A smoke-free Ireland

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3,037 Posts

Louise (EXH72940)  ·  31 Oct 2008
Apologies anon2 that last post was in reply to your question :)

3,037 Posts

Louise (EXH72940)  ·  31 Oct 2008
Yes Anne I will have to correct you I am well past 18 (unfortunately)

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Anonymous  ·  31 Oct 2008
Louise correct me if I'm wrong but aren't you only 18 or so yourself?

Anne, Louise is correct about the "anti Brigade". I know lots of smokers and ex smokers. The vast majority of the latter party are tolerant of smokers. There is a very small proportion of ex smokers, a lot of whom appear on this site, who come across as smug, arrogant and condescending and feel they are morally superior because they quit (at least that's how there posts come across). They like to lecture about the dangers of smoking and they basically put themselves on a pedestal. If anything they should be tolerant and understanding of addiction. My own father is one.

It would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic.

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mechanima  ·  31 Oct 2008
Dear Lord,

Have I told you lately how grateful I am for all your help in making sure that I didn't let my decision to quit smoking in 2001 turn me into a sanctimonious, judgemental control freak with a bad habit on trying to manipulate other people?

If not I am telling you now...

...and Louise, don't worry...honestly, truly, I was scared myself that I would spent the rest of my life craving a smoke, but the urge DOES go away...

You just weren't ready last time is all...

Good luck when you are...

3,037 Posts

Louise (EXH72940)  ·  31 Oct 2008
Anne dont assume to know HOW I feel or WHY I feel that way. You don't know me. I suspect that rather than having a healthy (no pun intended)interest in this particular topic, you are trawling the forum picking holes in people's posts, hoping for a fight. Have you nothing better to do?

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Anne.  ·  31 Oct 2008

You do realise your reaction to Kieran's posting is stress and
guilt-driven. Underneath that thin veneer you wish you had
never taken that first cigarette because you wouldn't be in
this position now, meaning fear of getting cancer, spending
money and then blowing it up in smoke and finally aggro
from the ones who managed to quit, you must feel awful
and I feel for you!

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Louise (EXH72940)  ·  31 Oct 2008
I think the only people who smoke to be "stylish" are the younger smokers. I smoke because I am addicted, I quit before and was off them for nearly 6 months but slipped up again. I have no cut down form 20 a day to 5 and hope to quit after Christmas. It is really hard. I hate smoking, I hate the smell on my clothes, hair, standing out in the cold (but I do agree with the ban) and the expense as well. I regret starting because I don't think the temptation is ever really gone.

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Patricia  ·  30 Oct 2008
The thing is, smoking just isn't in style any more.

Times changed.

I used to smoke....it must have taken a dozen attempts to quit. I still do not know how I made it.

It's great not to have to smoke & great that it's been moved outside. Given that, I can understand it's an addictive habit that some cannot or do not care to quit....it's been moved outside & hopefully away from the door. I understand the smokers are not the bad guys. They're just hooked.

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Louise (EXH72940)  ·  29 Oct 2008
Kieran do you not realise that there is nothing more annoying than a born again?

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Anonymous  ·  28 Oct 2008
I am a smoker,and its all i enjoy,and where do these lot get off trying to empower us to quit. its our right to smoke when and where we choose.and no government or otherwise will change me. isnt it any wonder that people are smoking with the way this government is ill running the country. so now what makes them such experts on our health?we all know how badly harney is doing.i intend to go on smoking til the day i die.its my choice and my right.

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Anonymous  ·  31 May 2008
I look around me and all I can see is people standing outside offices, shops, pubs and the look of frustration on their faces. They are dragging on their cigarette as if there is no tomorrow, and they say cigarettes relax you!

I gave up cigarettes and I am more relaxed now that I don't have to think of an excuse to leave office to have a smoke.

If Ireland was totally smoke free, life would be ideal.

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Timothy  ·  24 Oct 2006
Let's look at smoking.

Smokers are, they say, a minority. All through this discussion, smokers have mentioned that and brought it up as relevent. They feel persecuted, many of them say.

