By way of introduction, let me say that I am "smoker friendly", by that I mean I've been there: I smoked consistently for thirty years, stopped painlessly in 1993, and have stayed stopped ever since (http://quitnicotinenow.net). Smokers and smokers-in-recovery are my people.
Although I've been on the stopped side for a number of years, I've never found the "little Miss Mao" approach helpful for behavior change: i.e. strident, accusatory pronouncements blaring over loud speakers throughout the smokers republic of oppression.
Due to the proven effects of second hand smoke, I prefer to speak to my people who still smoke via this blog, or upwind.
I have a powerful arrest; I am not cured. Nicotine - according to the World Health folks - is the most potent of all the addictors.
I wish to complete my introduction, dear smoker-in-addiction and smoker-in-recovery, by sharing that, as researchers have found, many of us heavy smokers are also heavy drinkers. I've been consistently off the sauce since April 24, 1978 (http://www.sossobriety.org).
Wherever you are on the spectrum of nicotine addiction/recovery: whether wanting to stop, ready to stop, or desiring to stay stopped, this is your blog. We're in it together.
As we see, smokers - ex or currently puffing - have a common bond: nicotine addiction. Those of us who are now nicotine free can reach out to our people who are still in bondage, if you will.
This blog has the potential to become a powerful support mechanism, giving voice to all who seek recovery from nicotine oppression and to those of us who've achieved arrest of our individual addictions to the drug.
Common cause peer support offered in a free thought forum can empower individuals to act positively. I will share my own "smoker's story" along with a helpful collection of "unhooking tools" on a weekly basis. Your voice is needed.
When did you start smoking? Why do you think you started? How long did it take before you feel you became habituated/hooked? When do you think you realized that nicotine has a "nasty side"? Do you romanticize smoking and those who smoke? Have you ever momentarily allowed yourself to hate the drug and its grip on your life and personal freedom? Do you have cigarette burns, i.e. direct negative consequences resulting from nicotine addiction? Do you fear - in your heart of hearts - that your individual addiction is hopeless, and that you are helpless regarding this matter?
Whatever your emotional state at this moment, please pick up a pen and write anything that comes to mind, or enter your thoughts via your keyboard and review them later.
I look forward to being with you next week.
Published On: February 20, 2008