I’ve been thinking about doing on a post on this for a while now. I was a little worried it would come off hypocritical, but as the cigarette issue intensifies, I’m thinking to myself, let’s do it. There’s a lot that people don’t tell you about smoking. There’s tons of health stuff that happens before cancer and there are psychological parts that you don’t become aware of until you are legitimately addicted to it. These are just my observations, and hopefully it will help one person not go down this annoying slippery slope.
Smoking to deal with your problems. I’m not going to belittle or ignore the magnitude of your problems, that’s your business. But smoking to deal with those problems does not necessarily help. Sure it’s a temporary fix and you somehow manage to tell yourself you’re getting better. But the smoke, forgive me, is just clouding your perception of those things. You not actually dealing with it. That’s why, for some people I know and myself, when we don’t have a cigarette in our hand, we’re afraid of those problems coming to the surface. This is one of my regrets in life. I never actually dealt with my problems and now, now it’s just a mess.
“I can quit smoking whenever I like.” It’s an optimistic statement that tries to ignore the whole physiological process of addiction. But you knew about that didn’t you? You tell yourself you’re not addicted but you are. The other side of the addiction story is how you associate smoking. You’ll start when you’re bored at a party or only when you’re sad. You’ll find excuses to smoke when you are having a good time at a party, or when you feel excited/good/calm. You’ll smoke when you before and after you eat. When you wake up in the morning, before you go to bed, at the bus stop, before and after class or work, every break at work, when you get a package in the mail….which will make it a great deal harder to quit “whenever you like”. Which leads me to my next point….
Smoking is a massive inconvenience. Let’s, just for a minute, ignore the damage you do to other people when you smoke. There’s the extra set of thinking you do to figure out when you can smoke. Limited breaks at work, means you get up a little earlier so you top off before a long shift. Going to class on a smoke free campus (that actually does hand out tickets) means sometimes you’re a little late to class. Family get together where smoking is heavily frowned upon, you are immediately thinking of a smooth way to get out of the house when the tension becomes too much to bear. Non-smokers don’t have any of these problems. There’s ashes on your clothes when you go in for an interview, never mind the smell. The cleaning up, touching up that follows every cigarette, you do not need that extra stuff.
You will find out how good you are at bullshitting to yourself. Smoking has absolutely zero benefit to your life. NONE. But that’s not the story you’re going to tell yourself. Awkward moment at a party? Need five minutes to yourself. Thank christ for cigarettes. Trying to get someone away from loud music so you can actually hear them talk? Smoking. Upset tummy, sometimes smoking can help with that. IT’S ALL BULLSHIT. You make up the most insane reasons to justify your damaging behavior to yourself. How else are you going to explain this madness? Eventually it’ll lead to clever answers about why you smoke and you’ll appear witty and sophisticated for a five seconds, still bullshit.
Peer pressure. I have one thing to say about this. Someone is asking you to want their validation enough to earn it by doing something that will damage you. I already see you making arguments against this. Think about this way, you might not be friends with that person for six months or two years from now, but you’ll still be smoking.
Obviously not everything I said here applies to every single smoker, but I can only hope I helped someone to see their behavior in a better light. Leave your own smoker observations, questions, or angry comments down below.
Until next time,