This is important. Minority groups can often feel as if the majority is sitting on them. And that feeling matters: it affects the way the minority and the majority interact, and what allowances they make for each other. Note, though, that it is the *feeling* which matters, not the actual satistics. It matters not that smokers *are* a minority; it matters rather that they *feel like* a minority. And well they may: they are constantly bombarded with advertisements on how to quit the filthy habit, and are subjected, they tell us, to the disaproving glares and comments of the non-smoking majority.

I mention this because I want to make a point. Non-smokers also may *feel* that they are in a minority. I know I did, when I was in college. I have no idea how many students smoked, but I know that anywhere there was a gathering of students out-of-doors, there would be at least one smoker. And, given that even the most ardent, the most addicted puffer doesn't smoke *all the time*, that adds up to quite a lot of smokers. And I want to remind you, in case you've forgotten, that one smoker is quite capable of oppressing an entire roomful of non-smokers. What the place would have felt like had smoking been permitted in the canteen I shudder to think.

What I'm trying to get at here is that we have a debate between two groups both of whom feel like oppressed minorities, whatever the statistical facts may be. Both groups look at the other with suspicion and mistrust. Both accuse the other of being high-handed and of wishing to impose their standards on everyone else. In such a situation, feelings are bound to run high.

Please forgive me if I have in any way added to the conflagration.

(There has been a slight amount of topic drift, and this conversation is now focussing on smokers and ex-smokers advising each other on how to give up. This new topic has at least *some* hope of being a productive conversation. Keep it up. And I'll not butt in again in a place where, having no experience to offer, I can't be helpful.)


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Timothy  ·  15 Sep 2006
Cyanide isn't a chemical. It's a bit of a chemical. I assume you mean hydrogen cyanide. Nasty.

Benzene is a carcingen. And quite volatile. If it's in cigarettes they're dangerous even when they aren't being burned. I'll make a mental note not to work on a counter selling the things, with a stack of boxes of 'em beside me. Benzene really is foul.

Methenal (formaldehyde), the simplest aldehyde, is another organic solvent. I don't think it's a carcinogen, as far as i remember, but, like all organic solvents, it's very bad for the lungs. It's lighter than benzene, but also more polar, so may be less volatile. (Polar things stick together better, and so evaporate less.) Still, it's volatile enough, and is another good reason to avoid even unlit cigarettes.

Methanol, the simplest alcohol, is another volatile organic solvent. (There are lots of alcohols, including colesterol: it's a class of chemicals. The one in drinks is ethanol, the second simplest. It's toxic. Methanol is deadly.)

Acetylene. D'you know, it's too long since I left college. I can think of nothing to say about acetylene.

Ammonia is another nasty one. Aside from anything else, it stinks to high heaven. And it's hardly healthy.

What are all these things doing in cigarettes anyway?


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Ex Smoker  ·  14 Sep 2006

Why have the US government approved 599 additives for use in the manufacture of cigarettes - some of the chemicals include cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, methanol (wood alcohol), acetylene (the fuel used in torches), and ammonia.

Ex Smoker

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Timothy  ·  12 Sep 2006
Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I should know: I've done it hundreds of times.

Mark Twain

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Lilo  ·  03 Aug 2006
Saw those posts Paddy. Very helpful although I'm not too sure about your post dated 6/7. There's a bit of a question mark hanging over that one.

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Paddy  ·  02 Aug 2006
Hi L:ilo. See mails inearly July, late June

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L:ilo  ·  01 Aug 2006
Paddy, where were you 'getting rid' of all those anti-smokers?

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Paddy  ·  31 Jul 2006
Hi Folks.
Been off the site for a while but I'm delighted to see that it is now a serious discussion forum for those of us who are struggeling with nicotine addiction. Spent some time getting rid of pietious, self-regarding anti-smokers and happy to have had some success. Lets hack on (no pun intended) and see if our thoghts can help one another. If anybody finds the site helpful pls let us know.

