My Story

I'm 32, Ive been smoking a pack a day for 16 years or so.

I quit smoking 10 months ago. I found it pretty tough but I managed to do about 4 months without too much issue. I then broke my arm when playing rugby. First thing I did was ask for a smoke as I was pissed off and in pain waiting for a ride to the Hospital.

Since breaking my arm I now smoke when I drink and after playing sports. This is when Im happiest and and a cig or 2 goes with this beautifully.

In fact my doctor said "Smoking is a bad thing, but I mean smoking not just the occasional cigarette with a glass of wine"

I dont smoke during the day, certainly not at work and I dont miss it during those times.

I spend most of my work in Bulgaria so the unfashionable aspect of smoking isnt an issue (not that I think that is a good reason to quit) as most people smoke in Bulgaria. The pubs are full of smokers so even the non-smokers smell.

The theory of having 1 cigarette making me a full time smoker again and 1 cig being the slippery slope to starting full time doesnt really apply to me. I manage fine apart from relaxing with a beer or after football/cricket or rugby.

I dont think about smoking 90% of the time and have no care to smoke.

My dilemma is whether it is worth disrupting my favourite times (drinking and sport) by denying myself a cigarette and making smoking a big issue when it isnt an issue most of the time as it isnt on my day-to-day radar.

I know people say there is no such thing as a social smoker, but can there be?

Am I doing any real harm?

Im interested in opinions. Currently Ive not had a smoke for about a week. I have no desire to either. However, I know there will be a time when I will want to.

30 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Goughy

    An interesting read into the 'life of a social smoker'

    My view is -would you put a pistol to your head knowing there is one bullet but your mate is saying the next round is safe so shoot?'

    As with all drugs including nicotine it only takes one to cause a devastating effect, you dont crave it so why bother playing Russian Roulette with your life?

    You must have these hidden thoughts to ask the forum this question in the first place.

    You can enjoy a drink without the fags, you are not just inhaling your own cancer sticks, but if in Bulgaria they smoke indoors you are also inhaling their smoke!

    I am moving into my 4th month and feel alot better-i love sport and my running has improved no end!

    I come from a family of rugby players-my dad was a social smoker (and drinking with naughty rugby songs!!! hehe!!)and died at the age of 56-due to smoking-heart attack

    please look after yorself xxxxxx

  • Thanks for the responses so far.

    Its interesting, I cant see myself ever smoking full time again as I dont see the point and frankly it was too much hard work to squander (one of the hardest was smoking whilst driving. I didnt think it was possible to drive anywhere without the window down and a cig :D but writing this is literally the first time in 6 months Ive thought about that aspect of the habit (wow, I didnt realise Id even stopped doing it)).

    My issue is that I would love never to have a cigarette again but I still enjoy it during the times I mention.

    Im at the stage where I think worrying about the occasional cigarette may be less healthy than just relaxing and having a smoke with a beer or after football.

    I spend far more time worrying about the last cig a day or week or so ago rather than ever thinking about wanting the next smoke.

  • The fact that you are even thinking about it means that it concerns you!

    Ask yourself this question. Do people that don't smoke relax any less while having a beer?

    The answer is of course no.

    If you do smoke you are risking getting a full blown addiction. Remember that nicotine is generally regarded as one of the most addictive substances known to man, and coming off it is something many people never manage to do!

    My advice, stay away from smoking, there is nothing to gain and plenty to lose .

    Cheers

    Nic

  • Do people that don't smoke relax any less while having a beer?

    The answer is of course no.

    I never got that logic when Ive heard it mentioned previously. There are plenty of people that can sit in a pub and drink orange juice all night. They may be as happy as I am but I wouldn't be as happy if I did the same.

    I appreciate the idea that its better and simpler to avoid all contact but I dont think comparing 2 completely different people with different tastes, experiences and preferences is the best approach.

    Id slit my wrists if I never got to play cricket ever again and Im sure that is completely incomprehensible to most who probably never think about cricket :D

  • thats true-id slit my wrists if i had to PLAY cricket!!! ;)

  • It appears that you have your own opinion and that you don't want to change it, that's fine but deep down there was a reason why you asked the question in the 1st place!

