I’m an on again off again smoker. Now I’m not like those people who only smoke socially or only bum cigarettes off of other people every so often. No, no, no, I’m the type that will smoke a pack a day for a year and then stop cold turkey and not smoke at all for a year.

I started when I was about 15-16 years old and I’ve been smoking on and off again since then. I never say I’m going to quite, just that I’m going to stop. However long I stop or however long I smoke just depends on how I feel. I’ve been smoking again now for just a little over a year. Before that I hadn’t smoked in three years.

I was never good at finding the middle ground of only smoking two or three cigarettes a day. For me it has to be all the time or not at all.

Smoking seems to be going out of fashion. It’s becoming heavily taxed, driving the prices way up. I’d also becoming banned in many cities throughout the US. A lot of nonsmokers also view smokers these days with a certain degree of distaste and disgust. Then of course there are the health reasons that make smoking a bad idea.

I’m a moderate on the issue. My point of view is simple. The health reasons are very real. But I also understand the stress reliving enjoyment of smoking. My father died at age 64 and he was never a smoker. My mother on the other hand is now 66 and has smoked a pack a day for most of her life. She’s very active for her age and doesn’t seem to be effected by it, except in her pocketbook with the increasing prices. My older brother, now in his mid forties has also been a smoker since he was a teenager. A pack or more of Marlboro reds every day. Now he does have health problem. But he’s a recovering alcoholic and his health problems all stem from that. I’m sure the smoking has effect on him, but by comparison the alcohol was the worst of the two on his body.

Both my mother and my brother have been far more consistent with smoking every day for the last several decades where I have been on the off for years at a time.

As much as I understand the health reasons. Seeing that my dad died of a heart attack at age 64, having not been a smoker his whole life, made me realize that in the long run it doesn’t seem to matter. I could go out and get hit by a car tomorrow and the fact that I am a smoker wouldn’t make any difference. The fact that I enjoyed it when I was alive, that would make a difference.

Now I’ve come down with bronchitis, which is a result of the bad cold I got Friday. So I haven’t smoked a cigarette for the last 24 hours. I probably won’t for a few days or more. I may just stop for another year or three. Once you go three days not smoking it’s out of your system. Then it’s all in your head. But if I go back to smoking, then I go back to smoking. So be it.

I guess my point is, live life. That doesn’t mean go out and smoke crack and do all kinds of crazy things. Just live with some degree of moderation, but definitely live. I’m not convinced that the trade off in not doing it for some people is all that great. Some people need the stress relief more then the increased lung capacity.

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0 thoughts on “Smoking

  1. I don’t like smoking and I doubt I’ll ever do it but I don’t care that my boyfriend casually smokes. And by casually I mean a couple times a year, if that. A lot of people freak out like oh my god I could never date you if you smoked you don’t care about yourself blah blah blah. I think it would be kind of hypocritical of me to think it was perfectly fine that he go out and get drunk but then only get in a fuss when he smoked. We do a lot of things that are unhealthy. As long as we know what we’re doing and do it in moderation I don’t really care. Couldnt’ date a hardcore smoker though. I’m not big on second hand smoke or the whole clothes/house/everything smelling like smoke deal. 

  2. I smoked from the time I was 15 until about a year ago. I can’t stand the smell of it, so I doubt I’d be able to date a smoker long term. And I highly doubt I’ll ever go back to it. But it is a personal choice and it definitely shouldn’t be taxed anymore than we tax alcohol or any other substance that is harmful to people. Following their logic, we should be taxing everything from red meat to cookies, which is just nuts. 

  3. I’m a long time, hard core smoker.

    I curse the day I ever started. I don’t have the inner strength you do, if I did I would never light up again.

    I strongly urge you, as I am close to turning 50…quit.

  4. It kinda seems to me as though smoking is an “acquired” taste – not one that you’re actually born with. And the habit is expensive. Over the whole population, hundreds of deadly fires are started accidentally by smokers falling asleep on a couch or in bed with a lighted cigarette between their lips. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness whose forests are burned down through careless smokers.

    I really believe that the cost of the habit adds up to billions of dollars annually in North America alone.

    Some of the nicest people I’ve met have been smokers, but I feel bad that they are smokers. 

