Around the world health experts agree that the best thing a smoker can do is to stop smoking cigarettes. People ask me all the time if I ever smoked. When I was around thirteen, I began smoking. It was at under my house with my best friend. Later at my friend’s house we smoked with his older sister. We both asked her for a smoke. I guess she though it was cute – her little brother and his friend trying to act so grown-up and cool – and over the course of the evening, she let us both have several cigarettes.
We didn’t really like smoking but one of the reason we had so many cigarettes is that we liked the idea of smoking. When I’d get a cigarette, I’d take a big drag or two, cough like crazy for several minutes and then I’d pass it to my friend. He’d do the same thing – inhale once or twice and practically hack up a lung as he waited to be able to breathe again. By the time we had two or three big drags each, the cigarette was gone. But by the end of the evening we were puffing away just like regular smokers do. We thought we were the coolest. At the time I didn’t think about how hard it could be to stop smoking cigarettes when I got older.
I smoked cigarettes all through high school and while I was in the Navy, along with other things. It was the 60′s and 70′s after all. It just seemed to make every event better, make me mellower and feel cooler. I used to love to go down to the pool hall, put some quarters in the jukebox, and shoot with a cigarette hanging from the side of my mouth. After all everyone smoked. No one even thought about it. In the Navy it was another reason to take a break. It was something to fiddle with in your hands when you were feeling socially awkward and an excuse to go outside and take a smoke break with your buddies or just stretch your legs. And it made it so much easier to make new friends and acquaintances.
That last detail is something non-smokers don’t understand. When I finally quit smoking cigarettes I don’t think it wasn’t the nicotine cravings that made it hard. I don’t believe I was ever really physically addicted to cigarettes. It was not having the social contact that I had enjoyed before. When you’re outside a building or at a party with other smokers, there’s a natural social bond the forms with other smokers. You can ask for or offer up a cigarette or you can get a light. It makes a good way to start a conversation or to meet new people even though it may seem strange to say.
And besides that, just the fact that you are all smokers not only gives you something in common, but provides you a feeling of camaraderie that’s based on the fact that everyone is viewed kind of like social lepers by the society around them. Among smokers, there’s a certain spirit of “we are all in this together” that can make you nearly feel like your abandoning your family when you stop smoking cigarettes.
If I hadn’t had a cold that was driving me nuts, as well as a girlfriend who nagged me incessantly, I probably never would have stopped smoking. I haven’t smoked now for over thirty years, but when I was with some friends a while back I kind of missed the camaraderie and the relaxation that cigarettes furnished.
If you still smoke and would like to quit, check out my website http://www.asmokefreeu.com/. If you really want to quit I have a quit smoking program that can help you!
About the Author
Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy, a combination of hypnosis, NLP, breathing techniques from the martial arts and visualization used for goal setting. His practice is located in San Diego, California. For more information about Wil and his practice please go to http://www.TotalMindTherapy.net