    You are asking people that are determined to quit smoking if its OK to smoke. As such you will only get 1 response phrased in several different ways and that response is NO!

    Cheers

    Nic

  • It appears that you have your own opinion and that you don't want to change it, that's fine but deep down there was a reason why you asked the question in the 1st place!

    You are asking people that are determined to quit smoking if its OK to smoke. As such you will only get 1 response phrased in several different ways and that response is NO!

    Cheers

    Nic

    That is fair enough. Im not trying to piss off people really working hard to change their lives.

    I do worry about smoking, I made the change to stop being an everyday smoker. Mainly because I didnt want my kids to know me as a smoker. I have the occasional cig now but there is not daily consumption. However, I cant see myself never having a cigarette again. Im sure it will happen.

    That at its core is what my question is about. At what point does the worry of having the occasional cig and beating yourself up about it become less healthy than the occasional cig?

    Its an honest question. One that I respect your opinion to be that nothing is acceptable.

  • Likewise I am not trying to p you off, just pointing out that you are asking a biased group :D

    I have a relation that smokes like you do, but very few people are able to maintain that level of control.

    The thing that would worry me the most is that as your children grow older they will become aware that you smoke from time to time, if they form the opinion that smoking occasionally is fine and achievable they may start and not be able to maintain a similar level of control themselves.

    To put my opinion in context, I am now anti smoking, and would like to see the world moving (gradually) towards a ban on tobacco sales as it seems wrong that there are people not yet born that will eventually die from smoking related illness.

  • i agree with ..you smoke or you dont.. there is no such thing as a social smoker..cant say much more its all bin said tony

  • I do worry about smoking, I made the change to stop being an everyday smoker. Mainly because I didnt want my kids to know me as a smoker. I have the occasional cig now but there is not daily consumption. However, I cant see myself never having a cigarette again. Im sure it will happen.

    I tend to beleive that you either smoke or you don't - and those that are "social smokers" are permanently in withdrawal (logically they must be).

    Your statement above worries me. The vast majority of people who smoke 1 or 2 will end up as a full time smoker. In fact the vast majority of smokers would end up as chain smokers if it wasn't for the fact that it would make them ill straight away (nausea, etc) and costs so much. Therefore, you are happy for your kids to see you smoke now and again - and for them to think that's OK. And in all probability for them to become full time smokers when they try the same thing.

    It's up to you what you do, it's not my place to tell you.... but if I'm honest it seems incredibly daft to me.

  • An addict is an addict;)your just an Addict in denial Im afraid;) If you smoke for whatever reason your hooked!

    I too would love to see a total ban on all tobacco products.

  • I know people say there is no such thing as a social smoker, but can there be?

    Am I doing any real harm?

    .

    in answer to that above, no and yes, respectively. i think you know this or you wouldnt be asking..

    we have all been where you are. i know i have been plenty of times. in fact if im honest, iv started thinking about it again this quit on one of the first few nights i went out and had a glass of wine or five ;)

    fact is your trying to convince yourself its ok to smoke but deep down you know it isnt. and you must know it isnt right or you wouldnt be on here?

    its up to you what you do. how long are you going to keep doing this before you really stop and realise what you are doing to yourself? a year, 5 years, 10 years? sounds extreme but im only 25 and iv already wasted about 6 years doing exactly what your doing right now.

    my personal advice is stop smoking full stop.

  • You quit for months, then had a cigarette when you got pissed off.

    Now you have the cigarette, what will you fall back on next time you're pissed off, one cigarette, or will that be enough since you're used to it?

    I mean, this slippery slope can go on for years and it is inevitable that you will fall back in to the trap.

    I mean if you don't that's amazing, and maybe some people can just be like that. But well done for cutting down that much.

  • to me its inpossibil to smoke like you ethanm1..if you are only a social smoker,,do you clock watch ..waiting for your next one..or do you have a set time to have a fag..you see a fag is a fag is a fag..like i said last time to you on this thread,,you smoke or you dont smoke..simple..as they say.. NOT ONE MORE PUFF.. keep the faith tony

  • I can see how people think Im looking for an excuse to smoke. To be honest I probably am to a certain extent.