    For many years I earned my living by working in an office. I have never been a smoker, but I might as well have been: the air I had to breathe in the office was hazy with cigarette smoke from my coworkers. Later I worked for close to 20 years as a realtor. I used to drive clients and customers around in my car. For the first five or six years, I was too timid to ask a client to please not smoke in my car. Then I just decided that I had had enough!  ENOUGH!  NO MORE SECOND HAND SMOKE FOR ME.  I bought a little sticker depicting a smoking cigarette with a red diagonal line through it!  No one ever smoked in my car again!  And, thank God, it didn’t hurt my business one bit!

    Each of us is wittingly or unwittingly a role model for children or even other adults in our lives. I truly think that if we don’t really have to smoke, we’ll be a better example to these other folk, if we just say, “No thanks!  But I really appreciate your offer just the same!”

    Hope your bronchitis clears up quickly and you’re back to normal without delay!


  5. Agreed. People need to live their life, yet not be so crazy. But I guess everyone has a different opinion on what ‘crazy’ is.

  6. I too am a hardcore smoker or not smoking at all, just instead of years, mine goes by months. I’ll smoke for 6-9months straight, a pack a day, then I’ll quit for 3 or 4 months then start up again. I never really have reasons for quitting or starting back up.

    I quit again, 8 days ago. lol. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    Basically, I’m right there with ya.

  7. Haha This is so funny because I thought I was the only one like this. I either have friends that CONSTANTLY smoke and never start or NEVER smoke. OR I have friends that very rarely smoke like one cigar and thats it. I’ve never met someone like me that will only smoke maybe one a year or a few times a year but its almost a pack a day or more! haha I’m a very passionate person and so that kind of makes sense… like you said I do it all out or nothing at all. haha

    I guess its kinda nice to know I’m not alone. You’re right that the health problems are very real but that also we never know when we’ll die. Also, you could be like me where you have a dozen random health problems and the doctors have NO clue why you have them, even though I eat soooo well and take care of myself well (and was even doing that before I started randomly smoking and there was no change). 
    I really shouldn’t smoke though because I do have asthma and it does make it worse. Also, I think I may have given myself a throat infection or bronchitis or something because I was smoking a lot the last few days and now I’m randomly having a VERY sore throat and its not going away… who knows. I threw away the cigs anyways though because I really don’t like smelling like the cigs and you’re right about the fact that smokers (even random ones like us) are treated horribly. Honestly though, the major reason I threw the away is because of my health. I want to get better and so I need to watch that. But I still miss the taste and the relaxation you’re talking about. :) 
    What kinds are your favorites? My favorites are filtered clove cigarettes. Yum. :)

  8. @kooky4Christ – I actually roll my own smokes. I have one of those big tabletop crank machines and I buy the filtered tubes and loose bag tobacco. It used to cost me about $1.10 a pack but starting April first new taxes raised the price to about $2.20 a pack, which is still cheaper then the typical $7 a pack for store bought cigarettes here in Michigan. I smoke the Rave full flavor with the 100mm tubes. It takes me about 7 minutes to roll a whole pack. Everyone is always amazed at how it works and how much they are just like regular store bought cigarettes. But they also don’t have all the chemicals store bought cigarettes have.

    I probably should quit again too. In fact I told myself I was going to quit by April first. But then the last couple of weeks getting some dental work done (not being allowed to smoke), and now getting sick and not being allowed to smoke. I just feel like I’m being forced to quit and not doing it on my own and I have a problem with that.

  9. i don’t like smokers.  if i know the person before i know they smoke, fine i’ll deal with it if we are friends.  decidedly not if under any other circumstances.  with every one cigarette you take 11 minutes of your life away.

  10. I like the way you wrote this.  Some people are extremely intense and angry at those who do smoke, and that’s not fair.  I understand the health risks of smoking, but also that we all have our “vices” in one way or another.

    Also, I don’t understand those who would decide to not be friends with someone because they smoke.  Perhaps if you had legitimate allergic reactions to the smoke, but otherwise…. hmmmm.  Snobby. You can be friends with a person who smokes and not hang out with them while they do so.

  11. @ELIZerson - I agree with you completely. How snobby to just not be friends with someone because of that. Like you said, if there is a legitimate reason like having an allergy thats one thing, but not being friends with them because of THEIR choice to smoke… wow. Its amazing how that version of prejudice is viewed as “ok” now. 

  12. @roxics - Whoa that is really cool!! And that saves a ton of money! Do you know what chemicals aren’t included since you do it that way? Just curious because I’m a geek like that. :) I do that too, I want to quit when I want to quit. I’m trying to ignore that though and realize that I still need to quit though. haha

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