Thursday, February 25, 2010

Up In Smoke

It has come to my attention that almost everyone I know, or speak with on a regular basis, smokes. This is a shocking realization, given that I abhor smoking. At least, I thought I did. Now I'm not sure. I've spent my entire speaking life saying "ah, smokers, disgusting lot they are," (yes, I have always spoken like a Dickens character), yet now i find myself surrounded by the heavy coughs and lingering excuses for their curious habit. I would like to help all my friends quit in one go. But I fear this is going to take a super-human effort on my part. Ridding them of their cigarette holders (hands) is one way to go, but then there may be a slight backlash (albeit one I could easily repel). No, this is going to require some collective thinking.

How best could I rid my friends of this habit? Has anyone had any experience in this area? I've tried telling them about the impact it has on their bodies, to no avail. I was thinking I could set up some sort of reverse intervention. I would gather all my friends in a room and tell them that they have a problem. Or perhaps I should begin with just one of them ? - I know if I can break the weakest link in this spluttering chain, then the entire group will falter. Suggestions?


Allison said...

Non-smokers can't really do anything really. Thinking you can encourage them is false - 'cause you don't know what it feels like.

Basically people have to quit on their own - any attempts I've witnessed have failed because the person wasn't ready.

Sincere Lee said...

The funny thing is most smokers can tell you exactly what it does to their bodies. None of my close friends smoke. I do have a few associates who do, but well I don't care what they do. I wouldn't try to tackle the entire group. One at a time is better. Are they all single? Maybe that would be a good way to get them to stop smoking. I can't speak for all women, but I have never dated a man who smokes and I never will. It's disgusting.

Sarah said...

Now you know I'm eternally optimistic and staunchly anti-smoking, but I have to agree with Allison.

I think unless you've got one who has decided they're ready to try quitting, there's not a lot you can say.

BUT you should definitely refuse to keep them company when they head out for a smoke.

You don't need that secondhand shit and it's a good reminder to them that their actions do affect others.

Or you can tell them the story of my best friend in elementary school who was orphaned because both of her parents died of cancer within three months of one another.

Allison said...

I'd like to say that I'm a non-smoker - with bad lungs. I just happen to work with a lot of smokers - and have several family members (though none in my house) who smoke.

Saying "you shouldn't smoke" is a pointless thing to say because they already know that. Most smokers know that what they do is bad for them, just as the obese guy eating McDonald's no doubt knows that he's maybe a big mac away from cardiac arrest.

I know I shouldn't eat cookies, but I can't always stop myself. Addictions are complex things - and complex problems require complex solutions.

Again, I suggest you let it be.

buffalodick said...

Our state is putting into effect a no smoking in public places- meaning bars, clubs, restaurants, etc. They bar owners are building decks outside, etc. to circumvent the law. I don't believe the government has any right to dictate motorcyle helmets, seat belts, or spots where smokers can smoke. They are influenced by lobby groups..that is the problem! They make taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and won't legalize pot because they can't tax it! They make laws against drinking and driving that is an industry onto itself! They give tickets for not having your seat belt fastened- do you think they care so much for you? I don't smoke, and I never have, but I watch personal freedoms being eroded from our American way of life everyday.
I'm not a nut case, but you hit a hot button with me...

Allison said...

Where we live in Canada you can't smoke anywhere indoors. As a non-smoker I like this law. It protects non-smokers from second hand smoke.

You think drinking and driving laws are wrong? Maybe I misunderstand you, but I feel you're opinions of personal freedoms are way off.

I shouldn't have to drive on the road with drunk people, and I shouldn't have to eat my dinner in a smoke filled restaurant.

Most smokers know that smoking is bad for themselves, and for others, and go outside to smoke no questions asked. It's not an infringement on personal freedoms, it's a courtesy.

Allison said...

Also, your comment really has nothing to do with what Rob has written about. He's just looking out for his friends who smoke. He's trying to help them for the sake of their health.

Nothing to do with government conspiracy.

Amanda B. said...

Rob, let me explain what I overheard this past Xmas in Quebec, where everyone smokes btw. Hopefully this will make you realize smokers are absolutely not going to listen to you. It was Xmas day, if that makes it more tragic: I overheard my little cousins (10 and 11 yr old boys) talking loudly, eventually some crying – to dad and their aunt – about how their mom does not love them. Why, you ask? Because she smokes, and they both know smoking is bad, so why does she do it in front of them and to herself?
The parents are split up, dad lives somewhere else, within town. The dad and their aunt (the mom’s sister) both smoke heavily. And they DEFENDED the mother. I didn’t hear all of what they said because I was trying to get to sleep. I think they defended her right to smoke cause she “works so hard” etc. And defended their own smoking, which, at least, both of them only do in certain places in the house, and not in cars.
I was saddened and sickened by all this, and would have went to go help the boys, but I needed to sleep after a 37 hr (approx) day of travel.
Anyways, the point is… smokers will ignore their own crying children because of their filthy habit/addiction. But hey, you could try to convince some friends you see occasionally to stop. At the very least, don’t go outside with them. I once held a table for my whole group of 6 people, where I was the only one who didn’t smoke. “Occasional/social” smokers annoy me even more I think.