    I quit smoking as I didnt want my kids to see me and it seemed a pretty pointless exercise. However, smoking doesnt offend me. I just wonder what damage a few cigs a week can do? Im finding it tough to find decent info or data.

    Maybe 'never again' is the best approach, I dont know.

    Re: Counting. Before quitting I used to time an hour between cigs. Seems amazing now and a little sad :(

  • I just wonder what damage a few cigs a week can do? Im finding it tough to find decent info or data.

    Found this it might be worth a read

    Conclusions: In both sexes, smoking 1–4 cigarettes per day was associated with a significantly higher risk of dying from ischaemic heart disease and from all causes, and from lung cancer in women. Smoking control policymakers and health educators should emphasise more strongly that light smokers also endanger their health.

  • Found this it might be worth a read

    Interesting. Worth the read. Thanks

  • Very Interesting

    I've been missing from the forums for a couple of weeks so only just seen this very interesting thread.

    I liked your take on different drugs - like the person with the orange juice and kind of understand.

    My "drug" of choice is food. Now I wish the public battering ram would move on from the smokers to be honest and move into obesety. Like tobacco there is a serious lack of understanding over the underlying reasons why we smoke or eat to excess. I was controlling quite well the food, but with cigarettes hence part of the reason I was not willing to "give up".

    However I can absolutely take or leave alcohol - I get looked at as if I have two heads here in Scotland - also reading here - lots of people are drinking far more than is good for them, but just because you drink excessively it does not make you an addict? Do you agree? I'm not sure.

    I think for too long the addictive nature of tobacco has been highlighted but the behaviours that lead us to be smokers and these should be looked at more in depth. Same with alcohol - even if you are not addicted, why do people feel the need to drink so much?

    So as it relates to your question - I think you obviously CAN control your intake, like I can a drink, but like others have said before me it will still be harming you in some way. I cannot say now that I'll NEVER have a cigarette. My mind cannot think forever. But I do say I'm not having one this week / month whatever. Perhaps if you start thinking this way a concious decision will be made every time rather than it being a casual thing or an automatic response.

  • For what its worth, I played football tonight and had a couple of beers afterwards and didn't have a smoke.

    As I said, these are my only 2 triggers (sport and beer) left. We will see how things play out.

  • For what its worth, I played football tonight and had a couple of beers afterwards and didn't have a smoke.

    As I said, these are my only 2 triggers (sport and beer) left. We will see how things play out.

    After doing that several times over it will eventually be more odd to think of smoking than not smoking!

    All the best

    Nic

  • Well done!

    Was that down to the berating on here, or from within ? or due to Nic's last link ? Or because it's so cold today ?

    I ask because you seemed so headstrong in your conviction that one was OK.

    Just an observation.

    Question - did you enjoy your post-match beer as much as usual ?

    Cheers,

    Jim

    I did it because I knew I could (I have done it before) but I wanted to check how easy it would be after starting this thread. However, my issue is the 'forever' aspect. I just cant say with any degree of confidence or desire that Ill never smoke with a beer again but I can see how it progresses day by day.

    What I think I can try and do is keep it to a minimum and avoid it when easy. I dont want to ruin big, fun nights by worrying about smoking.

    As for enjoying the beer. It was no where near as enjoyable but the drive home was better with no guilt. I hope that makes sense. ;)

  • I did it because I knew I could (I have done it before) but I wanted to check how easy it would be after starting this thread. However, my issue is the 'forever' aspect. I just cant say with any degree of confidence or desire that Ill never smoke with a beer again but I can see how it progresses day by day.

    What I think I can try and do is keep it to a minimum and avoid it when easy. I dont want to ruin big, fun nights by worrying about smoking.

    As for enjoying the beer. It was no where near as enjoyable but the drive home was better with no guilt. I hope that makes sense. ;)

    It must have been around the 8 week mark with me that the idea of never ever smoking again filled me with anxiety, I now feel glad that I will never smoke again. I do understand how you feel but equally, long term I think you would feel better as a 100% non smoker. Just my 2p!

