubles away if only for a second. S. Shiffman and TR Kirchner did a study and said smoking is thought to produce immediate reinforcement. Women and African Americans reported higher satisfaction. I happen to be in the 'women' group.
  • Habit - I've got some bad habits but I know smoking trumps them all. The phone rings - reach for a cigarette; finish a meal, reach for a cigarette; get in the car...you know the drill. It is definitely a habit albeit now a quite expensive habit with prices over $8.00 a pack everywhere and some places as high as $12.00 -- that's for one pack of cigarettes. Quite a shock to you non-smokers I'm sure, its enough of a shock to those of us who do smoke.
  • Weight Control - This one may or may not be a mental thing but it does seem to work and the fear of gaining weight if you are able to quit is sometimes insurmountable. Studies have shown that people who quit gain five pounds as a rule. Take the rest of us who would be shoving food in our mouths all day long to avoid the craving and that five pounds is just a drop in the bucket. According to an article on Ask.com: Smoking burns up to 200 calories a day in a heavy smoker, Because smoking burns calories, metabolism is boosted (increased) slightly and Nicotine is an appetite suppressant.

Increased appetite is a side effect of quitting tobacco for most people and I find it hard to believe it is JUST the nicotine that suppresses appetite. If that were true all the nicotine replacement products would keep you from gaining weight, which they don't.

Full Ashtray

Isn't this enough to make you want to quit smoking?
Isn't this enough to make you want to quit smoking? | Source

Why Do I Smoke?

Why do I smoke? Certainly not because:

  • it's prestigious and glamorous
  • it's cheap - the price keeps rising and rising
  • it smells good - it's actually awful and pervasive
  • I burn holes in my clothes
  • the dirty looks I get from non-smokers

It's probably because I've been doing it for over fifty-five years and in addition to the habits I formed with cigarettes, I'm addicted. It seems everything I do is accompanied by a cigarette. I can be out in the garden pulling weeds and find I need a cigarette to help me along! I've been relaxing with a cigarette darn near all my life!!

I know it's bad, I know it's all the things I've already stated here but unless you've smoked you'll never quite understand the hold it has on you.

Ways I've Tried to Quit

So, why don't I quit smoking? It's not like I haven't tried. Let me count the ways I've tried:

Hypnosis - I've tried both group and individual hypnosis. One hypnotist I went to advertised a guarantee or you could come back as often as needed. After about the fifth time he stopped returning my phone calls. I did quit for a day or two after each hypnosis session.

Then there was:

  • Zyban, an anti-depressant pill accidentally found to help people stop smoking,
  • the Nicotrol lnhaler, looks like a small cigarette holder with nicotine cartridges,
  • Nicorette gum, the taste of which nearly killed you,
  • the nicotine patch, placed anywhere on your body to slowly release nicotine into your system to help with withdrawal,
  • and oh, I can't forget Chantix. I almost made it with Chantix until I broke out in a rash from head to toe accompanied by full body hives. It took three weeks of steroids to clean up that mess.

Many have been able to quit using any one of the above or most bravely of all just cold turkey. Just stopping and never picking up a cigarette again!

So, the question is; Why don't I quit smoking? I really wish I knew but I can tell you I haven't given up trying to quit.

Copyright Tillsontitan 2011 - All Rights Reserved

P.S. - I QUIT

My husband suffered from seizures and was told by the doctor if he didn't quit smoking he wouldn't make it through the next seizure. He quit cold turkey that day. It took me three months to work up the courage...I used ecigs and patches at first. After a few months I graduated to the nicotine gum which I must admit has improved in tasted.

Next month it will be one year since I quite smoking. Let me tell you, if I can quit, anyone can. Keep trying till you succeed. I know you can do it.

Another reason to quit

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Comments 16 comments

beccas90 profile image

beccas90 5 years ago from New York

While we think smoking is addictive because of the nicotine it actually gets out of your body pretty quickly once you stop. The tougher addiction is to the habit - that takes longer and more difficult to overcome.

