When you consider the underlying reasons for smoking, it is a wonder the tobacco companies ever managed to convince us smoking was cool.
Their trick was to get people to start smoking by attaching a rebellious or peaced-out vibe to the smoke wafting out a person’s nostrils, and then they hoped that once you started, you wouldn’t stop.
But, the reasons for starting smoking begin to rot over time. As smoking continues, cigarettes turn from a prop to a crutch.
Having a cigarette and being a smoker are two different things, and it is not simply a scientific addiction to a chemical that draws the distinction becasue:
This leaves an obvious question. Why do some people keep smoking?
The answers, which relentlessly revealed my patheticness over my 40 days, exposed Big Tobacco’s trickery. Being a smoker does not make me a bad ass.
3 Embarrassing Reasons for Smoking
I am scared.
I once told someone I could quit smoking except for when I am hanging out in social situations. Her immediate response was “are you really so afraid?” That thought hadn’t occurred to me before, but during the fast I was forced to stand naked at parties. No drink, no cigarette, just me. I was surprised by how easy it was to overcome the fear once I forced myself into it, but there is no denying it had been the backbone of my habit.
I am meaningless
I once told a doctor who asked if I had ever thought of suicide that I knew smoking would kill me but I didn’t care. That is the extreme, but there is an element of truth to this for all smokers. Smokers are often the type of people who don’t have a lot going for them. For the others it is even more sad. They are living lies, pretending to care where they don’t. The saddest thing, however, is the zombie mode unawareness of this meaningless.
I am inhuman
The difference between animals and people is the ability to chose between the bodily urges or not. Every time I want to get involved in a thing, I decide to first go and have a cigarette. Every time the going gets difficult, I have a smoke. Soon, I am just going through life in whatever direction it pushes me. I have given up the incredible gift of being human.
If these three reasons sound a bit harsh, one conciliatory thing I could say would be that I want to provide a public service to cancel out the tobacco company’s alluring reasons for starting smoking. Maybe if we can change the image of the smoker to what it really is, a not so pretty picture, than less people will fall in the first place.
But, what about the people who already smoke, and what about these far deeper problems?
There is a silver lining to this cloud…
Use this to Help Quit Smoking
When I scribbled these reasons for smoking down, I was struck by the idea that they are all really the same thing. They are an inability to be in the present.
Fear is always for something that will happen in the future. Meaning is only possible through consciousness which is now, and humanity’s gift is also based on consciousness.
This answers the question of why the loss of health and money don’t hold value when a smoker smokes. They are not now.
The hidden blessing is the habit of smoking can easily be changed into a reminder to live in the now. Every time your brain try’s to escape the now will be handily shown to you by the craving for another cigarette.
This is a blessing a Zen monk would be jealous of!
Every time a craving hits, take a few deeps breaths and just realize that you exist. It won’t be easy, but remember you are not just quitting smoking, you are battling fear and fighting for your very humanity!