Monday, 22 October 2007

Is smoking an addiction?

I found out that one of my colleagues is smoker, the only one in the finance division actually. He seldom smokes around us but the nicotine remnant accumulated around his gums gave it all away. When I asked whether he is addicted to it, he answered with an almost immediate “yes”.

I used to think smoking is an addiction but one of my former uni-mate (let’s call him Col) told me that smoking is not an addiction at all, it is a habit. A bad one if you were to ask me. To Col, it’s just a habit of the need to hold something between the fingers. I didn’t believe him then, but he proved me wrong… so so wrong. It’s a bit egoistic to say it but seriously, seldom people prove me wrong.

Col is quite a chain smoker, puffing away 2 packs a day since his schooling days if I remember correctly. During Christmas of our final year, he travelled back to Malaysia as he missed home very much. Lo and behold, he fell in love with a girl and amazingly, they got together in that short visit back. Obviously, they kissed when they were together and she gave him a remark which sounded something like this…

“Col, I don’t want to kiss an ashtray”

From that moment, Col has not smoked… until today. And no, he does not even smoke socially… not even a single puff, no kidding. Addiction?

“It’s just a habit, I can kick it anytime”

That was what he told me, something like that. I was quite shocked really but it made me believe that smoking is nothing but a bad habit. My friend has showed me that if you want to quit, it’s really quite easy. It’s just that you have not found something worth quitting it for.
For the girls who want their boyfriends to quit, you can try the me-ain’t-kissing-ashtray trick.

For guys who want their girlfriends to quit, sorry… think the kissing trick won't work.

For those smoking who think you’re addicted. You’re addicted simply because you think you’re addicted.

73 comments:

Angie Tan said...

Yippee!! I hope I'm first. Kakakaa.. LOL!!

It's a very bad habit which is addictive. I had a friend who said that she wasn't addictive back in Uni but now, she admits that she can't quit the habit.

Her husband smokes too. So, you can imagine how two ashtrays kiss? Mmmm..

Anyway, the good news is that she will quit when she wants to try for kids while her husband will not smoke in front of her or the kids. Hmmmm...

papayakid said...

yes of course, its totally a habit.

maybe 80% habit, 20% addiction?

i wrote a post about this a long time ago. haha.

cheers

kyh said...

i hate the smell of cigarettes and anything related to it. my grandpa used to be a heavy chain smoker, but ever since he's struck with smth like a stroke which caused him unable to walk for a period, he eventually decided to stop, just like that. we were all so relieved cos he's one stubborn man and in the past, we've been advising him to stop but to no avail. addiction or not, i'm not sure, since i'm not a smoker. but this is kinda subjective.

Seok Thong said...

Very true. My husband's grandfather was once a very very heavy smoker until one day the doctor told him if he doesn't quit, his life will be much shorter. And the next day, he stopped to smoke till today. He never smokes anymore..

And my dad smokes a lot too but he never tries to stop. He said it's hard to quit. Hehe!

I can't stand those people who smoke while eating. It's crazy..It's like they will die if they don't hold the cigarette for even 1 second :)

whisperingshout said...

I think it's a battle of mind vs body. Addiction does exists coz body reacts chemically during withdrawal period.

There were people who chosen to die drinking even after been seriously warned of their deteriorating health. In contrast, there were ex-hardcore drug addicts who stay clean for decades although they can still easily access to drug.

Comparatively, certain addictions are harder to break but none is impossible. But, why start in the first place? How much is ego worth?

ardy said...

I think some people smoke just so that they will get cancer and get to sue somebody and get filthy rich in no time.

Of course, you need to win the lawsuit first, which is almost next to impossible.

But why quit now? You just might be the lucky one (to get cancer).

juvw said...

can anyone tell me how to make a person to quit smoking? my hubby has promised me so many times until i'm fed up. the last promise was to quit when our baby is born. zewt, u tell me if this is an addiction or habit?

SWei said...

How about a daughter pestering her dad to quit smoking? Showing the consequences of smoking from textbooks don't work anymore. Smoking ban in living room did not even bother my dad as he could still smoke at the washing clothes area which is conveniently next to my room. Smoking is a bad habit alright, but seriously, it's one hard one to be kicked.

