I guess it depends on your definition of addiction. I smoke only because I enjoy it. Sometimes I feel like smoking every day for a while. Other times I go weeks, months, or even years without smoking because I just don't feel like it. I do the same thing with ice cream, coffee, alcohol, and other indulgences.
I thought I sensed a familiar pattern.
Yes. This! The worst is the evangelical ex-smoker though. I'm an ex smoker, but I hope I'm not evangelical about it- would be tad hypocritical considering my alcohol intake!
Stress relief... but it's only temporary stress relief, however, once you're hooked, you're hooked. I know for a fact I don't smoke to be cool, because if I was seen as cool, I sure wouldn't smoke. People look at me strangely..and my friends think it's disgusting... so... I only do it for stress.
It has been said of smoking (and there's an analogy to the other substance addictions) that "At first you do it to feel good. Before long you're doing it not to feel bad."
Try sex, its easier on the lungs.
I don't want to offend anyone but I guess I will, frankly I think smoking is well, plain stupid. It's hard enough staying healthy without being self destructive. I know people have vises but no one has to pick up that first cig. It especially bothers me when I see young people smoking that know how bad it is for them, yet they do it anyway. It's just plain stupid. Same with drinking.
I always have to kind of chuckle a little when people say with absolute definity that there is no appeal to something they've never done. Was there no appeal to sex when you were virgins? You think every smoker on the face of this planet mentally kicks themselves everytime they whip out their Bic to light up a cancer stick or a coffin nail? You don't possibly think we get some enjoyment out of it? That couldn't possibly equate to there being some appeal in there somewhere; could it?
I started smoking when I was eighteen, which is technically an adult. I didn't start with cigarettes, I hated cigarettes at that time. I started with cigars; and no I am not in reference to those foul smelling cylindrical tubes of chemicals that gas stations try and pass off as cigars. Why did I try them you are being led to ask by the ray I phrased this sentence. well, it wasn't to look cool, smokers don't look cool,, they're far too common to be cool. It was because I'd seen other people enjoying it, and I wanted to see if I enjoyed it too. Turns out I did, and still do.
After a couple years, I progressed to cigarettes. First Lucky Strikes, because I love history and the idea of smoking the same cigarettes that went overseas with the GI's in WWII was interesting to me. I didn't really like those very much, so i found out why. Its because of all the chemicals in them. They made me cough, and coughing is usually not all that fun. so I switched to rolling my own, with pure tobacco, (which is not that dangerous by itself).
Let me make this very clear, I am not addicted. Forget what the nice cop who came to your school in fifth grade told you. You don't get addicted off of one cigarette. Its tobacco, not ecstacy. Some people never get addicted no matter what they do. I'm one of those. I can smoke a pack a day, or none a day, whichever I choose. And no, before any of you who swallowed the DARE Cool-ade jump on the bandwagon, I'm not just saying that because I have a problem and I want to deny it. I've dropped smoking for over six months without a single shaky hand, simply because I couldn't afford to buy the cigars or cigarettes.
Next, please stop telling people who smoke that they're going to die of lung cancer. We know its a risk, and we've weighed those risks against the appeal of smoking, we decided we didn't care. I highly doubt that the next smoker you hurl your platitudes at is going to have some life changing epiphany that they couldn't get by reading that big scary label on the box. Trust me, we all know its dangerous, and your pointing out the blatantly obvious is just annoying, its not informative.
How would you feel if next time you stepped out to have a diet soda, someone ran up and shrieked at you how bad it is for your liver. Or the next time you stripped off to have sex, your mom came in the room and gave you a lecture on safe condum use, or reminded you that even though they don't show signs of STD's, they could still transmit them to you. You'd be pretty annoyed. You just want to have your soda or your wild roll in the hay in peace, and don't need some busy-body do-gooder coming up and reminding you of how your throwing your life away for some few moments of physical or chemical pleasure.
Also, I find it very sad that you won't even talk to someone who smokes. Would you refuse to talk to someone who perpetually wore there hair in a certain style, or who didn't wear a certain type of cologne/perfume that you preferred, or heaven forbid they'd had more than one sexual partner in their lives. Do you give life history and medical background interviews before you shake hands or give a passing nod to a cute girl/guy on the street? Why do you have to judge someone on their habits? Why can't you simply accept that they made an independent choice, but they could still possibly be a wonderful person? Christopher Hitchens has a wonderfully close friendship with bottles of Johnny walker scotch; are you going to tell me you'd despise him enough to never read one of his books or listen to one of his speeches, simply because he likes to pop a cork? How boring your life must be, to be cursed with such pure perfection that you deem to pass judgement on others for their life choices.
In closing, I will simply point out that smoking is pleasurable. Granted, some people have bad experiences or certain ailments which forbid it, but the same can be said of swimming and riding a bicycle. You shouldn't condemn someone for a choice they make. Choosing to smoke is no different than choosing to have sex, or choosing to wear your hair in a ponytail.
@ Cody - "Choosing to smoke is no different than choosing to have sex, or choosing to wear your hair in a ponytail ". Really? Having sex (safe sex) or wearing a ponytail won't result in my contracting lung cancer or emphysema, they also won't leave my children (if I had any) without a parent prematurely. Of course, I could swallow the ponytail in my sleep or maybe get it caught in a lawn mower, but those things aren’t very likely.
Frankly if someone wants to kill themselves slowly while enjoying every minute of it, be my guest, but when they have young children they'll be leaving behind, I get aggravated at their shallow, self indulgent attitude, after all, how could sucking some smoke down your lungs be so grand that someone would be willing to give up years if not decades with their wife & children?
