Passive Smoking At Work - Day 2

Hi fellow quitters

Well, Champix is the Daddy :D

With a combination of good preparation, information, assertiveness, Champix, a multi-pack of crisps in my back pack, a litre bottle of diluted juice, paracetamols, a big bag of mint imperials and a sprinkling of will power I got through a day at work sniffing in passive smoke fumes and not throwing the towel in.

I have little option but to take the passive fumes like a man as a persons legal Human Rights (to smoke) in their own home conflict with the Smoking Ban legislation.

I provide support to folks with severe mental health issues and folks with acquired brain injury. Guess what? Almost all of them smoke like chimneys in there own homes. Link there between mental health, medication and nicotiene? Hmmm I wonder?

I'm getting side tracked with frustrating laws! So, my challenge was to let all the service users know I have quit smoking - day 2 - and it's difficult for me to stay quit if the room is full of fog style smoke and not ventilated. Also I said I may vomit as I am on Champix. Don't think they liked the idea of me projectiling over their living rooms lol.

I was pleasantly surprised how folks reacted. 3 out of 5 service users asked me if they could smoke (in their own homes!). All service users allowed me to open the window to air the room and work in their kitchen or something 'till the smoke had died down a bit. I should add I have worked supporting some of these people for 10 years so they know me well.

Only 2 service users had disregard and carried on not really bothered about the effects of passive smoking but they were interested in my quitting smoking and allowed me to open windows. These service users did not offer me a cigarette either which they would have tried to do in the past.

I did notice when I left after 2 hours exposure in the smokey flats I had the urge to smoke, had a headache, felt a bit sick and my clothes were stinking. Wouldn't have noticed the stink before. But, I was popping mint imperials two at a time baby and they eventually killed the cravings.

I'm keeping an exact log of every time I am exposed to passive smoke during paid work-time, where I have a duty of care forcing exposure or when I chose to tolerate it. No doubt my CO test at weekly cessation groups will be in the red. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE :eek:

I will be recording these results and adding this to the data I am collecting at work about exposure. I plan to work with the Project Manager, Health & Safety Team and Service Users we support to try reduce the occasions where me and fellow staff are forced into passive smoking situations.

Now the challenge is to negotiate change without getting everyone all agitated, defensive and resisting change and keep my job.

For me it will reinforce my reasons to stay quit, for myself and to know I was part of influencing change and bettering the health of my fellow work colleagues and the service users I support.

I encourage everyone to post their experiences and ideas how to make this work. I suppose for me it will give me confidence how to say to someone "I am unwilling to breathe your second hand smoke and these will be the consequences if the person forces me into that postion", and still keep my job.

As you can see from the above post this issue has been a biggie for me but I got through today (well yesterday really it's 01:02 Friday 16th officially Day 3) So I better get over to Day 3 and stop typing like a maniac lol :D

Peace folks 'n' stay quit.


8 Replies

  • Wow Andrew, quite a post there! Firstly let me say congrats on your Day 3, it is a fantastic achievement given all the things (smelly smokers) that stand in your way.

    Sounds like you do a really difficult but worthwhile job, dealing with people smoking and smoky homes must be quite hard, but it sounds like most of them support your quit, it just goes to show that all smokers wish they were in your shoes as a non smoker.

    Keep reading the links and keep posting.

    Stay strong.

  • A very interesting post there, it must be very difficult as it is their own home but in the same breath you shouldn't have to be exposed to it! I do think it would be polite for them to abstain whilst carers are performing their duties though, some old school smokers really do not see the harm in it though!

    I get quite mad when I think back to my first job as an office junior and I used to work on my own in a small glass sectioned office, I didn't smoke when I was 18 but guess what? My office was the smoking area and every hour 7-8 people would come in and sit on my desk smoking, the director smoked cigars too! I used to get quite bad coughs and bloodshot eyes but never ever thought it was something I could complain about! I worked there for 18 months and started smoking not long after :(

    Good luck with your quit!

  • Read this post with enormous never really think about these things sometimes do you?

    Don't think you should be subjected to it, but I guess it is their own home...rather a fine line I would say.

    Great that you could come on here and share your concerns with everyone, and I wish you well in your quit



  • HI Andrew

    What a fasinating post.....and I have nothing but respect for your courage and commitment in your quit and your career.

    My adult daughter has severe learning difficulties and is the only one in her peer group who does not smoke.....she is anti smoking and encouraged/nagged me for yeras to quit. It still swells my heart when she tells me most days how proud she is of me....

    I hope you cope with the passive smoking and wish there was a way to make that easier for you and others who work in care professions. But without your dedication and commitment my daughter, and all others like her would not be able to live independant and fullfilling lives.

    The very very best of luck to you.....


  • What a nice bunch of folks on here you all are :) Don't here those words of appreciation much now at work so was nice to read the replies after a monster shift and a sleep over.

    The job kind of chose me and I stuck with it. It turned out I had what it takes and I just couldn't imagine doing any other job now. It's major stress at times but well worth the rewards and feeling of contribution back to life. Just wish the service users would all put the smokes out lol. <wrench>

    It's a shame Champix is on the caution list for prescribing to psychiatric patients because a few of the guys n girls I support seemed interested in the idea of a tablet puting you off smoking and saving you loads of money ;)

    Peace folks n same back at ya, stay quit n keep blogging.

  • Hi andrew

    day 3 woo hoo

    You job sounds quite demanding & with the smoking reminder constantly with you...I would say you are doing so very well. I found the early weeks the most fragile in my quit..could have been very easily broken in a thought...

    a very big well done to you :)

  • quit smoking aids

    im 20 weeks right now with my first and i do not smoke but alot of my friends do i am finding myself being rude to them and never accepting invites to there places because thay all smoke dose anyone have any good ideas on how to avoid passive smoke i cant stand it?

  • Hi quitsmoking10

    20 weeks, well done you :)

    Tell you a story...I used to drink way too much alcohol and one day decided this is not the person I am. This is who my peers are. The only way I could get away from the booze lifestyle was to make the necessary changes in my life. Courage and a bit of faith in myself required.

    I moved flat so I wasn't sharing with boozers any more, I stopped hangin out with the boozers and I turned down every invite to party or pub with the boozers. They never got in touch with me again! It wasn't me they were friends with it was the booze and someone to booze with.

    A few years on I rarely drink booze unless it's special occassions and I enjoy the things life has to offer without booze required. I have new friends who like this too, yes they do exist :D

    Similar rules apply to smoking in my humble opinion. But you don't have to give up partying with your friends unless they are unwilling to party in a situation which does not force you to breathe their smoke but allows them an escape to have a smoke and you clean air. Assertiveness is the strength you need here. Speak up. Tell them how it's making you feel. You'll soon find out if they are your friends.

    It's a difficult choice existing friends or smoke free air?

    All the best.


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