Psst, I heard from my cousin that ppl smoke not only because of the reason you stated. It's also cz when you smoke, your lungs actually felt minty or something. Like a cooling effect. Haha, I don't know, that's just what I heard. :P

Rashikaps said...

All smokers are forever 'trying' to quit. Wonder why it is so difficult to kick the habit?

Had once told this friend who was smoking - Don't give up. It takes a tough man to face cancer. The cigarette almost fell out of his hand.. :)

-=SiN=- said...

Can't remember exactly when I first light up nor bought the 1st pack.
Those were the day having a stick means time out to 'ular' * approved by mgrs.. so follow the crowd lur..

And then there's the 'cool factor' which turn out to be stupid. Today after thousands of $$ burnt..can't think of any reason as to why I still need that stick~

Perhaps the 'advice' ; "waa you guys must be having good time, I'll see which among you all suey die of cancer first" is true XD

ehon said...

Well, the way you came to your conclusion, is one of the huge fallacy in Science.

It can take me forever to tell you why, but simply, psychologically speaking, (or from the point of view of neuroscience), humans have a part in the brain where when activated, will drives the person's motivation off the roof. These activations are what we called 'motivation factors' such as money, sex, love, family, etc.

That is, when the subject is given a strong motivation factor, he/she will and can do whatever he/she wants even when it was impossible before.

Have you heard of the mother who carried a car up after her child was pinned down underneath the car in an accident? It's a true story, and the motivation factor is the child, and the mother found the extraordinary strength she never had from the motivation factor.

Neuroscience and psychology is an amazing thing. :)

Having said that, smoking IS both a habit and addiction. But the addiction overpower the habit, because nicotine works in a way where it gives the subject a feeling of 'high', which makes the subject thinks that he/she is complete, is satisfied, is on cloud nine. It works the same with drugs. :)

Given a strong motivator, drug addicts can drop their addiction too. Because they can acquire the 'high' feeling without needing the drugs or cigarette. :)

Chicken Ball said...

To me, smoking is a rather a habit than an addiction.

I don't consider myself a smoker or a non-smoker but i need to puff whenever i drink and that's it.. mmmm...

Anonymous said...

Nope. I don't smoke. I tried it when I was like 6. It is kind of silly. Saw the roti seller smoking and he threw the cigarette butt (still got a bit) on the ground. Being young and stupid, I picked it up and tried a puff. Needless to say, I learnt my lesson the hard way. I am still not sure if it is only a habit and your friend might be an isolated case.

anigma said...

I have a few friends who quit smoking for their girlfriends. Now, that's what I called Girl Power. Hahahha!

darylyeak said...

Agree totally with what ehon mentioned. But then it also depends on the individual as well. Some people are more disciplined than others thus when there is a certain motivation, they're able to quit. For example Col. Quitting smoking is all about mental strength. And I think the word habit is just more polite compared to addiction. Bad habit = addiction. End of.

missironic said...

Does make sense when saying smoking is a habit...my father used to be quite a heavy smoker. But when I was born, he gave up smoking for me. till today, he din smoke a single stick! so i guess u r rite..muz find sumting worth quiting for.

however, heard lots of frens who kept on saying they want to quit but in the end din..i alwiz tell them.."stop saying u wanna quit la. like real tat will happen". I feel if u wanna do it, juz do it..dun need to go n say u wanna quit but in the end...still smoking like a chimney..rite?

Huei said...

Ahh! somebody agrees with me! my bf ALWAYS says it's SO hard to quit..but whenever i tell him it's just in his mind, he brushes me off

hm

ok..me-ain't-kissing-ashtry trick shall be tried tonite!

may said...

I can't really tell if it's a habit or an addiction, ehon is probably right in saying that it's both.

whatever it is... it's a waste of money.

evelyn said...

i tried the ashtray thing with one of my ex... it did stop for a while though :P

Anonymous said...

Smokers are basically D' No. One Most Selfish & Self-Absorbed Humanoids!

They are so caught up in their own selfish world that they'll smoke in front of children and non-smokers who have the right to breath clean air. These montrous parents puffing away and blowing those cancerous smoke right into their children's face should be booked for child abuse. These people have no right to being parents in the first place, but then again, they wouldn't know or care, would they?

