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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14537 comments As I was leaving work today I walked through the "smokers' club" right outside my building. Now...it's -30 in the wind...they're huddled together, smoking cigarettes.

Damn, that must be a powerful drug.

What do you think of smoking? Are you a smoker? Have you ever smoked?

I don't mean to sound judgmental...I could never smoke regularly because of asthma, so I've had maybe ten cigarettes my entire life. I did smoke my share of pot, though...

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I've smoked since I was 15. I quit for a year or two here and there. I've never been a heavy smoker, so I always feel like it's in my control. It isn't. If only counting how much I enjoy smoking, I know that its grip on me is powerful.

It doesn't help that I have an aggravating oral fixation and a disregard for my welfare.

message 3: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) I smoked regularly when a teenager, because, well, you had to in order to be part of the "cool" set. One day when I was 19 I just got sick of the rotten taste in my mouth, and the rotten way it made me feel, and up and quit. Never looked back. No, it deosn't make me feel superior or anything. But to this day I really can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke.

My employer doesn't allow people to smoke on the property, so there aren't any people standing near the door. They stand across the street instead.

message 4: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) I quit smoking 4 years ago, after having smoked for nearly 20 years. I don't miss smoking, nor do I miss huddling outside for my cancer stick fix when it's freezing outside.

message 5: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments i smoked 17 cigs in my life and 10 of them were in an hour span while in a tent with my brother terry on a camping outing.

message 6: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
I've smoked on and off for the majority of my life (since I was thirteen). I'm a constant quitter. Right now it has been about 4 months since I've smoked (not counting the puffs I had on New Years) and I'm feeling good about that.

It hasn't been a very steady habit as I, like RA, have asthma that gets worse when there is all sorts of tar and shit building up inside my lungs.

The addictive power of nicotine is fierce, however, and I will succumb to temptation during periods of all out stress and fear.

message 7: by Heidi (last edited Jan 16, 2009 01:20PM) (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10826 comments UGH! All the bars around here are smoker-friendly. I can't go out for a drink with friends without going home smelling like a gigantaur cigarette, or really any public buildings (except the hospital campus where I work... thank goodness, it's smokefree) for that matter. I'm not a fan (allergic, too). Legislators tried ot pass a law banning smoking in public places, and a group of bar owners and smokers lobbied against it. It didn't pass. I was super disappointed.

message 8: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
I'm glad that law passed here. It is much easier to go out and resist smoking when one can't just freely light up whenever and wherever. Especially in the dead of winter and it is a pain to go outside.

I like coming home and not feeling coated in secondhand smoke.

message 9: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14537 comments I don't think you can smoke in any public building around here, bar or not...yes, I'm glad for that as well. Remember when there used to be "smoking sections"? And the smoking section could often be right next to the non-smoking section?

message 10: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) Dying of COPD is a slow, horrible way to go. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. My father had a heart attack at age 82, having smoked for a large portion of his life -- even though he quit 20 years before the heart attack. When they went to do the bypass surgery, the surgeon said he couldn't believe how bad his lungs looked. It was amazing that he survived it all, after almost 3 months in a cardiac ICU (on a ventilator through a trach tube, with several lung "blowouts" along the way, almost kicking several times) and a month or so of rehab after that.

I see people in Wal*Mart all the time riding in the electric carts with oxygen tanks on them.

I know it's a tough thing for people to stop. It's just hard for me to understand it, I guess, with what comes from a life of doing that.

message 11: by Sally, la reina (last edited Jan 16, 2009 01:52PM) (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
Yeah, that was lame.

*edit: nothing about Larry's post was lame. I was agreeing with the smoking sections right next to the non smoking sections of RA's comment.

message 12: by Heidi (new)

Heidi (heidihooo) | 10826 comments :-| RA, we still have "smoking" sections around here in restaurants.

When I was in college, a rule against smoking in buildings on the college campus where I attended went into effect. Smokers would congregate at the entrances of buildings so that one would have to walk through a cloud of smoke to get inside the building. I could ACTUALLY SEE the cloud of smoke as I would approach the building.

message 13: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14537 comments You know, that reminds me, I heard Pelosi on NPR a couple days ago...she said that Bush turned down two bills to fund kids' health insurance with a 61 cent tax on cigarettes...Bush apparently said it would cause too many (I assume cigarette-related) jobs to disappear.

message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments my fav rodney dangerfield joke:

"I only smoke after sex....I have been working on the same pack since 1968"

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) I think this is as good place as any to admit that I have a collection of (unopened) cigarette packs from around the world...it's quite beautiful. It started when I lived in Mexico City and fell in love with the colorful packs there: tigers (tigres), lighthouses (faros), airplanes (alas), etc and was then augmented with clowns (payasos) from Guatemala. I now have packs from India, China (many), Russia, Hungary, Japan, Greece, Sweden, Spain, etc. I do have pictures, if i can ever figure out how to post a photo I will ...

