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25-02-2012, 22:53   #16
iguana
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Originally Posted by Lia_lia View Post
I don't understand addictions so well. Same with alcohol. Loads of people in my family are heavy drinker/alcoholics and although I do drink a bit socially, but never craved a drink. I took lots of (apparently addictive) drugs in my past too and never been addicted.
Nothing is instantly addictive. There is no such thing as a substance that you take once of a couple of times and bam! you're an addict. Addiction occurs when you take a substance with addictive qualities often and regularly. When you do that your body/brain adapts to the substance and comes to operate in a way that 'needs' the substance to feel normal. When you stop using the substance it takes varying lengths of time for normal function to recover. Until it does you crave the substance you are addicted to as that will bring you back to how you are used to feeling.

There is also a psychological aspect to addiction, in many cases this is why the person abused the substance in the first place. By using a substance as a crutch to get through whatever issues they have they fail to develop proper coping mechanisms. So to overcome the addiction they will also usually need to figure out exactly why they smoked, drank, over ate, etc. And then find new ways to cope whenever those events occur. Or just learn to think in new ways to avoid old bad habits.
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25-02-2012, 23:04   #17
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In a way, you've answered your own question. You say you smoke 3-4 times per year, always when you're out, fitting in. Well that's your crutch and your association with cigarettes. Most smokes, over time develop many more crutches and associations with cigarettes and they are usually learned by other smokers. Smokers effectively learn smoking behaviours from other smokers. You might have only one association with cigarettes, but it's surprisingly easy to develop more, without realising it. Before you know it, you're smoking more often and at times you never had before. Very few people manage to stay smoking as little as you are smoking at the moment.

Many will disagree and this is a debate, but I don't believe nicotine to be the main factor (on the ingredients end) to keep people addicted. I firmly believe that it is the glucose (sugar) they put into the cigarettes, which keep people smoking consistently. The glucose helps to keep the cigarette burning (unlike a cigar for example). It improves the taste and it gives a false sugar hit, which is why most people pile on the weight when they stop smoking. The mind finds a way to replace the perceived loss of sugar into the body, resulting in sugary foods being consumed, sometimes uncontrollably. Ask yourself how many people you know that are addicted to nicotine patches/inhalers/gum. The chances are, you know nobody addicted to these, with the rare exception of nicotine gum with sugar in it.

I work in this area and help people to give up smoking almost every day. It's a tough habit to kick and many people have cravings decades after quitting unless they correct the original sub-conscious suggestions learned when they started smoking.
I dunno, i wont disagree with you as you say you work in this area and all i can offer is my own experience of giving up smoking.

I smoked since i hit first year in secondary school. I used to smoke 20 B+H a day and then 20 started turning into 30 and i was growing weary of smoking. My eldest child started complain about me smoking so i started to despise the fact that i smoked and hated that i was so chronically addicted to them.

I set a date, with a friend at work about 4 weeks away and we smoked our little heads off until we reached that date. When that date arrived we both threw our cigarettes away and neither of us have smoked since. That was 1st Sept '10.

I could go into details about how hard it was, yes we did it cold turkey, i believe it is the only way to do it. I was a wreck the head, my mate was legend. She practically carried me through it. We did it though, if you want it badly enough you will do it and it really boils down to that.

Now i want to address the weight issue. This is where i really disagree with you. I have lost almost 4 stone since i stopped smoking. Smoking was one of the main reasons for my being over weight. I couldint fecking breathe to go for a walk! A smoke was naturally followed by a coffee and a biscuit or something calorific, coke, chocolate, who knows, it certainly wasint water.

I'm sorry, but i dont buy into the gums, patches, tablets or any hokey pokey for giving up cigarettes. In fact i think they make it worse by keeping the nicotine in your system. Flush it while youre strong, then focus on keeping it out. Whatever works for you though. Im sure some people have success on them. Each to their own i guess, maybe im a skin flint and wouldint waste the money

Even now, i could picck up a packet of fags a light up. I loved smoking. It is a disgusting habit though and i thank my kids for helping me help myself.

I would say to anyone reading this who is thinking about giviing up to make a list of all the reasons why they should give up, and all the reasons why they should stay smoking.... and see how they feel after reading it. It's a hell of an eye opener.
Just pick a date, circle it on the calander and do it!
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25-02-2012, 23:13   #18
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the thing about smoking is that nicotine is awesome, and it just is. it's the burning of plant material (and all the dirty additives in cigarettes) and inhaling smoke into your lungs that's the problem. Nicotine is like caffeine, sure it's not exactly good for you but in moderation and so long as you're reasonable healthy in the rest of your life.. what harm

I quit smoking about 15 months ago, but I still use nicotine through my e-cigarette. I started off on 24mg juice, moved down to 18 after a few months... now i'm on 12, probably going to move down to 6 by the summer when I've used up the remainder of my 12mg juices. I get all the effects of nicotine without the majority of the health disadvantages, and I'm saving about 50+ euro a week.