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Yes! It is a bad habit! I quite for a while when the price increased! But I am back smokeing ciggy when I find cheap wan! This will be the first 'enjoyment' i have to forgo when $$$$ not enought! Have a nice day!

tulipspeaks said...

actually it is a habit which eventually becomes an addiction.

in ur fren's case, he just found a (very) strong case for him to stop smoking. in many cases, people suddenly quit smoking once they get heart attack, stroke etc. its the same.


ammu.

maegen said...

agreed !! that its a bad habbits as my dad was a heavy heavy smoker which he never need to buy the ciggy himself cause his shop selling it ..sometimes he never noticed that he puff the things for 3 pack a days .. till recently he admitted and having some surgery which doc warned him if he never think to stop then he gonna die very very soon .. then he quit.

at first few day it looks hard as what he told my mummy he just not really get to it when his finger without the sticks .. but a weeks later .. he totally quit till now almost few months long even he face with lots smoker everyday. we are proud of him and he getting healthier.

but for some of my friends they only takes the smoke while they hang out for night life as they claimed it "might" looks more cool with the stick in between them. just wonder. i bet sometimes ppl even not really clear for why they must put something burn in their mouth though. ????

maegen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

hei ppl leave the smokers alone, they are not public enemy no1.

bad politicians like the sleeping pm, racist dpm, racist education m, are more harmful to your health.

Princess Eileen said...

My ex of 6 years pick up smoking after we broke up and he blames it on me. So if a guy is willing to quit for you then he is worth it right? But if he is not willing to quit for you, then he is selfish? I ponder about this... but I dun think I wanna bring a smoker back home, my family wont accept that.

j or ji said...

helo zewt!
i was a Marlboro man.20 sticks per day.smoking is good.i love it.i quit 2 years ago..when my wife pregnant.bcuz i'm so sick have to go outside the hse just for the puff.bcuz of my daughter..bcuz of health.

its an addiction.a good one.yes,u can quit at anytime.Just say Tak Nak! (yeah rite!)-funny gomen campaign!

zewt said...

Angie Tan - yay yay... you are :) i think you're right, they are addicted to the habit, not the cigg. i think your friend and her husband should both quit now.

papayakid - hey there and welcome. i shall try to look for that post in your blog.

kyh - i have seen many ppl stop 'just like that'... so it's hardly an addiction. it's all in the mind. eh, you have internet connection back already eh?

Seok Thong - smoke while eating???? that's crazy. research shows that such habit is 10x more deadly.

wisperingshout - well said... better not start at all than to try and get yourself hooked into it. when the mind is not strong, the body follow suit.

ardy - hahahaha, that's quite an interesting way of looking at it.

zewt said...

juvw - just tell him no more making babies lor hahahahaha...

SWei - smokers will have all sorts of reasons to smoke... some can be really reasonable while most are crap. as for your dad, he just need a defining moment. dunno what though...

rashikaps - hahaha... that's a good one. maybe some of the ppl here should use that trick.

-=Sin=- - that's the thing... ppl will only stop when they come into realisation that they cancer awaits at the horizon. but for most...living healthily dies too... but they do not know... it's the way you die which matters.

ehon - wow ehon, are you going to be a future neuro-psychologist? you sounded cool man. so i guess my friend found the thing that made him really high... hid then-gf... hmmm... wonder what she did to him haha.

Chicken Ball - social smoker eh... i guess you follow that dirty chinese saying about drinking and smoking...

zewt said...

anon @ 9.03am - reading ehon's comment above proved otherwise.

anigma - hahahahaha... but juvw above commented she cant get her husband to stop.

darylyeak - yeah, reading ehon's comment made me re-think my case. maybe i should share another story of my friend... different situation.

missironic - yeah... those ppl who say they wanna quit are quite the same like those who said they wanna resign from their job... will never happen. just do it... that's the solution.

huei - hahahahaha.... hopefully he doesnt go looking for other asthrays.

may - damn true...a waste of money indeed. burning all of it away.

evelyn - no more 'sunshine'? but he evolved back to asthray eh? hehe...

