- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
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.
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.
Time to Stop Smoking
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.