my sense of taste and smell came back after a couple of weeks, my lungs improved so much so quickly.. it was only a month or so until I was no longer wheezing climbing a flight of stairs or walking to the shops. I think focusing on the nicotine is the wrong way to go about it, it's just a drug it's not the problem and it's not the cause of the health disasters that come from smoking, it's everything in cigarettes but the nicotine that does the damage.
things like the patches, inhalers, lozenges try to do that but they're just nowhere near as effective as e-cigarettes.. not even close.
now excuse me while I dig out my bottle of tirimasu flavoured juice.
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25-02-2012, 23:31   #19
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I have and can give up any substance, I can't get rid of the addiction though it just switches to something else.

I'm smoking rollies now, I've had one today, have 2-3 on a regular day 5-6 when I'm out, been smoking everyday for over a year (with a couple of weeks not smoking here and there) I smoked socially growing up it wasn't a problem, I hope not to go up to beyond 6 a day and not to be smoking into my 30's.

Little bit anxious about working at a camp this summer probably won't be allowed a smoke during my break or before or after my shift, which seems ridiculous for an adult employee but it might be a fantastic thing that the choice to start again isn't there.
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25-02-2012, 23:57   #20
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I smoked since I was 14 or 15 and quit 2 years ago almost to the day and I'm 31 now. I used the Alan Carr book and nothing else.

I started because I wanted to be cool. Pure peer pressure went on and I wasn't confident enough to say "no". Then I got addicted but that didn't happen 'till my early 20s. Kept smoking and for me it wasn't to keep the weight down as I was drinking a load as well. As Madchef above says, I've actually lost weight since quitting because I'm looking after my health overall now and can move around without getting wheezy. I was just plain addicted and really loved the socialising outside and because I've got crappy hearing, the beer gardens were the best place for me to be. It gave me something to do when I'd nothing to do during breaks in classes at work and I loved getting up in the morning and sitting on me little balcony and having a fag before everyone woke up.

But I always hated being a smoker and would get the guilts after every cigarette and it got to a point where I was smoking more and more and I knew I was doing myself damage. Had planned to quit on my 30th birthday but quit just before my 29th. It had to be done. I couldn't ignore the effect it was having on my health.

I still miss it. I've female friends here who ask me to go outside for a cigarette and I have to say no because I know I might be tempted but I miss the chats outside.

There was a time when I thought life wouldn't be worth living without them I was that bad and now I couldn't start again and I'd hate myself if I did. Couldn't live with the self-loathing.

Why do women smoke? The Spanish women here smoke like chimneys and they're gorgeous and well-groomed and fit in every other way, so I really don't get it. Perhaps it's to keep the weight down but there is a kind of social element that goes with them...groups of women standing huddled together chatting and laughing. If you don't smoke, then you won't join them.

I don't know though. Stupid habit and I hope to jaysus I don't start again. Can't believe I'd such little regard for myself back then.
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26-02-2012, 05:29   #21
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I don't have stats but I've heard the opposite, that taxes on smoking fall short of expenditure on smoking related healthcare, care to share your source? I'm curious now as to which is the case.

Oh, wait, Google came through for me - “In Ireland 5,700 people die from smoking every year and the Department of Health estimates that the cost of smoking-related illness to the State over the next decade will be €23 billion. But we have a crazy situation where the Department of Finance decides tax policy purely from a revenue-raising standpoint ignoring the health cost – which at €14.7 billion over the next 10 years is far less than the €23bn associated with the cost of treating smoking related illness.” The words of a lobbyist granted, but explains where I got the idea, still open to suggestions he's wrong.
Factor in an average of 10-15 years less pension payments for each smoker, less nursing home costs and the cost there would have been to treat them when they did eventually get ill if they weren't smoking and the gap is more than closed.

I hate that I love smoking. For me it's not the nicotine. Obviously in addictiveness terms it's the main thing but it's the feeling of the smoke etc. that I like.
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26-02-2012, 13:02   #22
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I hate that I love smoking. For me it's not the nicotine. Obviously in addictiveness terms it's the main thing but it's the feeling of the smoke etc. that I like.
head over to the e-cig forum, seriously. 50-60 euro will find you a kit that will stop you smoking, just about everyone i've introduced to ecigs has quit because of them. and even if you're the minor minority that doesn't quit outright, still better/cheaper to only smoke a few cigarettes a day instead of 10-20
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26-02-2012, 13:53   #23
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head over to the e-cig forum, seriously. 50-60 euro will find you a kit that will stop you smoking, just about everyone i've introduced to ecigs has quit because of them. and even if you're the minor minority that doesn't quit outright, still better/cheaper to only smoke a few cigarettes a day instead of 10-20
I don't like them, tried a couple. I've moved to rollies the last while, less than a tenner a week and it might be in my head but any time I smoke a cigarette my chest gets wheezy straightaway, the rolling tobacco seems a good bit milder on the lungs.
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26-02-2012, 14:11   #24
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yeah rollies can be a bit milder alright

