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Old 05-25-2009, 07:09 AM   #21
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After smoking for about 13 years, I quit on August 22, 1977. I had tried many methods with no success, but what finally worked for me was to just go "cold turkey" and suffer.

Quitting smoking was a hideous experience, and I never want to go through that again. So, I have not felt tempted to start smoking again.

Besides, who can afford to smoke in 2009? Not me. It has become very expensive during the 32 years since I quit.
Sometimes I think about what price should cigarettes reach in order for me to give it up. I conclude thinking that they´ll have to be so expensive that they wouldn´t be worth manufacturing due to a scarcity of clients!
Here in Spain they are still relatively cheap- almost 3 dollars a pack. Sadly I can easily afford the vice!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:40 AM   #22
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Living here in Europe, one definitely notices the higher rate of smokers as well as the general acceptance of smoking. Smokers in Europe don't face the guilt and public humiliation one often feels in the U.S. So it's certainly harder for a European to quit, as there really isn't any social/peer pressure to do so.

In Germany, there's a public cigarette vending machine on just about every block in the cities and villages.

Interesting article from earlier this year that includes a little graph of smoking stats showing how some European countries stack up against the U.S. by percentage of daily smokers. Spain is high on the list.

Europe's Smoking Culture Lingers, Despite Bans - WSJ.com
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:11 AM   #23
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I've been smoking for 25 years, started at 15. I enjoy it and have no plans to quit...
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:17 AM   #24
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I'm a smoker too....started at 17, quit a couple of years ago for 5 months....missed it....back smoking.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:39 AM   #25
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Living here in Europe, one definitely notices the higher rate of smokers as well as the general acceptance of smoking. Smokers in Europe don't face the guilt and public humiliation one often feels in the U.S. So it's certainly harder for a European to quit, as there really isn't any social/peer pressure to do so.

In Germany, there's a public cigarette vending machine on just about every block in the cities and villages.

Interesting article from earlier this year that includes a little graph of smoking stats showing how some European countries stack up against the U.S. by percentage of daily smokers. Spain is high on the list.

Europe's Smoking Culture Lingers, Despite Bans - WSJ.com
Interesting article - thanks for posting. Many of my immediate family and friends are smokers and still live in the same small ex coal mine town that I grew up in. My Dad is now in the 49th year living in the same house we moved to in 1960, and my youngest sister and her family live next door. We visit a lot and spend many nights in the local club that we have frequented all our lives. When the smoking ban on pubs and clubs came into play it was interesting to note that a couple of years later that revenues at the club have not fallen at all despite the fact that majority of the regulars are smokers.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:20 AM   #26
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My father had a saying, when the topic arose of people being unable to quit smoking, morbidly obese people being unable to lose weight, etc.:
"They just don't believe yet that it'll kill them. If they really believed it, they'd figure out a way to stop."

He was a heavy smoker, who quit, and also lost weight, after a heart attack at 52. Happily, he survived another 35 years.
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:06 PM   #27
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My father had a saying, when the topic arose of people being unable to quit smoking, morbidly obese people being unable to lose weight, etc.:
"They just don't believe yet that it'll kill them. If they really believed it, they'd figure out a way to stop."

He was a heavy smoker, who quit, and also lost weight, after a heart attack at 52. Happily, he survived another 35 years.
Good for him! My Dad was a heavy smoker and a binge drinker. At age 52 he fell down and passed out in a snowbank, and if my brother hadn't come along and seen his legs that would have been the end of the line for Papa. He took the hint, and quit both dangerous habits cold turkey. OTOH my Mother kept smoking despite many health scares for the rest of her life.

I believe that part of the problem here in the US is that we are hectored continually to change this, give up that, stop thinking the other. All of these things are said by "experts"to be very harmful. Then a few years later, the experts have another take on it, or more likely there is a new group of experts eager themselves to get into print with totally different ideas. Many of these hazards, such as diet, if they are hazards at all, are tiny ones.

Not so with smoking, a real hazard at least to the smoker himself. But young people in particular have been told so many lies that they just don't believe the truth about smoking. Some academic seeking tenure has cried wolf too many times.

Ha
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:54 PM   #28
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Good for him! My Dad was a heavy smoker and a binge drinker. At age 52 he fell down and passed out in a snowbank, and if my brother hadn't come along and seen his legs that would have been the end of the line for Papa. He took the hint, and quit both dangerous habits cold turkey. OTOH my Mother kept smoking despite many health scares for the rest of her life.