message 16: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
That is super cool! I want to see pictures of this collection. Upload yours to photobucket! They make it super easy to post pictures!

message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Oh...I'll have to figure out how to do that...maybe my son knows. we're talking about someone who still can't do italics, never mind cross outs, on Goodreads...(!)

message 18: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
Hee hee.

message 19: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I started smoking at 15 or 16, but I never really LOVED it. Five or so years ago, I quit for like a year, and then I smoked again for about a year, and I quit again three years ago. However, I do keep an emergency pack of cigarettes for times of serious anxiety (like going to visit my family, which is why I bought my current emergency pack back in October) and for times when I am at parties ('cause I freak out with all the people around and I can't calm myself with alcohol). I still just really don't like the taste, though. I'm glad. It probably woulda been a lot harder to quit if I did.

message 20: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments I smoked a lot when I was drinking and using b/c DUH, you just gotta!

message 21: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jan 16, 2009 02:51PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14537 comments That sounds very cool, Jess.

I have two packs of candy cigarettes in my office!

message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Montambo (message 2): I'd not have guessed you were a smoker! I am a very occasional one...odd, because (knock on wood), it's never taken hold on me as an addiction. I smoke maybe the sum total of one pack a year, if that. But...I have plenty of other addictions. I sometimes smoke to keep myself rooted to the desk if I'm writing because I seem to have developed a very bad case of ADHD as I've gotten older...

message 23: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) RA: candy cigs don't count!

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Jessica, I really feel as if smoking is tied into my identity. Online, I guess you wouldn't gather that part.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I smoked a clove cigarette once for Mardi Gras. Oh, and tried to take a drag on a joint. That's it for my smoking experience.

In Washington state there's an indoor smoking ban, so no smoking sections anywhere.

I think that the farther west you go, the less common smoking is. Hardly anybody I know here smokes, and no one in my immediate family does. So it was a bit surprising to discover that my mom's cousins in Pennsylvania ALL smoke, and that's just the way things are out there.

It seems like the restaurants don't even bother with non-smoking sections. I remember walking into the Dew Drop Inn cafe in Canton, Pennsylvania on a family visit, and walking right back out after seeing the toxic cloud of cigarette smoke everyone was sitting in. It was like a visit to the 50s!

But out west, everyone is concerned about having healthy lifestyles, eating organic, exercising, and definitely not smoking. Anyone who does smoke is trying to quit. It's just a different culture.

message 26: by Lori (new)

Lori It sure is Jackie! When I moved here from NY I suddenly felt completely dirty, no one here smokes whereas everyone I knew in NY smoked like a chimney.

Funny this thread should come up. I've been tapering off for 2 weeks and today just bought that Nicorette gum to start this weekend.

For those who don't know, nicotine is more addictive than heroin, and harder to stop as well.

So if I become an insane maniac here next week, now you'll know why!

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Hmm, is it wrong of me to look forward to "insane maniac" Lori?
I think you should substitute posting for puffing, Lori, and we can all be part of your quitting process. Your online support group, the one that mocks you while encouraging you at the same time!

message 28: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17365 comments Mod
Not that I'm the most successful quitter, Lori, but here's what I do when I'm actively not smoking and wanting to oh-so-badly. I carry a toothbrush and nice toothpaste, and some really good smelling lotion around with me. When the urge strikes I brush my teeth and wash my hands and put on good smells and feel fresh. It helps.

message 29: by Julie (new)

Julie | 568 comments I have quit smoking three times now. All three were for more than a year, so I felt like smoking must not be so addictive to me, but then why do I keep going back?

Two reasons. Reason One: the first two times I started smoking again after quitting was due to living with a close friend or boyfriend that was a HEAVY smoker. And Two: my most recent relapse was due to major stress...but even so, I have had the same pack of cigarettes for a month, and am not even half way through yet.
In ideal circumstances, I could quit for good, but the minute things get challenging, I cave.

message 30: by Cyril (new)

Cyril Someone once told me that if you see a group of people smoking outside a hospital, they would be the most beautiful and popular people around. This man was a smoker. He was a thoracic surgeon.His "beautiful people" were all respiratory therapists.

Another doctor told me that years ago in medical school lectures, the students would all be smoking along with the professor. He also said he used to smoke in the nurses' stations along with the nurses.

message 31: by Lori (last edited Jan 16, 2009 08:35PM) (new)

Lori The weird thing is alot of doctors and nurses still do smoke!

I remember when I was a kid, there were smokers galore in the waiting room. Times have changed, and for once for the better.

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