  • i enjoy a few beers at my club,and it helpe that you cant smoke in the club..im not to boather about smoking when im drinking,,im 2 months off the fags now, and i class my self as an non smoker,and yes i do enjoy a few beers and a game of pool,,..now and again i might think about a fag but its gone in a flash..good post ,keep the faith tony

  • Goughy - do your mates that you play sport with smoke as well, whether it's the odd one here and there like you or habitually? If not, what do they think about your occasional smoke?

    I'd guess that if you associate having a beer with having a smoke then it's more likely you'll form a habit from it. But kudos for not doing so. The fact that you didn't enjoy a smokeless beer the other day isn't so great, but the guilt-free drive home should counteract that feeling!

    Rich

  • Must say I still can't reconcile myself with the idea of 'forever'. But I don't have a problem with 'today' or 'tomorrow'. Maybe it's a bloke/commitment thing ? A bit like getting married .. forever. <Shudder>

    I used to struggle with that one too Goughy-and I'm female and married-lol!

    Don't think about 'forever' if it worries you, just keep on taking it one day at a time. I've promised myself a cigarette at my funeral-strange but it does help to think that way when the future without smoking seems hard to contemplate.

    In the meantime, read, read and read some more-there's some fantastic stuff on the web which really helps to get your head in the right place. One I remember in particular was called 'My cigarette, my friend'-can't remember which site but I'm sure one of our fellow non-smokers will post a link-Nic/StuartH-are you there?

    Anyway-just carry on as you are and remember-one day at a time is absolutely fine.

  • Don't know really Bibleblack but it seems to!

    Guess it's just pacifying the part of me (ie my head) that craves a cigarette sometimes. A deep breath and a muttered 'I'm not going to have a ciggie today but I will on the day I'm buried/cremated' makes me laugh and helps the craving to subside.

  • I too shall smoke when I'm cremated :D

  • I used to struggle with that one too Goughy-and I'm female and married-lol!

    Don't think about 'forever' if it worries you, just keep on taking it one day at a time.

    Another commitment phobic married female here...<hand up & waves>

    I spent a total of 4 years wandering around the world. In two two year chunks. I've been in Edinburgh 8 years with now Scottish hubby. I went back to the UK to temp for 6 months to get some money for next trip that was supposed to be South America, met Scottish husband & ended up in Edinburgh not Argentina :confused:

    Back to the fags - I cannot do forever either, but that was the point I was trying to make maknig it a concious decision to either light up or not. I know other people disagree but my duty free stash in the cupboard is a security blanket for me. They are there, I'm just choosing not to have them (well except the one, but thats another story!)

  • As a new member of the forum only joining today I have asked myself "what harm in one ciggie"? I can't do it - its all or nothing for me so I'm afraid it has to be nothing. I have a friend who is in control,she only has two cigarettes a day, one at 9.00pm and the other at 9.30pm. Then I've asked myself, is she really in control if she is just waiting for 9.00pm to have that fag?

  • As a newbie I have only just discovered the 'Your Reasons' thread and must say what a fascinating read this particular one makes!!

    Goughy: I think I can understand what you are trying to say ... reading between the lines, are you expecting to fail quitting completely, which would mean you reverted to 'full-time' smoking - in which case, would you be better off just having the odd one/two with a beer? In other words, does it have to be ALL or NOTHING, if you thing/know you cant do 'ALL'?

    I think everyone could tell a story about the cigarette(s) they missed the most - I know someone who could not drink coffee again because she ALWAYS had a cigarette with her coffee, and she didn't trust herself to have one without. There is probably a gazillion different scenarios of the cigarette that is hardest to do without - the one we resent the most!

    Although I am only on day 20, this is my second attempt. On my first quit (which lasted almost 5 years), I found the one(s) I missed most was when drinking too, but not with the odd glass of wine in the pub etc. but the party occasions when I would have had several drinks. Oh how I enjoyed those ones in particular!

    However, the fact that I (and umpteen others) have managed to give up for several years is proof that it is possible to also give up your favourite cigs. And when you are the other side of that, you really will wonder what all the fuss is about. You just need the confidence to know that you need to break through the pain barrier of missing those favourite cigs for a bit.

    Best of luck

You may also like...