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bigkev  ·  29 Jul 2006
i do not know if this debate is still ongoing .however i will add my point to it
I am a smoker who regreats ever starting .
However why has no one ever suggested not driving a motor vehicle .
sure you can now sit in a pub or orther building including your work and breathe fresh air
get away with you you are breathing a mixture of lead carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the motor vehicles driving past . there are 22 pollutants released from the burning of petroloum products .
suerly it is now time to stop the motor vehicle
Home heating oil parrafin is also a pollutant so is it not now tme to stop heating your homes .
this deabte has focused on smoking which i agree as a smoker is a filthy habt and one that is hard to break believe you me i have tried . When smoking is made illegal perhaps then we can go after the global warming and highly polluting car van truck and bus which does more harm to anyones health than secondry smoking could ever do .
Smog does come ou off the end off a cigarette . but is a by product off fog getting attached to pollution
So pleae tell me folks how can you say you are healthier just because you force a smoking ban on people but do not have the same determination to force the removal off all internal combustion engined vehicles from your town village or small hamlet
i live in the town of omagh and would never think off bringing my car running on non polluting bio-fuel into the town . i am permantaly surround by a fog of diesel and petrol fumes .
I do not use this as an excuse for being a smoker . however it is time i feel to put smoking into context on wider field of debate
Look foward to hearing your views

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Lilo  ·  28 Jul 2006
I smoke 30 cigarettes a day but this is a preference that I have and not an addiction. No-one can give a proper explanation for addiction and until they do I will stay in denial all the time. All they can give is that a person has an urge to smoke and that\'s all yet some people claim that our brains get messed up but cannot explain how. The argument is too weak for addiction.

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Louise  ·  27 Jul 2006
TO EX-SMOKER who replied to LOUISE

Thank you! I never heard of NicoBloc! Amazing when I thought I'd heard of everything. I am going to check this out. One thing I'll never do is stop trying. I love not smoking, hate that I smoke, but am surely addicted badly to them. Thanks again.

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Charity  ·  27 Jul 2006
Okey then Ex-smoker. Prove to me that you were addicted. What images did you see in your mind that you were addicted?

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fifi  ·  27 Jul 2006
Ex Smoker you have made a lot of sense there. My sentiments exactly.

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Ex Smoker  ·  26 Jul 2006

Smoking is an addiction - nicotine is more addictive than crack cocaine.

I don't believe its about choice, whether someone wants to quit or not. Nicotine does things to you brain that you can't rationalise.

As a smoker all my life I know how the addiction works.

How can you rationalise putting pieces of leaf into a rolled up piece of paper and lighting it, and paying through the nose for the pleasure of doing it.

If its about choice why not put pieces of oak leaf into paper and light it - you'd quit that quit enough. It's an addiction and should be treated as one.

Best regards

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Charity  ·  26 Jul 2006
I would like to make a reference to the part where you asked if people really want to quit mechaima. It has been said a lot of times that deep down all smokers really want to quit. To be honest I would say that there is some confusion to this one. Deep down a lot of smokers don't know what they want. There are a huge amount of mixed messages out there in the real world. Some are delighted they gave up. Some don't feel any different and convey this disappointment to smokers. Others encourage it. There is a choice of three or four different opinions out there when really there should only be one and that is the one where the person was very glad to give up and felt a lot better. But this one only comes from people who got sick and packed up or it comes from doctors who sometimes pretend that they were smokers when in actual fact they weren't.
Then there is disapproval. This is not a message to the dangers of smoking but is a personal attack and is always taken up as one. People tend to be at arm length with the likes of these people and will tend to smoke just to annoy them.
The advertising market with regards to smoking is only something to laugh at. For such a serious matter there should be no laughter of this kind. After all none of us laugh at the advertisement on accidents on the road and while they don't completely stop accidents they have definatly made hundreds and thousands of people more careful on the road. I believe that they have prevented many of them.
The anti-smoking message needs to be the same. Hitting the pocket is definately the way to go or hitting future job prospects, future education and sports. What could be without cigarettes in the future would fire the imagination of people and get them to dream and aim for goals in life more than anything else.
Showing up choking patients makes a smoker feel guilty and is counterproductive. One tends to go off and say, "Ah, what the heck. I only live once. I can't be worrying about these things!" Rooms full of smoke are usually shown up exaggerated and people know that it is not like this when they go out. Pharmeuceutical companies show up the cigarette as being funny and everyone looks at these funny creatures rather than the product that they are showing.
All in all there is a huge amount that could be done and it would make the anti-smoking lobby credible again.

