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Natural Born Chainsmoker: Stuck in the wrong decade

Jan 31, 2011 - 4 comments

chain smoking


four packs a day




Lung Cancer

Although I think Im way too driven and neurotic about most things, I kinda think I should have been born in the 40s or 50s, at least when it comes to things like smoking. Right now, Im attempting to "quit or cut back" on my three to three to four pack a day cigarette habit, mainly because its causing me alot of grief at work; but not really because I have some overwhelming desire to quit.

Truth is, and I will be the first to admit it, I love smoking and dont really want to quit my three to four pack a day habit. I should have been born in a time when smoking was allowed almost everywhere in America, and I could have smoked all I wanted to whether at my desk at work, or in any restaruant or bar, or at almost any other social occasion. Even though I sometimes have a love/hate relationship with my cigarettes, I mainly hate that I am sometimes treated like a second class citizen just because I am a smoker and always want to be one.

I understand that other people have health concerns, many of which are entirely legitimate, but it doesnt mean I should be deprived of my right to smoke if I choose to. I dont want to get into a huge smokers rights argument with people - not because I dont think there are valid points - obviously, this is a health board, and obviously I agree that there are very legitimate concerns with the health effects of smoking. I can even go so far as to recognize that I have probably already caused permanent irreversable lung damage to myself, which may result in me having a higher risk of emphesyma, COPD or lung cancer, and even though that knowledge is frightening, it doesnt completely stop my desperate cravings and need for cigarettes.

Rather than try to cut through that morass of issues regarding the nature of a seriously addicted nicotine queen, Id prefer instead to just say that I wish I had been born in the 40s or 50s, when there wasnt anywhere near the level of societal discrimination against smokers that there is today. While there was certianly alot of other discrimination back then, such as against women, minorities, and people of different sexualities, all of which is way worse than cigarette smoker discrimination; at least I would be able to smoke my cigarette without ugly stares from everyone.

Especially since cigarette prices and taxes were far lower back then than they are these days, I can only imagine how truly out of hand my chain smoking might get then. Today, since Ive gotten up, Ive almost finished two packs of cigarettes: starting with my usual six or seven cigarettes I smoke before I leave for work, then another four or five smoking in my car on the way to work, then taking several smoke breaks while at work in the morning with an average of two to three each break often finishing my first pack of the day just before lunch, then lunch break at a restrauant with an outdoor smoking patio where I usually smoke another six or seven cigarettes out of the second pack, then several more smoke breaks throughout the afternoon, before finishing the last four or five cigarettes of the second pack on my way home from work. This typically results in me smoking my third pack when I get back home, over the course of several hours both before dinner and afterwards, and depending on how keyed up I am, I frequently find myself needing to open up a fourth pack of cigarettes later in the evening, and smoking upto half a pack of those, sometimes more, before I go to bed. I know that three to four packs a day is way too many, and doubtlessly ruining my lungs, but Im just so addicted and love it too much to want to give it up.

I just sometimes imagine what it'd be like if I worked at a place where I might be allowed to smoke right at my desk all day long, and no one would criticize me or belittle me or make fun of me and give me anxiety issues, just because I feel the need to have a lit cigarette in my hand all the time. I bet that not only would I be more productive at work, but that I would be happier at my job as well if I didnt feel the need to go downstairs and slip out for constant smoke breaks almost every hour or so. I imagine Id probably find myself smoking twice as much, at least during normal work hours, and that instead of smoking two or three cigarettes an hour on every break, I'd probably be wanting to smoke five or six cigarettes an hour, like I often times do on nights and weekends. I imagine it wouldnt be too long living in that 50s or 60s Mad Men like world, smoking five or six cigarettes an hour, and instead of just smoking three or maybe four packs a day, Id probably routinely smoke at least four or five packs a day.

Five packs a day, I cant even imagine it now, but I've heard stories of people who really did used to smoke that much. Of course alot of them probably died too young from lung disease, maybe in their forties or fifties, and that such a fate could likely befall me too; but their addictions then are not so different than my own now, and at least they didnt have to feel like social outcasts at work, or at a date, or anywhere else they may want to go.

Alas, it was not my lot in life to find myself born in that time when smoking was tolerated everywhere. Instead I find myself hoping that one day, I may be able to manage to get my smoking down to only two packs a day or so, so that I will not find myself absolutely obsessed with needing to smoke another cigarette while at work. But for now, I havent found that strength, and instead I find that I keep giving in to my delightful addiction, and find myself needing to open that third pack of cigarettes every day, and feeling guilty that I might have been born in the wrong time.

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by PinPinPatrick, Feb 15, 2011
Be glad you're born in these time so that there's more pressure on you to quit!  If you were born in the 40's or 50's you'd smoke yourself to death.

