Are we ex-smokers or non-smokers?

I've had this debate before, and I'm not looking to start a flame war by any means. Just wondered how folks think about this.

I believe that because I was a smoker, I've become an ex-smoker. And, I further believe I can never become a non-smoker, because I define that as someone who has never smoked.

I'd rather be a non-smoker, but it's a little late for that now, isn't it? :D

Besides, calling myself an ex-smoker reminds me (because of the ex) that I'm an addict, and if I have just one cigarette, I'll have a few thousands. I just figured out today that when I picked up that one cigarette about six years ago, it was the beginning of a journey that cost me $10,000, and I consumed 43,800 cigarettes.

Which is why I can't have just one.

Anyway, do you guys see a difference between the terms ex-smoker and non-smoker, or is it largely semantic and I'm splitting hairs?

11 Replies

  • I don't think about wanting a ciggie at all now's been hard getting to this point and there really is light at the end of the tunnel. It doesn't matter what I call myself or what others call me. I don't smoke now. I guess when I answer the question...I automatically say I'm a non-smoker...Don't ask me why, I don't know. Probably just like the sound of it better LOL!

    To be honest...down the line, I don't think it matters. I think people will answer differently according to how they view themselves.

    Keep with the quit.

    Lisa xx

  • You would think that by virtue of the fact we have smoked before we are definately ex smoker. But then if you think well we are not smoking then we also become non smokers. Any questions relating to smoking on forms asks are you a smoker or non smoker and rarely ask if you are an ex smoker which sugests we are non smokers.

    I personally believe we are still smokers and always will be.

    Ask an alcoholic when he ceases to be an alcholic and he will tell you never. I think it is the same for smokers.

    Alcoholics and smokers have one thing in common. One drink = many drinks

    One smoke = many smokes.

    Must say that non smoker does sound better though.

  • I think we are both :)

  • As we're allowed a blip, slip or sneaky smoke and still permitted to call ourselves quit there's no problem in calling ourselves non-smokers who merely had a 25 year blip.

    Personally I call myself whatever is to my financial advantage.

    Smokers get better annuity rates... :rolleyes:

  • It's a personal thing I think - we call ourselves whatever feels right. 'Inner semantics', perhaps :D

    I'm with you. I have to say ex-smoker because I feel I always walk a bit of a tightrope, one slip could end it all - and I need to keep reminding myself of that.

  • I'll always say im a "ex smoker" then if there is someone wanting support and advice on quiting they know ive been there done that

  • I'm with Helsbelles and I'm an ex-smoker.

    To be precise a recovering ex-smoker.

    One puff and I'll be a smoker again and I can't ever forget that.

    Now on forms I'll play semantics if it's to my advantage :D :p :cool:

  • Both, I think. Ex because you smoked, and Non because you don't smoke. I can't imagine answering the question "Smoking or non-smoking, Sir?" with "Ex-smoking please!" :D:D:D


  • im not going to answer it cos its the wrong question.. im one of those people . if i say yes im fine its almost guaranteed i wont be in 10 mins.

    I once said i was an ex smoker and really meant and beleived it. i couldnt beleive when i started again. im just not smoking today and im very grateful for that is all i can say with any credibility and honesty. oh god this is making me feel insecure.:eek:


  • Don't be daft're just being superstitious I think. You just don't want to stay you're a non/ex-smoker in fear of jinxing it. Totally understandable, just do your thang. If I say I'm a non-smoker out loud, I have to "touch wood" in case I've jinxed what I've just said (and I do mean wood not a boner LOL!).....anyways keep on trucking.

    Lisa xx

  • I'm an ex smoker. Non smoker would suggest a clean slate.

    I need that reminder that I am ravaged by many years of this suicidal behaviour, and that enough is enough. :rolleyes:

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