If you’re still determined to help though, there’s this:
It’s a contest where people can register, try to quit and maybe win a car. They need a stop smoking buddy, you can be that! They’d need to register this weekend.
*I’ve also tried to be a stop smoking buddy. If they want their cigarettes or lighter though, they might shank you. You’ve been warned.

Kinsey said...

I know how you feel. I guess a lot of my friends don't smoke, but a few do and I'd love it if they quit. The funny thing is - they want to quit, but they can't. I don't know if I can do anything to help them, but I would love to. It's a weird kind of situation, but hell, it's an addiction. I can't even give up pop for a month...yikes.

TheBigShowAtUD said...

i don't think you can make them. for a habit like that, the motivation has to be in intrinsic... so you'll have to figure out how to make them WANT to do it.

the-soul-divine said...

Currently, nearly every person in my family smokes. Its been that way forever! My mum smoked when she was pregnant with me and that wasnt even enough to stop her! Sure they will tell you what it does to their bodies (they damn well know) but when asked why they do it their reaction is all the same - "you gotta die of something, i enjoy it"

Unless they have strong will power or a health scare, nothing you say will change their bad habit!

Sarah said...

Also, hypnosis and wizardry.

Agy Talks said...

I think until they really don't want to quit for themselves you can do all but nothing..

Kate said...

Do you know anyone who has successfully quit smoking? They might be a better influence. I have a friend who is basically in the process of becoming a smoker and I'm trying to recruit my ex-smoker boyfriend to help talk him out of it.

Ps: I gave your blog a blog award because, shucks, it's a pretty good blog. Here's the post.

Juliana said...

HELLO!!!! New follower--loving your blog. AUGH smoking--well I just fake cough a lot and tell tell them that cancer is not a walk in the park. I mean, if they want to smoke fine. Whatev, but when THEY are smoking around you they are basically puffing cancer in your face. I mean, friends do not let friends drink andd drive so why are friends being douche bags and giving you cancer? I think it is that simple.

Also-my hubby used to quit, he used hypnosis and never smoked again. The mind is a very powerful tool!

Christina In Wonderland said...

I don't think it's possible to help them quit, unless they really want to.

Most people I know smoke, but I'm with you, I absolutely think it's a disgusting habit, which is weird, considering my parents smoke and I was raised around smokers of all kinds.

I really hate when people who never smoked once decide to pick up the habit when they're twenty something. They ruin their lives that way. Good-bye clean lungs; hello emphysema.

Ebony Jewel said...

I so detest smoking...I mean absolutely detest it!! I agree with most of the other posters though - people have to quit on their own. They need to have the desire to quit in order to be successful at quitting such a terrible habit.

On a side note though, if there's a Bodies Exhibition somewhere close to you take your smoker friends to it! I know they say they know what smoking does to their bodies, but the Bodies Exhibition has a pretty graphic depiction of what smoking really does to their insides! :)

Anonymous said...

you've got some very serious comments on this post, buddy!

all i can add is that when you figure out how to get your friends to stop smoking, let me know... i just might quit.

as a smoker i will say this: we know it's bad for us, and we know it's stinky. we will not quit until we want to quit. trust me on this. we won't even consider quitting until we want to.

best of luck!

Sam said...

Ohhh the smoker bashing. Goodness. I'm a very rare, considerate of others smoker (1-2 cigarettes per month). And I do not appreciate being told by strangers on the street (this has happened to me) that I am going to die of cancer. Please understand that it's almost offensively condescending to be told to quit. I just want to enjoy my coffee and cigarette in peace. Because I engage in an unhealthy habit does not make me a bad person and it does not give strangers the right to tell me that I'm a bad person. If you are trying to convince someone with whom you have a close relationship w/, that is more acceptable and understandable.

Rob said...

Holy smokes, (haha.. umm)

I didn't know i had so many comments on what was basically just me rambling about my friends. Thank you everyone for sharing your opinions on the subject. I have had no success helping my friends quit, as most of you quite correctly predicted. Although, I never really pushed them towards it. As Sam has quite rightly pointed out - each of us are entitled to our own vices and devices. I have many of my own i need to work on! Thanks for all the comments, everyone.