were the ecigs you tried ones that looked like cigarettes?
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26-02-2012, 14:39   #25
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yeah rollies can be a bit milder alright

were the ecigs you tried ones that looked like cigarettes?
One was, had the light at the end of it, can't remember what the other one was like tbh.
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26-02-2012, 14:59   #26
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ah, yeah the ones that look like cigarettes can be pretty woeful
but horses for courses I guess, what works for one won't work for another
*shrug*
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26-02-2012, 16:38   #27
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Yeah, fair enough I guess. The longest I've smoked for was about two weeks (about 4 cigarettes a day) in a few when I was on holiday about 4 years ago. Still never craved anything though. I just don't see how people can enjoy doing it.
Why do you smoke then, if you don't enjoy it at all? Personally, I find smoking really enjoyable. I've smoked very little in my life, less than you, because I don't want it to affect my health, but the act/taste is quite pleasant, IMO.

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I don't understand addictions so well. Same with alcohol. Loads of people in my family are heavy drinker/alcoholics and although I do drink a bit socially, but never craved a drink. I took lots of (apparently addictive) drugs in my past too and never been addicted. I find it very easy to give up things. Gave up sweets/chocolate/all that crappy stuff for a year just to prove I could do it :/

I know many people who claim to have been addicted to cigarettes after their first one. It must have something to do with personality/willpower, no?
I think some people do just have more addictive personalities than others. But I'm not sure it's all about the physical addiction. A lot of people smoke because of the social side of it and drinking is the same. Back when I was in college, most of my friends were religious types or outdoorsy types, so I never really bothered with drinking or pubs, but now that I get free drinks through work every Friday night and all my friends/colleagues spend most of their weekend drinking, it's really hard to avoid. It's also hard to resist the temptation to smoke when almost everyone heads out for a fag and leaves you with the bags. I think it's more of a lifestyle thing myself, but I also don't have much of an addictive personality (or whatever causes some people to be able to stop easily while others can't).
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26-02-2012, 21:15   #28
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The odd 'social smoke' used to be a guilty pleasure of mine. Even now if I'm having a few drinks, I'd be tempted... I just really enjoyed it! I stopped because I knew it'd be a matter of time before my social smoking became full-time, even though I didn't feel addicted (yet). That, and the hangovers were absolutely killer.

Even so...



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27-02-2012, 18:52   #29
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I think the social-smoking thing is a big thing for women. I've definitely got a lot of female friends who wouldn't describe themselves as 'smokers' but will always have a sneaky fag if they're out drinking.

Personally, it's my biggest pet peeve. I succumbed to peer pressure as a teenager and tried it a few times, but it was always one of those things I did when absolutely hammered and massively regretted the next day when I woke up with dirty finger nails smelling like stale tobacco. I just don't see the appeal at all, I find it quite repulsive and can't even stand to be around smokers. If I'm walking past someone who's smoking I'll hold my breath.

My Dad smoked for more than 40 years, started at 15 and stopped two years ago at the age of 60. For most of my life I rarely saw him without a cigarette in his mouth, he was on about 40 a day. Then his best friend died and it put the fear on him, he just quit cold turkey. He's a changed man now, just happier and more free I suppose, having shaken the addiction of a lifetime.

You really can't quit until you're ready though. One of my best friends is an avid smoker, she thoroughly enjoys the pleasure and release it gives her and completely ignores the detrimental impact it's having on her health. It drives me crazy, especially when she says that she's 'perfectly healthy' because she goes to the gym and tries to eat well. You just can't be perfectly healthy if you're filling your lungs with black sticky tar twenty times a day.
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27-02-2012, 19:10   #30
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Factor in an average of 10-15 years less pension payments for each smoker, less nursing home costs and the cost there would have been to treat them when they did eventually get ill if they weren't smoking and the gap is more than closed.

I hate that I love smoking. For me it's not the nicotine. Obviously in addictiveness terms it's the main thing but it's the feeling of the smoke etc. that I like.
Yeah I copped the many external factors after, just relaying the heavy impression the media has left on me over the years it seems.

I love smoking too, but since the last time I tried to quit I copped I don't actually love smoking every cigarette, I'm pretty sure I couldn't place a large percentage of what I smoked today, and a lot of the rest were the habit ones, like that 11am one I've been having since I was about 13... Sorry I'm not very fond of people claiming they smoke for the love of it, unless you smoke at max one or two a day - and if you do, sorry - you don't.

That's pretty pathetic on my part... right, I'm quitting, just thought I'd tell you all so I can't chicken out
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