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Ex Smoker  ·  26 Jul 2006
Dear Louise,

No I don\'t mind sharing what worked for me with you. Like you I had tried many times over the past 30 years to quit. I can remember so many key points in my life when I made firm committments to quit. One was when my eldest daughter was born I remember, so vividly, looking at her and swearing I would give up the fags. But I didn\'t realise then that I was addicted to nicotine - I just called it a habit, one that I felt I could just give up. I did not understand then that there is a difference. Wanting to give up wasn\'t enough. I think that was why I failed so many times. When I tried with patches and gum etc I felt I was just replacing one form of taking in nicotine with another - a reciepe for disaster.

Well I did I give up in the end? I used an Irish product called NicoBloc. It was so simple you put a drop on the filter of the cigarette befor you smoke it and it traps the nicotine in the filter - well some of it - after a few weeks you put 2 drops on and it then traps more nicotine. I think why it worked for me was that I slowly weaned myself off nicotine without any of the panic of the sudden stop you have to do when you use with patches. I felel it treated my addiction the same way addicts come off drugs - slowly. Anyway after about six weeks I was only smoking a few fags a day any then I would forget to smoke. I know its sounds silly but I found a new confidence in myself, I slowly felt that this was going to be the last time I gave up the fags.

Don\'t get me wrong it took effort but I beat the addiction! I can now play with my grandchildren without them saying \"Grandad please dont smoke\" - like my kids did.

I wish you every success.

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Charity  ·  25 Jul 2006
Mechanima, I thought your post was one of the most interesting posts I have seen for a long time. This is a person that knows his stuff. I believe that people who pack up cigarettes eventually in their lives do so because they have resolved certain issues in their lives. This is at the root of all drug problems. People have no-one to talk to properly about such matters or have to pay big money in order to get it. Those people particularly in poverty have no-one to have real intellectual conversations with and tend to be amongst people who are also struggling through life themselves and who are caught up in their own dramas. There are very few people out there who could sit down for a few hours and listen to people's problems and keep doing it for as long as it takes to help them to make peace with their issues. By right this is a job that priests could have been doing all their lives but instead they choose to ignore the people and only made an appearance once a week.
I also found another part of your post very interesting but I will come back and make a referance to that because I don't want to be writing too much in one post. Thank you.

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Louise  ·  25 Jul 2006
DEAR EX-SMOKER. Posted: 25/07/2006 12:22

Do you mind telling me what worked for you in the end? If it's private, fine, but you sound exactly like me. I've tried EVERYTHING I can think of - cold turkey, patches, laser acupuncture, acupuncture, hypnosis, Alan Carr courses (plural!). So I'd love to know what worked for you in the end. My guess is it was just your time. That's what people tell me: that one time, it just works. I'll never quit quitting! Thanks. Even without your explanation, you've give me hope.

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mechanima  ·  25 Jul 2006
It seems to me that there are two very important factors in when/whether/how a person quits smoking.

One is, under it all, do they actually WANT to quit(and people who try to tell other people what to want are also people with serious psychological problems)?
The other is, can they afford to make quitting their first priority for a few months, because if they can't (and for most of the average persons life, quitting comes a long way down the list after other, more pressing and immediate stresses and problems to be tackled).

Now I cannot see, for the life of me, how the smoking ban, or any amount of hassle from non-smokers will have the slightest beneficial effect on either.

Incidentally, the Asthmatics in California weren't imagining things. Cigarette smoke is a brochodilator. That is why it is such an efficient drug delivery system, it literally helps you breath better in the short term, so that you can take in the toxins that cause your breathing to deteriorate long term more efficiently.