I guess there are some really screwed up families that would be the exception.
Obviously everyone is entitled to their vises and self destructive habits, I'm sure the drug and alcohol users feel that same way you do about how good it makes them feel but inevitably at what cost to you and yours.
"How boring your life must be, to be cursed with such pure perfection that you deem to pass judgment on others for their life choices", Personally I don't drink, smoke or do drugs, but if you think that people that don't indulge in those activities are living a boring life, I've got a religion to sell you.
Believe it or not, for me anyway, there is more to life than our self indulgent pleasures. I consider it a strength to say no to some of the things we want most, especially when they can alter your life and health in a very negative way. There is nothing that brings me so much pleasure that I could not reject it, that would make me willing to sacrifice what little time I have on this planet, after all, time is short as it is, and there is no afterlife.
Of course, this is just my opinion, it and 25 cents won’t even buy you a cup of coffee,(which I don’t drink either). Some of my best friends have been drinkers, smokers, and maybe even done few drugs, but I gave up a long time ago trying to change their minds, much like trying to convert a religion. I do understand that some people indugle in every pleaseure because life is so short. It’s your life to squander my friend, just don’t expect everyone to be able to rationalize it as you do may not beable to rationalize mine.
And would that being said, light one up on me brother.
@ Cody: colourful. LOL. @ Tex: chill out man. I actually think you should start exerimenting with some more of God's wonderful gifts. You know the kind I'm talking about. The fun ones. They can enhance life without screwing up your health. ;-))))))
So it's people's free choice if they want to smoke (passive smoking dangers aside). Have you ever seen someone die of smoking? It is not nice. My friend's mother passed away at 63 and spent the last three years of her life with her lungs in rags, on oxygen most of the time, in pain, barely able to go out. Cody, and everyone else who smokes that crap, that's what you're likely to be headed for. A horrible lingering death. Please don't let that happen to you. Think of your kids at least. Jill gave up smoking at 48 - but her doctor said she should have stopped at 42. 42, people. And really, life IS better without those stupid things. And giving up means lifting that inconvenient death sentence you's all pretend not to care about.
First allow me to translate my sentence about other's life perfection. I am not saying your life is boring. I am saying, if I can borrow this phrase, that for every finger you point at others, there are three pointing back at you. The people who posted, (and it wasn't you Tex), who said that they wouldn't even greet a person who smoked, were who i was in reference to. I'm saying that in order to completely shun someone simply for one habit that you happen not to like or agree with, your life had better be perfect. Perfect lives are boring, they never change or present anything unexpected. That was my point.
Now, while I do not agree with, and certainly cannot imagine a life without coffee, cigarettes and alcohol, I don't have to, I'm not living one. If you want to live that life, its totally up to you. Your living, or not living, your lifestyle does not impact my life in the slightest, so I wouldn't judge you on it.
Lastly, yes, safe sex can kill you, look at the HPV virus if you don't believe me. There are a lot of STD's that latex just can't save you from. Sex is a risky business, especially when you fall in love and start having unprotected sex. Then things really start to get interesting.
No, ponytails can't really kill you in any common way I can think of, but your missing the point. The point is, how you wear your hair is your choice, I wouldn't not greet you if we were to meet on a street corner, simply because you have a ponytail. How is that any different than if you have a cigarette in your hand? Its a choice, and its your choice, not mine.
My sympathies to your friend. Losing a mother must be terribly difficult.
I assume though, since you are health conscious when it comes to smoking, that you no longer drive, swim, work in high risk jobs, associate with guns, eat anything unhealthy, go a day without walking at least a mile, never expose yourself to any harmful chemicals or diseases, never leave your doors unlocked, walk late at night in any part of town with a higher than average crime rate, cross streets without looking both ways twice, cross the street at a location that is not designated for doing so, or a number of other things that you probably do on a regular basis that are lethal. Now, certainly you do some of those things, and that's fine, I'm not condemning you.
It is a basic fact of life that it is a fatal disease. There is no surviving life, you can't even prolong it. There are people who exercise everyday, eat healthy, and don't touch tobacco drugs or alcohol, and drop dead at thirty-five. Then there are people who smoke two packs a day, or like Mark Twaine 20 or so cigars a day, hardly ever exercise, and live to a ripe old age.
I have asked people who were dying of cancer that they got from smoking, and people who were dying of liver disease from drinking, I asked a man who was paralyzed from the neck down from a motorcycle accident, and one who'd been thrown from a horse, I asked them all the same question, "was it worth it", and they all answered yes. The man who had the motorcycle accident asked me if I was going to close myself off in a bubble, worrying about everything that might go wrong, or am I going to go out and live the life I want to live.
Now, I'm not trying to turn smoking into some preachy thing about sucking all the marrow out of life, I'm just saying that you shouldn't condemn someone for living the life they chose. Yes, smoking may increase the danger of diseases, but it also has been shown to lower the chance of other diseases. Smoking has been known to help with depression, some addictions, ADD, and I even read one study that said it may help with the shaking of parkinson's disease. Does that make it good, no, it just makes it a life choice.
I don't have kids right now, but when I do, I'm not going to worry about how much time I have with them, because there is no way of knowing that. I could live an absolutely perfect life, then get shot in a mugging. I'm going to spend each day with them to the fullest ability I can, and that's it. No more, no less. What more can anyone else do?