Public Smoking Areas

After six weeks, I have one piece of advice, as far as I'm qualified to advise anyone of course, but it's my experience and has been partly proved again today... stay out of smoking areas!!

I'm talking of course about smoking shelters in workplaces and outside pubs. To me it's the most obvious thing in the world, but why sit in a smoking area with dozens of people around you smoking when you're trying to quit?! I've seen two people at work since I stopped restart smoking, the second of which was this morning, and they spent all their breaks as they (and I) used to, in the smoking hut. When I said to them at the time, as they walked towards the "fag hut" , why don't you go to the canteen instead, they both gave me that false look and smile and said EXACTLY the same thing...."DOESN'T BOTHER ME!"

Well, if it really doesn't bother you then fair enough, but I tell you this with honesty, it bloody well bothered me when I stopped, which is why I stayed away from the smoking shelter, and tend to still do so. Not only does it not smell too good (I'm not being smug, it's just a fact!) but why would I go out there? I don't want a fag so I don't need to be there. I want the odds as much in my favour as I can get them.

I shave my own head these days, have done for many years, so why would I walk into a barber's shop? Same thing for me.

The guy today had done ten days I think, but was on medication of some sort. He said he couldn't remember the name but he said he thought it might have been Champix. He said he'd had a bad couple of days and looked sheepish. I told him not be daft about being embarrassed and I meant it; 42 days for me is all well and good but it could all go wrong for me before the day's out!

I read that the nicotine's gone from your system after three days, after that it's a mental thing. For me that meant that I had to change a few things, one of which was my routines to allow for the gaps in my day where I'd usually have a fag. I find that I have fewer breaks at work now for one thing; saves a few pence in the coffee machines!

This is all just my opinion and not worth a fig I know, but it drives me mad when I see people trying to give up surrounded by loads of smokers. If people are being honest with themselves and it really doesn't bother them then OK, but the looks on their faces tells a different story to me.

It's one of the main things I've learned and I see all the time, and the first thing I would say to anyone starting on a quit...give yourself half a chance and for God's sake stay out of the smoking areas!

11 Replies

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  • Agreed

    I agree with you wholeheartedly, but some think you should face these things head on. I think you do what ever is best for you. I KNOW that I would have struggled in the early days being around smokers. I still avoid certain places now that I associate with smoking. I am so glad you feel this passionately about it because that tells me how serious you are about this quit and THAT is what will make you successful.:)

  • Well it's only my opinion based on what worked for me, each to their own of course, but I've heard "it doesn't bother me" so many times over the years and it's normally from people who've only been stopped a day or so, and it's almost always been a lie! I just don't see it being worth the risk in the early days, but as I said, that's just for me...:)

  • Yes avoid those smoking areas...but if you have to go thru an area,

    hold your breath...or like me just walk thru and keep going...you are

    NO longer that smoker...even when I am in a Casino..where they smoke

    freely, it does not bother me...actually it repels me..cuz it reminds me of

    what I smelled like before! YUCKY! I think to myself, I am as I should be.

    I was not born smoking...I am like I should be..NOT SMOKING!

  • It's one of the main things I've learned and I see all the time, and the first thing I would say to anyone starting on a quit...give yourself half a chance and for God's sake stay out of the smoking areas!

    It depends on how you prefer to face your fears. Some people avoid any contact with tobacco smoke, smoking, and people who smoke. Others accept that the world keeps spinning and get on with their life without smoking.

    Alex.

  • I avoided such places in the early days but my life continued on, and I smelled nicer. I just didn't want to jeopardise my quit by putting unnecessary temptations in my way during the early days. When I knew I was strong enough to conquer the urges then I tested myself and I now want to barf when I smell ciagarettes. Like I said, I didn't put my life on hold just because I avoided cigarettes as much as I could when first quit. I just thought I was making things easier for myself until I was sure my treacherous nature wouldn't give in and have a sneaky fag from being around smokers.

    Lisa x

  • It depends on how you prefer to face your fears. Some people avoid any contact with tobacco smoke, smoking, and people who smoke. Others accept that the world keeps spinning and get on with their life without smoking.

    Alex.