I am an ex heavy smoker with Emphysema, but I didn't get a personality transplant when I quit, so I remain pro-choice, however, the most effective means I know of motivating people to quit isn't pseudo moralising or berating them, it isn't even heaqlth scare tactics (yep, smoking most certainly can damage your health, but most TV advertising I have seen to that effect is just melodrama, and often the kijnd of stomach churning organic melodrama people zone out at that). It is, very simply, showing them the reality of what they can do with all the money they will go on saving every week for the rest of their lives.

THAT is REAL, for 100% of smokers.

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Ex Smoker  ·  25 Jul 2006
I smoked for 44 years and gave up. It is the best thing I ever did. It wasn’t easy. I must have tried thousands of times, cold turkey, patches, gum, hypnotism you name it I tried it.
Then one day I found something that worked for me and I quit in only 6 weeks and have never looked back. I think that if you keep trying you will find your way. I read somewhere that half of all smokers in America had quit. So I always felt it was going to be possible for me.

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Jessie  ·  10 Jul 2006
Californian Girl, I disagree that all the messages about certain things that are dangerous in life can be distilled in children. I was a desperate climber when I was small and I got some almighty lectures about it. I was climbing up on walls that had huge drops into the ocean but I ignored all the warnings. You are either born with risk or you are not and something will only effect you profoundly if that type of fear is within you already. Maybe you were somehow able to see into the future and 'know' that your parents were going to die this way. That is the only explanation that I can come up with. Everyone of us have certain fears in life and many of them seem to have no explanation. Lots of times the fear disappears when you come to a certain age as well and for those who tried to give the warnings it can be very disheartening. Sometimes though people need to learn these lessons for themselves because it is part of their life purpose. Obviously it would be better if they picked better lessons but life is strange and we have to acknowledge that at times.

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Anonymous  ·  08 Jul 2006
I would like to take issue with a post when he says that he is glad that Rob may not be posting again some of you {FEW} but you are there and this the way some of you behaved when in the bad old days smoking was seen to be ok in the work place and the pub,m I hope that Rob will continue to post and more so on this subject I wont go on but just to say some of you are saying you need to be [looking for a better word] TRAINED to give the cig up I gave them up 25 years ago I smoked 50 a day it was hard going but I stuck it out and remember there was no scare about affecting your health then My wife who sdmoked all her life 40 a day gave them up two years ago and is still off them there are two things to know for the serious person who wants to give them up the risk to your health and to others non smokers and the willpower to see it through.

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California Girl  ·  08 Jul 2006
I've lived in California all my life and watched the smoking laws change over the years. People do abide by the laws, although there is resentment. You are all quite correct, however. Smokers have a tough time quitting, and non-smokers are quite unforgiving. The only real solution is to adeuately educate children from the time they are babies about the hazards of smoking. It is essential we protect children from second-hand smoke and make them understand how dangerous smoking is to their health so it isn't so alluring. Both my parents died of smoking-related illnesses. My father of lung cancer, 20 years after he quit smoking 4 packs of cigarettes a day. He was 73 years old. That was 20 years ago. 10 years ago my mother died of devastating heart disease brought on entirely by smoking. She was only 76. I've never smoked because I remember the doctor telling my father he would die if he didn't quit smoking. I was ten years old. That stuck in my mind forever-- he still died when I was 33, but I never smoked. My younger brother smokes cigars, but he didn't get the smoking message the way I did. My older sister smokes. It's all in the message during childhood. My husband and I don't smoke, so our daughters, who are 27 and 24 were far less likely to smoke because it wasn't part of their environment. Neither is a smoker. This isn't a condemnation of those who smoke. Just an observation of a daughter, mother, and journalist in Los Angeles who has watched the evolution of the anti-smoking campaign. I understand the difficulties the smokers are having andr how alienated you must feel. It is not right to make those who smoke the "bad guys" when it was okay last year, but it is incumbent upon everyone to protect and educate children and adolescents so smoking isn't a cool thing to do anymore. Lung cancer and heart disease are ugly, horrible ways to die.