I believe that part of the problem here in the US is that we are hectored continually to change this, give up that, stop thinking the other. All of these things are said by "experts"to be very harmful. Then a few years later, the experts have another take on it, or more likely there is a new group of experts eager themselves to get into print with totally different ideas. Many of these hazards, such as diet, if they are hazards at all, are tiny ones.

Not so with smoking, a real hazard at least to the smoker himself. But young people in particular have been told so many lies that they just don't believe the truth about smoking. Some academic seeking tenure has cried wolf too many times.

Ha
Hear hear!
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:31 PM   #29
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As for Ziggy's comment, I fully agree.
I think people should be fully educated to the dangers and if they still want to kill themselves, so be it. As long as they are not hurting others.
If our society pays for the damage due to smoking, then I think there should be some regulation.
Drunk driving, in my opinion, should be regulated ONLY because of the risk to bystanders. Not due to the risk the person knowingly takes for their own personal well being.
As for experts, they have been around as long as society. Snake oil salesmen, people that wanted to feel important, and other very well meaning people that thought they found an issue, but turned out to be wrong.
I think in the modern world people simply have more exposure to more of these people, leading to information overload.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:00 PM   #30
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If our society pays for the damage due to smoking, then I think there should be some regulation.
Actually I'm pretty sure it is the other way around. Some years ago I read a report that compared the most pessimistic cost of smokers' health care cost per year in the UK against the revenue brought in by tobacco taxes and the taxes paid for smoking health care costs and the tax revenues far out-weighed the financial burden on the NHS.

Just did a quick search and found a different take on costs:

Do smokers cost society money? - USATODAY.com

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A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.
The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:07 PM   #31
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As for Ziggy's comment, I fully agree.
I think people should be fully educated to the dangers and if they still want to kill themselves, so be it. As long as they are not hurting others.
I was actually trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek and a little silly.

Anyway, the big problem with the "societal cost of smoking" is that it tends to include the extra expenses of health care for smokers, but doesn't seem to factor in a reduced number of years collecting Social Security, Medicare and public pensions. A fair accounting of the real "social costs" of smoking would include items on both sides of the ledger.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:22 PM   #32
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Good points, I had not considered the lower cost of SS and such, and the longer life span of non smokers.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:48 PM   #33
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I was actually trying to be a little tongue-in-cheek and a little silly.

Anyway, the big problem with the "societal cost of smoking" is that it tends to include the extra expenses of health care for smokers, but doesn't seem to factor in a reduced number of years collecting Social Security, Medicare and public pensions. A fair accounting of the real "social costs" of smoking would include items on both sides of the ledger.
There haven't been many studies on the subject, (quick search only found one - PLoS Medicine: Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure) but the few that have been done show that the items the gov't is crusading against (smoking, obesity, etc) may improve public health, but do not decrease healthcare spending. But if the gov't was truly interested in improving public health they wouldn't be doing things like outlawing vaporizers and electronic cigarettes, which allow the use of the drug (nicotine or pot) without all the deadly side effects of the delivery systems. Hit & Run > FDA to Ban Electronic Cigarettes - Reason Magazine
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Smoking - why young people start
Old 05-25-2009, 06:06 PM   #34
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Smoking - why young people start

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But young people in particular have been told so many lies that they just don't believe the truth about smoking.

Ha
Ha, do you have any evidence that young people make the decision to smoke based on anything other than peer pressure? (and maybe weight control, in a few cases ). I just doubt that many young folks sit around debating the merits of this or that academic view of smoking. I think they see other people lighting up, or someone offers them a smoke and they say "sure."
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:46 PM   #35
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I don't want to speak for Ha, but here's my take on what he said. Young people start smoking (or drugs, or whatever) mostly through peer pressure or self esteem issues. If there was truthful and consistant information available to the kids, they might have a better chance of not starting the vices. But because they are fed either inconsistant or obviously false stories, they just don't accept the warnings. By the time they are capable of determining truth for themselves, they have acquired the habit or lifestyle. JMO.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:35 PM   #36
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I am surprised to read that W2R was an ex-smoker, albeit she quit a long time ago. I guess because she does not drink. Though drinkers do not necessarily smoke, most smokers drink, I believe.

Anyway, I am an ex-smoker myself. Not a heavy smoker, but about 1/2 pack a day from when I was 17 to 46 year of age. I quit cold turkey. It happened on a European trip in 2003, when I ran out of the pack I brought, and took the occasion to quit. Just now, looking at the pictures that we took on that trip, I found some of me still with a cigarette in hand.

