First of all, quitting is hard..
This, for one, is one of the things that annoy me the most about being a smoker among non-smokers.
Some – while certainly not all – of these people assume smoking is no different than sports. You spend way too much time on it, eventually you’ll get hurt, and you’ll just stop playing. Smoking isn’t quite like that. The problem isn’t that smokers do not know how harmful it is, but simply that when you’re hooked.. You’re hooked for good! Sure, some people get out of the habit once in a while, but a majority of the smokers stick to this habit for their entire lives. Definitely not because they want to, but simply because they’re addicted.
I understand how it’s hard for one who’s never had an addiction to understand the physical and emotional change within oneself, that occurs when the addiction kicks in. The closest comparison I can think of is being a “coffee-holic”, since the effect when the buzz wears off, is not really that different from nicotine deprivation. “Okay, but you can get help. Don’t you know that..”
Yes, yes I know..
I know that I can get help, and I know that a lot of these people are very experienced in the field – You can get hypnotized out of your addiction, you can take drugs to get rid of it, nicotine gum’s another alternative. There are endless alternatives to smoking, and method after method on quitting smoking. However, these treatments focus mainly on your physical addiction, rather than the emotional and habitual addiction that plays just as big, if not an even bigger role in your addiction. You need to hold something in between your index and middle finger. Surely, a pencil does the trick for a couple minutes, but eventually it’ll occur to you, that it’s not really worth biting it.
Being a smoker gets you hooked, not only on the nicotine, but also the feeling of the scratch in your neck, which you in time will come to enjoy. Now, don’t think I’m encouraging smoking, or advertising it – It’s not safe for work, and should be avoided at all costs. But being hooked, means being hooked.
“Well, you’ll hurt everyone around you with secondhand smoke!”.
This term annoys me time and time again – While, surely I understand the risks and dangers of secondhand smoke, I never stood up and forced anyone to stand beside me for the full duration of a cigarette. I consider myself polite enough to move away when smoking near crowd, or at gatherings, and I always isolate myself from non-smokers unless they volunteer to accompany me. We’re smokers, not illiterate. We understand the warning signs on the cigarette packages, we too can read them. But smoking isn’t something we do for the fun of it – Hell, if I saw such a warning sign on something I hadn’t went at back when peer-pressure peaked, I’d never even get close to it. God knows what could have happened. But I’m hooked – I give others the freedom of choice, but I do expect the same in return. Non-smokers tend to always paint out the warning signs for me, as if I couldn’t read them. I understand that it’ll kill me eventually, but when I choose to disregard these signs, and still buy my daily pack, I’d expect some kind of freedom of choice granted to me as well.
The world isn’t black and white, and the same goes for smokers. I have yet to meet a smoker who did not hate himself/herself for smoking, but quitting is harder than admitting you have a problem in this case. It’s about fighting an addictive drug, and more importantly, the urge to feel that relaxing effect nicotine has on you in stressful times. I’ve tried to quit many times, but in came exams, or a funeral, or some stressful situation in which I had to plan everything out – And the only thing that gets my heart-rate down, is the one thing that will stop my heart in the end – a cigarette.