Smoking takes real skills
Today, less people are smoking cigarettes in Australia. The younger generation are also less impressed with getting intoxicated by alcohol. It seems we are getting wiser, perhaps as the older generations teach the errors of their ways. Smoking skills could well be a dying art! A dying art. The art work on cigarette packets have been depicting dying smokers who finally get to quit, for good.
When I ask people why they started in the first place, the answers invariably run to the satisfaction of need. Not the need to feel the poisoned air assaulting airways but the need to fit in, to be accepted by peers, to look “cool”, more mature somehow. It is a wonderful thing that poison can call forth associations of maturity, sexiness, even heroism.
The slender beauty on the cinema screen makes a poorly disguised overture to the movie’s hero. Not by revealing even more flesh, but by asking the hero to light her cigarette. The curious psychological associations between smoking, sexiness, the promise of intimacy have zero basis in reality but we don’t let that get in the way of buying poison and absorbing it. Film stars are stars because they say words usually written by someone else in a manner and demeanour devised by someone else again.
They become stars because they take direction and wait their turn to be filmed. When film stars smoked onscreen their skill as persuaders promoted an inclination to imitate. Put simply, we wanted to be like our ‘heroes’. We buy sports gear as worn by Reynaldo, want to smell like Brad Pitt, and drink Pepsi because a popular singer, like Beyoncé, drinks Pepsi.
The smoking skill kills
We learned to smoke and it takes great skill initially. For many there has been an experience of dizziness, dehydration, even vomiting. But persistence pays off and soon the skill becomes unconscious. It is a smooth, effortless, even suave undertaking to release the tight-fitting cigarette from a pack and toss into the moth and click the stylish Zippo, or Ronson, or whatever ignition device is available and inhale the relaxing nectar. More tar than nectar in fact.
But wait, there is a movement in community. Questions as to the harmlessness of smoking are emerging. Evidence of relationships far less seductive than screen romances abound. Relationships between heart disease and smoking. Relationships between lung cancer and smoking. Bronchitis and emphysema are much more prevalent in smokers. The list of toxic relationships to smoking grows. These are bad. Real bad.
Denials, claims and counterclaims abound. It seems the smoking skill kills. Its time to stop. To quit, for good. But it seems hard, very hard, even harder than getting started at smoking skill 101 in the first place. Must be addicted.
Smoking skills addiction?
There are a number of ideas around smoking addiction. Anyway what’s the difference between habit and addiction? One quick answer is; sleep. We get, or should get, around 7 or 8 hours sleep a night. People addicted, i.e. dependent upon, say, methamphetamine (“ice” to you and me) cannot enjoy the luxury of a good night’s sleep. Heroin users have trouble with a full night’s sleep. Smokers rarely report such sleep disruption. smokers can even report good sleep patterns.
Smoking skills for stress
Smokers sometimes believe the drag on a cigarette can soothe the experience of stress. Yes, we daily see congregations of workers smoking together at entrances to their sites. It is possible that initial drags on a cigarette can persuade that there is benefit from smoking. It is also true that taking a few deep breaths (without any toxic smoke involved) can be very relaxing indeed!
Smoking skills for weight loss
Sometimes people develop their smoking skills in order to suppress appetite and lose weight. So, when its time to quit, they believe they’ll become gigantic, ugly things. Truth is, tobacco leaves are soaked in sugar water in their preparation so inhaling tobacco involves inhaling sugar! Weight gain on quitting does take place because moisture is returning to the skin cells which has been dehydrated by the smoke.
How to quit
Nicotine patches, chewing gum, sprays are very popular resources in helping people stay stopped. The are replacement means of ingesting nicotine. Hypnosis can be very useful (and quick) in helping people quit. Usually (not always) just one session can do it. It is drug-free and effectively administered suggestions help address residual cravings because smoking skills are after all, just habit. Habits can be unlearned.
Money Money Money! Life Life Life!
Smoking can be pricey. I have found people can spend over $5000.00 a year on cigarettes. If saved, you’d have a quarter of a million in 5 years! Smoking has been indicated in diminishing life expectancy too. 13 years for women, 14 for men. How cool is it to practice smoking skills now? Smoking is the main preventable cause of death. Preventable! All you need to do is quit. For good!