It was tough in the beginning, as it was not the first time that I tried. After about 6 months to a year, the craving stopped and cigarette smoke started to bother me.

About the healthcare cost, I have seen reports like the one Alan mentioned. And about lung cancer, I have read that 9 out of 10 lung cancer patients smoked. However, only 1 out of 10 smokers get lung cancer.

Think about that for a moment. The above two facts are not contradictory. Not every smoker will die of lung cancer. We all know of some heavy smokers who lived till old age.

Another statistics to ponder is that US citizens as a whole smoke less than Europeans. Yet, the latter have longer life span, and their medical costs are lower. So, what is doing us in? Not smoke, but obesity. It's the bacon, my friends, that is killing us. So, why not ban bacon and ostracize obesity?

About death from cigarette, I don't know why it would be worse than any other cause of death. My father, after 6-7 years of dialysis due to total kidney failure topped off with a stroke, eventually died of liver failure and such weak immunity that a month-long injection of Vancomycin could not stem his systemic infection.

Other than a fatal heart attack or stroke that hits you like a bolt of lightning from the blue, any lingering ailment before death is terrible. There is no point in saying that death from cigarette is worse than any other cause of death. My friend's mother had a heart attack that did not kill her immediately, but destroyed her heart. Short of a heart transplant, nothing could save her. She lingered for a month, and my friend told me it wasn't pretty.

We are all going to die of something, yes?

I am not going back to smoke, but going to pour me some Cognac now. Have not had my eau de vie in a while. Then, I am going to cook some steak for dinner.

Cheers.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #37
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I am surprised to read that W2R was an ex-smoker, albeit she quit a long time ago. I guess because she does not drink. Though drinkers do not necessarily smoke, most smokers drink, I believe.
I drank then, though not very much because I never really liked the taste. Not only that, but also I generally became inordinately drunk after drinking very little and didn't seem to build up any tolerance for it. Very inconvenient for a young single woman, so that limited my drinking as well.

Later, when I learned that a member of my immediate family was an alcoholic, I decided that given the genetic nature of alcoholism and given that I really wasn't that much of a drinker anyway, it would be stupid to pursue drinking at all.

Besides, it's fattening.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:58 PM   #38
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We are all going to die of something, yes?
Sure. But what's the rush?
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On average, the surgeon general says, smokers die 13 to 14 years before nonsmokers.
List of smoking-related diseases expanded - Addictions- msnbc.com
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:05 PM   #39
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So, what is doing us in? Not smoke, but obesity. It's the bacon, my friends, that is killing us. So, why not ban bacon and ostracize obesity?
Well, obesity is pretty well demonized. I live at ground zero for hipness in the NW, and there is an awful lot of smoking everywhere, but darn little obesity. I see a lot of punk chicks with muffin tops, but that is about as fat as it gets.

As far as bacon, whatever bacon may or may not do for health, it sure doesn't cause obesity. I've put away a lot of bacon, and except when I have gained weight lifting weights I never weigh over 155#.

Ha
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:20 PM   #40
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I drank then, though not very much because I never really liked the taste. Not only that, but also I generally became inordinately drunk after drinking very little and didn't seem to build up any tolerance for it. Very inconvenient for a young single woman, so that limited my drinking as well.

Later, when I learned that a member of my immediate family was an alcoholic, I decided that given the genetic nature of alcoholism and given that I really wasn't that much of a drinker anyway, it would be stupid to pursue drinking at all.

Besides, it's fattening.
OK, if you do not enjoy the taste, there's no point in it.

About being drunk after a little drink, that would make it a cheaper past-time, with reduction of the risk of liver damage to boot.

Once in a while, I would drink to the point where I could feel the effect. It takes a life-long experience to not get past the point-of-no-return.

About the hazard of being a single drunken woman, now that's tough.

About fattening, no it isn't. Just skip the beer, and go for the eau de vie. Oops, I forget you have alcohol intolerance.


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But, but, but, just coming back from Las Vegas, I still have images of obese smokers sitting all day in front of slot machines, and with a glass of drink in the other hand.

I like to see the statistics of lifespan of moderate smokers, who exercise regularly and are not obese. An oxymoron, you think?

A friend of mine once shared the statistics on citizens of Andorra (a tiny country in the Pyrénées mountain between France and Spain), who have the longest lifespan of all nations despite being smokers. I wanted to go there to find their fountain of youth.
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