The discrimination on smokers is because smoking has killed so many people.  And the science is out there that smoking definitely destroys health in so many different ways.   And families suffer when they lose a member of the family.  Society suffers when the lose a member of society.  

Smoking kills!  The only reason why you like smoking so much is because you're addicted to nicotine.  You should quit being so stuborn and stuck in your ways.  

What about your skin?  You're gonna look all wrinkled pretty soon if you don't stop.  You'll be really ugly to look at the longer you smoke, no joke there, I've seen women who last into their 40's and 50's... and I'm like yea she was a smoker.  Or she still is a smoker... Their skin looks like leather and their voice sounds like a man all crackled and croaked.  What about your sex drive that will be eventually lost... it doesn't just cause decreased blood flow down there for a man, it's the same for a woman. The lungs take the brunt of the damage but really your whole body becomes damaged from smoking.

Avatar universal
by brice1967, Feb 15, 2011
Look Stephanie, I don't know why I feel compelled to help you, but I do.  Yeah, I've been kind of a jack-*** and harsh, but that's the way it goes.... so lets put on our "big people pants" and get after this.

The case at hand is that you asked for help, society didn't come to and say "everyone help Stephanie".  Addiction ***** Stephanie, and I have beaten a few different ones.  Although one product (tobacco) is legal and available everywhere, the other was not legal and costs a lot more than cigarettes... the attack was the same.  I had to address the entire habit.  The mannerisms, the times when I imbibed, the feelings of being high and not being high...

After reading your entire post again, it's just obvious that you are not ready to quit.... and you know what?  It's your life.  If you want to spend your golden years (40's considering your current habit) gasping for air, who am I to complain?

You mentioned about how it would have been better to have been born in the 40's and 50s because smoking was more socially accepted and tobacco was cheaper.... I'll rebut those claims.  Smoking was more widely accepted in those days because the science proving the damage and health matters was not there.  (I was born with under developed lungs in the 1960's... when doctors commonly told pregnant mothers nothing about quitting)  Nowadays we do have the science to know about the damage and health issues, and they are abundant.  

As for tobacco being cheaper.... yeah, so was everything else.  You're an attorney, you know whats happened to big tobacco to cause the prices to sky rocket.  (When I started, a pack of smokes or a can of chew was a dime... ten cents.... and since that time numerous smokers and chewers have died because of their nicotine habits.)

You know you can make your life a lot easier and less stressful and better than that, you know what it will take in order to get that done.  A few adjustments and let them go to work, and all of a sudden you have a new you.

The choice is yours, and I do not wish any ill health upon you.  I wish you luck and hope!

Avatar universal
by shelman, Jan 14, 2012
I know how it feels to need a cigarette at every hour of the day. If only I'd been a part of an earlier generation where smoking was not only accepted, but encouraged. I, too, wish I were a member of that generation. Cigarettes in a cut-glass tray on the table, just waiting to be smoked. Everyone accepted smoking, and it was an unquestioned part of life.
I struggle to find time to smoke the cigarettes that I love so much.
I only wish I had met you and been able to enjoy your addiction along with my own.
Please don't succumb to societal pressure to smoke less. You deserve to satisfy yourself as much and as often as YOU want to. Nobody else should be able to limit your pleasure. You so obviously enjoy your smoking habit (as do I!). Please don't stop smoking because somebody tells you to. Please don't stop smoking because somebody tells you it's bad for you. Please don't stop smoking because it's "inconvenient".
You and I must continue to do the things that give us pleasure in life, even if there are others that don't understand that pleasure.
Most of the people telling you to quit have no idea how much pleasure it give us to smoke, and smoke, and smoke some more.
It provides us with a satisfaction and enjoyment that no one who is not a smoker can possibly understand.

I only wish that I knew you personnaly. I would encourage you to smoke as much as you want and do so as often as you want. I would share that pleasure with you as a fellow smoker, knowing that it may be killing us both, but knowing that it provides us with a pleasure that cannot be understood by any non-smoker.

Every breath brings us closer to death; why not breathe smoke?

Avatar universal
by Cuda333, Sep 19, 2021
This is an informative post.  Nothing wrong with being who you are.  Keep your mindset positive and approach cigarettes in a positive manner.  It’s not about health effects.  It’s about properly managing them and keeping them in perspective.  That’s why you have some smokers in their fifties who barely cough at all but some in their twenties who can barely breathe.  I’ve seen it quite often.  Managing your habit is more effective than quitting cold turkey and putting your body in shock and/or and extreme state of neurosis and stress.  Smoke heavily, inhale and exhale properly, and smoke smart.  Just don’t smoke negatively.

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