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Paddy  ·  06 Jul 2006
Fifi, Jessie, I'm glad to see that Rob will probably leave the site. I believe we eventually got through to him and that he found the basic home truths difficult to cope with. His parthian shot about our fighting amongst ourselves is way off the mark and serves only to underline his ignorance.
Jessie, your smoking friends will not feel betrayed if you stop smoking. Indeed they will be very happy for you and full of admiration. You see, they understand how difficult it is. I see I've met a kindred spirit who has a difficulty with having prohibition imposed on them and sees it as an obstacle to giving up smoking. The Health Srvice did a good job on educating us about the effects of smoking. Now can they educate us on how to stop. Then there would be no need to ressurect visions of leather-wielding schoolmasters by the heavy-handed use of the blunt instrument of prohibition.
The smoking ban will not help smokers. A reasonable level of help in dealing with our addiction would be much more effective.
If anybody sees this as a whinge or gutless, they do not understand the problem or how to solve it.

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jessie  ·  06 Jul 2006
That's a typical attitude Rob. Give up on the smokers which suggests the lack of committment afterwards. Maybe you only want to keep shouting your mouth off about smokers and not do any real work afterwards. You have the cheek to call what we have to say excuses. This is a very very serious subject and something that I don't take lightly at all. If you can't help us then we have to try and help ourselves which of course means turning to those that we can at least talk to and who will understand us. How can we possibly turn to people who want to consistently knock us down to a pulp? It said on a newspaper that anti-smoking policies are not working. I would ask if they ever worked. And no wonder they didn't. When the going gets tough you give up and walk away and then when you look around you wonder why there are so many people smoking still. You might have succeeded in keeping some non-smokers happy but you have done nothing what-so-ever for the actual smoker. For that you should be ashamed of yourselves.

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fifi  ·  06 Jul 2006
Rob, of course we are going to get defensive over our smoking habit. We are addicted after all. When one is addicted, they are passionate about their addiction & will stand up to anyone who slags off their weakness. Rejoice in the fact that you, as a non smoker can smugly lecture us on the perils of the weed. If you were a smoker or indeed once were a smoker you would know just how difficult it is to give up the smokes. I know some people who would liken it to losing a limb & who never ever want to give up.

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Rob  ·  05 Jul 2006
I'm about to give up on you smokers, you will use any excuse to convince yourself that you should continue smoking.
No body can give up the habit for you. You have to do it yourself, and if you keep supporting eachother in the habit you are only making it more difficult.
I hope those of you who are trying to kick the weed will suceed. You may still get cancer, as I might but who is to know you may get it 10 years earlier if you continue smoking.
I probably won't even look in on this topic again so fight among yourselves. Good luck.

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Jessie  ·  04 Jul 2006
Paddy, your second, third and fourth sentence sums me up exactly the same way as yourself. I too feel that some part of me has been violated and I find it extremely hard to conform. I lack will-power now more than ever. I thought I had some chance before but now I don't believe that I have any at all. Something inside is blocking it completely as if some door has been locked shut and I can't get in because I have lost the key. Sometimes I feel frozen in ice as if I don't have any feelings anymore. I find this very disturbing and I feel the anti-smoking lobby has missed this part in a big way. Other times I feel strong feelings welling up inside wanting to come out but not being able. This is the war that I feel. I know that you know Paddy how I feel but I may not be using the right words to describe it.
I also feel that I would be leaving my fellow smokers down if I left right now. Maybe it is too soon or something but I am now very aware of my smoking friends whereas before I wasn't. We just all mixed together. So here again is another type of tug-of-war. Have you noticed this Paddy?

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Jessie  ·  04 Jul 2006
Anon, I'v seen two cases where one person got a heart attack and another got lung cancer. The heart attack happened a year after packing up cigarettes and the lung cancer happened 30 years after giving up. If that is the case then what is the point of packing up. What if these two people kept smoking and never got anything? You are right. None of us know who will be left off the hook.
This discussion is now closed.