Monday, July 6, 2009

Breath In and Breath Out

I can barely remember how it started, but i'm assuming it was out of curiosity. Peer pressure might have had something to do with it, but inevitably, it was my own choice. I could have not started at all, but for some reason, i know that this addiction is just as much a part of me whether i choose to believe it or not.

I bought my first pack of cigarettes from a sari-sari store down the street from my house. I remembered how my mom used to store hers at the pantry at home. I did the same thing, wondering if that's "how it was done".
I started smoking more or less when i started drinking. When i think about it now, i think i would slap my 15 year old brother if i caught him smoking or if he came crawling home drunk off his ass. Kids. What were we thinking? They only get younger these days too. *shaking head*

I've always been a social smoker. I was never one to light up on my own at home (unless i was utterly stressed or seriously working on something). If i went out once a week, that would be the only time i would ever have a cigarette. If i went out everyday, however, you can bet i was lighting up consistently, consuming at least a pack every other day.

When i quit smoking because i was pregnant, i had to walk around with a bag of candy and bubble gum. Every single time i felt the urge to inhale carbon monoxide or hydrogen cyanide i would simply pop a sweet in my mouth and forget about the craving. Eventually, the smell repulsed me and smoking was no longer an issue- only that the smell of it pissed me off resulting in endless arguments with Dylan's Dad about quitting... which, of course, never happened. In the end, he got me to start smoking again... a smart ploy to avoid facing his addiction. I had already been smoke free for 18 months.

After the shooting incident in 2005, my smoking was at an all-time high. I got up to 2 packs a day. I would go to 7/11 or Ministop and buy 4 packs at a time. Not only did i smoke more, i had also switched from Lights to Reds. How i ever managed to do that- i have no idea.
The less stressed i got, the less smoking i did. Eventually, i calmed down and Ian convinced me to minimize on my smoking. It would help the healing process of the wound a whole lot more if i slowed down, he said. I believed him. I switched back to Lights and smoked an average of 3-4 packs a week.

Once, Ian and i decided to quit smoking at the same time. We lasted 4 days and called our neighbor to bum a stick. It was quite pathetic. We went on again about quitting... this time he succeeded, and me? well, i totally cheated.
He's been cigarette free since May 2006.
I've quit smoking about 6x. Unsuccessfully, obviously.

There's something about drinking and smoking that go hand in hand.
There's something about having a cigarette with your coffee.
There's nothing like smoking while chatting with your girls.
Smokers look forward to that cigarette after they eat.
Nothing beats morning balcony talk with coffee at hand and a cigarette to start your day.

All of that might sound stupid- but smokers know what i'm talking about and it makes complete sense.
Honestly, i love my cigarettes.
I am a damn smoker.

I've been watching anti-smoking ads and browsing through anti-smoking campaigns. I've been reading about all the side-effects and the terrible things that smoking can do to you.
It says it right there on the friggin' pack- SMOKING KILLS.
I've seen all the different interpretations they have for smoking- murder, suicide, slow death, torture, etc.
But for some reason, it still bothers me none.
I've had relatives that have died from cancer. Both sides of the family. I should be scared shitless, to be honest with you.

Yes, i am on the path to quitting smoking for good. It's not just a habit- it's a lifestyle. People's lives are driven based on whether you're a smoker or not.
If it's hot out- dress lightly. There's a possibility you won't be allowed to smoke indoors where you're going.
Know where you're going- if it's somewhere remote, buy an extra pack NOW to avoid stress later on.
Can we smoke there? No? well, i don't wanna go then. Well, fine. We don't have to stay long, right?
Don't forget your lighter.
There's a lot more... but i'll stop right there to avoid sounding like a complete moron. I realize that sometimes, this addiction doesn't fall too far off from stupid. (No offense)

But aside from that, there are also the health issues to think about. There's the anti-aging thing to think about. There's also the- you have a child that needs you.
There's no use weighing out the pros and cons. Everybody knows that a smoke-free life is ultimately better. The only question is- are you ready to give up that lifestyle?

  • about 1/3 of smokers die from a smoking-related disease. That's one smoker every 10 seconds.
  • for long term smokers- your life expectancy can be 8-12 years shorter than a non-smoker
  • there are 4,700 toxic substances found in cigarettes.
    • 68 are confirmed to cause cancer
    • similar chemicals can be found in rat poison, batteries, nail polish removers, insecticides, & embalming fluid just to name a few.
  • inhaling smoke kills alveoli (air sacks in your lungs where oxygen is transferred into your blood). Alveoli don't grow back so when you smoke, you permanently damage your lungs.
  • more people die from smoking than from vehicle accidents, murders, suicides, alcohol, AIDS, illegal drugs, falls, and poisoning combined.
Why wouldn't i want to quit, right?
I can do this.
I leave you now with one of the cooler anti-smoking ads i came across. Saw it as a commercial before i watched a DVD and it really made an impression.

aw man, i need a cigarette.

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