It sounds like you've tried many times to quit - 5 times on hypnosis? This suggests the problem is you're not really ready to quit and until you are I wouldn't bother - nothing will work.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Becca. Guess I need to get it through my thick head.


PeanutButterWine profile image

PeanutButterWine 5 years ago from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

I have the same problem.. I started so young, its a horrible habit, I keep it to myself; (away from my kids, usually smoke outside on a dark patio like a criminal.. the world is not a friendly place for a smoker), and yet, I didn't as for a twenty year addiction... nobody told me it was addictive back in the early nineties, maybe one day I will manage to quit, but I sure do love a big glass of red wine and a cigarette I must say ;) *I know, I am disgusting, oh the guilt!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

PeanutButterWine, you're not disgusting but I share your guilt ;)


markbennis 5 years ago

Ah I am a smoker too and you have described it so well and I mean very well, I too want to kick the habit and well it just isn’t happening lol.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York Author

Unfortunately Mark that's the way it is for me! One of these days. You're still young so the sooner the better. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Well written tills! I never tried to quit because I never had the urge to quit but maybe one day I will quit BUT the problem is I'm not a quitter! Once I start something I stick with it through thick and thin. I guess I could become a quitter but then I'd be a failure. It's so confusing....


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Actually it's not confusing at all and I may have to borrow it to use with my family.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This hub is pretty interesting and written calmly. I just read a hub a few days ago referring to all smokers as SERIAL KILLERS due to the 2nd hand smoke. The author used some of the most horrible adjectives attributed to smokers and claimed she'd like to "RIP THEIR LUNGS OUT OF THEIR BODIES!" (she doesn't appreciate their filthy 2nd hand smoke polluting her "UNTAINTED ORGANS) Most of the comments agreed with her 100% and added their insults and total disgust toward the "KILLERS." She literally stated that it's BETTER if a parent is a COKE ADDICT rather than a smoker.....because in being a DRUG addict the parent is ONLY HARMING THEMSELVES AND NOT THEIR CHILDREN..(Yeah, that's a highly intelligent opinion, don't ya think?) One of her visitors went so far as to use filth and profanity to scream out that "ALL SMOKER SHOULD JUST F***ING DIE...JUST DIE AND LEAVE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE...DIE F***ERS, DIE!!" Lovely, huh? Needless to say I wrote the longest comment I've ever written....and although I used fact and logic (about the drugs vs smoking, etc ) I know I wasted my time. I know smokers are the NEW LEPERS of society, but that hub went way WAY over the top. I don't even remember her name. Sunshine read the hub too. I got a bit of a kick out of the man with the filthy mouth who ordered all smokers to F***ing DIE to leave a BETTER world.....with violent psychos like HIM in it? Yeah, it'd be a better world, buddy, I'm sure.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Wow! I don't want to know where THAT hub is. Pity the poor smoker...any smoker with an ounce of sense doesn't smoke around children or anyone who objects to smoking. I don't smoke in my own house any more because I have grandchildren that visit. I also don't rob anyone to pay for my cigarettes! Thanks for reading Effer.


Tams R profile image

Tams R 4 years ago from Missouri

Great explanation of the inside mind of a smoker. Non-smokers do not understand the plight we are on. I hope they never do really as it would mean they had to be there. I too tried the hypnosis. Something about red brake lights will make you remember you want to quit. Ya right! I'm sure it works for some people but not me. We'll get there!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

How right you are Tams ... you never know till you've walked a mile in another's moccasins. We WILL get there!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

I understand what it is like to be a smoker...been one for 20 years...does help with weight los and is soothing. I would love to quit...it is qite a challenge!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I know Audra, I want to quit but just can't seem to get there!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Interesting article - I gave up when I was 20 and so glad I did. I started smoking when I was 14 but thankfully gave up early enough to never really smoke very heavily, about 15 a day I think. My sister smokes and wants to pack up but says she likes it too much to do it yet. She's tried everything as well, hypnosis, patches, placebo thingie, the lot. No luck though.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

You are so lucky you stopped when you did. The longer you smoke, obviously, the harder it is to stop. You've got to get your mind around stopping! Good luck to your sister.

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