    I agree absolutely in the long term but it would have been crazy for me in my first week, maybe two, which is the point I was making based on yesterday's events at work, and I still say, why take the risk? Still, as long as I don't do it I suppose....:)

  • I agree absolutely in the long term but it would have been crazy for me in my first week, maybe two, which is the point I was making based on yesterday's events at work, and I still say, why take the risk? Still, as long as I don't do it I suppose....:)

    Hi AngryBear,

    The trick is to do what works best for you under the circumstances, which is exactly what you are doing.

    I knew when I gave up that if I adjusted anything, I would only be masking the truth. Instead, I kept my remaining cigarettes, lighter, ashtrays etc. (I still have them), and I also insisted that my gf continued to smoke in the house.

    I felt that if I did anything differently, I would ultimately have to face reality; the fact that others do still smoke, despite me having quit.

    If I had to give any advice to someone starting on their quit, I would suggest that you think about what strategy is likely to work best for you.

    Alex.

  • I agree with Alex. Do what works best for you. For me, that meant avoiding places that were obvious triggers in the beginning, like casinos and bars. (Then again, that was easy because I don't tend to hang out in casinos and bars.)

    But, after a few weeks in, I decided that I had to face the fact that all my neighbors (and I do mean ALL my neighbors) and many other people were going to continue to smoke and wouldn't care one whit that I'd quit, so it was time to face the triggers and defeat them head on.

    I remember posting here about an upcoming four-day trip to a smoky casino back in April. I was worried but I passed the test with flying colours. Once I'd done that, I stopped worrying about environmental triggers because I'd defeated the hardest (to me) of all.

    Anywho, like Alex says, we each should do what works best for ourselves under the circumstances. Good luck.

    Hi AngryBear,

    The trick is to do what works best for you under the circumstances, which is exactly what you are doing.

    I knew when I gave up that if I adjusted anything, I would only be masking the truth. Instead, I kept my remaining cigarettes, lighter, ashtrays etc. (I still have them), and I also insisted that my gf continued to smoke in the house.

    I felt that if I did anything differently, I would ultimately have to face reality; the fact that others do still smoke, despite me having quit.

    If I had to give any advice to someone starting on their quit, I would suggest that you think about what strategy is likely to work best for you.

    Alex.

  • Close enough Karri! x.

    It's that old chestnut I'm afraid.

    You can quit and battle with it every day, desperate to smoke but avoiding the smell, the thought, the memories and hoping that it gets easier and manageable before the willpower runs out.

    Alternatively you can quit, make smoking history and get on with the rest of your life whilst quite happily remembering smoking, it's smell and all its associations.

    Sadly there isn't a blueprint to quitting but success comes from the mind and that's where any battle should be fought.

    Personally, if the whiff of smoke drives you crazy for a fag I don't think avoidance is the answer.

    Lose the desire to smoke and it's no surprise that quitting suddenly becomes a very different sort of challenge. :)

  • Change Of Thinking!

    Thanks to all who replied on this, in a few cases not the responses I would have expected but in a postive way.

    Although I was venting about a long-standing frustration of my own, I would have expected everyone to be as partisan as me...it would appear not quite in some cases!

    What have I learned? My way isn't the only way, learn from my own experience but don't close the door on alternatives, and once and for all, each to his own! ;) I'm certainly more relaxed about the subject than I was when I wrote it so less stress, particularly about what other people are doing, can't be a bad thing!

  • Hi AngryBear,

    I used to think there was only one way to quit smoking, which was to go cold turkey and change nothing else in your life. It took me a long time (mainly through this forum) that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to quitting smoking.

    I learned that people have to take different approaches to quitting smoking because people have different reasons for smoking in the first place!!!

    Seeing as a large part of the addiction is psychological, quitting requires techniques that are adapted to the individual's psyche. We need to be in the right mind to start the quit, and once we're quit we need to have the strength of mind to stay quit.

    First however, we need to get rid of the nicotine, fast or slow. In the beginning of the quit, for some people getting rid of nicotine will mean going Cold Turkey, and for others that may be Champix, patches, Niquitin minis etc.

    Once the nicotine addiction is gone, the hardest part of the work starts; how to deal with the long-term psychological changes?

    Alex.

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