I smoked cigarettes for a lot of years, more than I can bring myself to admit to. So when it comes to giving reasons, or should I say "making excuses" for continuing to suffocate myself, I am a pro.
I've met smokers who claim not to believe the overwhelming evidence that smoking is hazardous to your health. There are some that believe it but are willing to risk painful death rather than quit. And there are smokers who just don't ever think of such things; Mammy, Pappy, Gramps and Uncle Bubba all smoke so why shouldn't they? But these people are rare.
The vast majority of smokers realize they are using a six-shooter with three bullets chambered...to play Russian Roulette. But when asked (by others or by themselves) why they continue this dangerous game they give reasons like, "It relaxes me" or "Because Uncle Bubba, Gramps, Mammy and Pappy do." The word "reason" implies honesty, facts and rationality. None of those are characteristics of the explanations smokers offer for continuing their habits; what they call "reasons" are actually "excuses."
The following are the five main excuses smokers offer for why they smoke and, as you might expect, my sarcastic rebuttals to their pretzel logic.
1) "It looks cool/sophisticated/rebellious." James Dean looked cool; so did the Marlboro man and the "Rat Pack" guys. But that was 40 years ago when fins on cars and poodle skirts looked cool.
When was the last time you saw someone sucking on a ciggie and thought, "Wow! That dame looks really cool!" It doesn't look cool, it looks pathetic. Ditto all that for 'sophisticated'. Rebellious? Sure, I'll give you that. But as soon as you come to grips with your true identity it's time to give 'em up.
2) Peer pressure. That and #1 are why most of us started; our cool teen-aged friends convinced us that we needed to smoke if we were going to be 'in' with their crowd. But you're not a teenager any more, you're a grown-up- start acting like one and lose the fags.
3) "It's an oral fixation." Stick a pencil in your mouth, or a straw, or a toothpick (love that look!). Or stick a cigarette in your mouth-just don't light it.
4) "It gives me something to do with my hands." Pick up a pencil, or a straw; heck, pick up a cigarette-just don't light it.
5) "It relaxes me." Take a few deep breaths like non-smokers do when they get tense. Stretch. Take a walk. Say a prayer. Meditate. Call your doctor; they make pills for that and your medical insurance pays for them. There are plenty of other excuses for smoking but they're as lame as the ones above.Bottom line is this: there is one reason, and one reason only why you smoke-you're a drug addict. See ya' next time with more encouraging and enlightening "It's Easy to Quit Smoking" banter!