A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with limited expertise on the topic opined. Opposing opinions are welcome but are wrong. As always, please, no name calling and that means you, you big stupid head!
I am pleased to announce that I am now five years without smoking (does an occasional cigar count?) I am a bit of an expert on quitting smoking; this is the second time I have quit for longer than five years. You might ask, “Do you have any advice to people that want to quit smoking?”
No, I do not…well I do but I would rather offer advice to people who want someone to quit smoking.*
First of all, every smoker wants to quit. Every smoker wishes he had never started. Every smoker knows smoking is not good for his health. Every smoker hates the inconvenience they go through because of their addiction. Every smokers are aware that this addiction is very expensive. (Almost) Every smoker feels awful that his addiction makes others uncomfortable and may even put their health at risk.
So, people who want someone they know to quit smoking, stop telling him that smoking is not good for him, that it is expensive and that the smoke stinks. He knows this and he wants to quit. Remember smoking is not just a habit. Habits are difficult to quit, especially when the habit is shared socially by others. Smoking is also an addiction. It is a powerful addiction. Quitting a habit and an addiction is not easy. Most smokers try to quit as soon as they put out their last cigarette.
My friend Frog’s mother was a heavy smoker right up until she had a heart attack at age 85. At the hospital the doctor asked her if she smoked. She said, “I used to, but I quit.” Frog took the doctor aside and told him, “She quit six hours ago, after she had the heart attack.”
Point is, quitting is hard, when you tell a smoker things he knows, when you remind him that he should quit or that he is killing himself and is an inconvenience to those around him, you only make him feel bad and you only trigger the urge to light up another.
I particularly hated when a six year old at his parents prompting came up to me and said, “Do you know that is bad for you? You should stop!” Ah yes, words of wisdom from a little snot who is still sucking his thumb…always made me fire up a back to back double.
If you want someone to quit, you need to offer support. Tell him you know smoking is a powerful addiction and if there is anything you can do to help or lend support you are there. Don’t belittle him or remind him he is stupid; that causes a “fuck you” reflex. Support gives him the incentive to stick with it. If he is trying to quit and lights up don’t call him a failure. Remind him that a slip does not mean he cannot beat the addiction.
If someone you love is a smoker, do not beat him up about it. Let him know that you understand and that if he was to quit you would offer support, sympathy, and praise. Hate the addiction, not the addict.
You can nag him into his grave.
*This advice is aimed at people who want a loved one to quit. If a nicotine addict inflicts his addiction on you through pure thoughtlessness, you should feel free to give him a piece of you mind.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.