zewt said...

anon @ 11.07am - wow... quite angry huh. i agree with u... totally. they care... they just dunno the consequences yet.

hor ny - that's good... quit it early.

tulipspeaks - yeah, it's all about finding something worth quitting it for. like ehon's comment.

maegen - congrats to your dad and i am happy for your family... really. for those frequenting night-life... i used to be a party animal and i never smoke... maybe cos i like dancing. your friend should try that.

anon @ 11.52am - wah.. this is digression.

princess eileen - so now you have a smoker who is willing to pick it for you... haha... such ironny. good choice u made there.

j or ji - good choice u made there bro... i am sure your daughter will be proud of u. something to talk to her about in the future...

Anonymous said...

i had an ex who tried to quit but later told me that in the process of quitting, he actually found out he liked smoking...so it was either his ciggies or me...guess he liked his ciggies better than he liked me =P

rinnah said...

I think still think it's a habit that became an addiction. :o) It's a matter of whether or not the person really wants to break the habit or not.

Unfortunately, my cousins who smoke don't want to quit, so there's nothing we can do about it.

PurpLe~MuShRooM said...

I told my husband long time ago (my bf then) that I felt like kissing an ashtray. It worked for a while but during peak period, he started smoking again and until now... I am still kissing an ashtray.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

how very true..its seriously a habit..and apparently yes the kissing an ash tray works..haha

sharlydia said...

I have tons of friends around me who smoke and smoke all the time especially b4 & after lunch...My bro-in-law who's very close to me smokes like nobody's business! I nag on them ALL the time but they just wont listen to me...

I'm just glad that my hubby is not a smoker, so i wont need to kiss an ashtray everyday!

I once was dating this guy who's a smoker, and i told him off when he first kissed me, saying : i think kissing shud be something sweet & not bitter like how i feel now...So then he quit smoking for awhile & continued smoking again after we broke up...

kyh said...

i'm 'stealing' someone's wifi network since i came back home. :P

alan zed said...

mind over matter, eh ?

AngryYoungChild said...

Haha my cousin brother smokes every few mins. siao wan..Like a train..

But i think, maybe some is just a bad habit, some is just addiction.

Kimberley Ho said...

Bah it didn't work when I did the it. Then again I didn't say ashtray. I should have been more blunt.

penang-kia said...

Am an on/off smoker,for me its not difficult to stop if i wanted to.
But i smoke more during weekend when watching live football when... 'keen cheong' i smoke like there's no tomorrow.
Its a very bad habit indeed but i liked it.You only live once,right?..no!!!hahaha
Damn tonite got Champion League...i thought i only smoke more during weekends...*shake head*

Michael Song said...

zewt... u got a point there really... i think most gals do not like their guys to smoke, tat's quite true... if there is someone worth the quit, yes i will do it... :P *eyes rolling*

Seok Thong said...

Yeah lah. You've never seen it before meh? Hehe..That's why i say crazy..don't know whether they want to smoke or eat or whatever..IT'S SICK!

Seaqueen said...

Yes. It's very true. Same here. My fiancee used to smoke and he stopped after I asked him to. So sometimes I think it's willpower as well.

Bee Ean said...

I think its both bad habit and addiction. Some people can quit with strong determination but some people tried and failed. Some people smoke bcos they don't want to be let out if everyone else is smoking.

Wee-Leng said...

My hubby smokes n I dun stop him bcos tis r'ship isnt about 2 b distorted just bcos of tobacco. But of course, everythin is with moderation is fine. We'll die anyway one day n yet not e'one died of smoking. So long as it doesnt disturb the air of non-smokers and smokers hv some respect for nons, guess this is a find place to live in. Also, someone gotta make money still right, so let British Tobacco, Philip Morris and the likes provide employment for people like us to survive... win-win situation if u think about it otherwise... *wink

Wee-Leng said...

Oppps, I am not a smoker tho...

zewt said...

anon @ 2.18pm - well, at least you found out early right? it's a good thing u know.

rinnah - he will, he just hasnt found something worth quitting it for ... not yet.

purple mushroom - how does it taste eh?

constant craver joe - how u know?hehe...

sharlydia - so it's bitter eh? i would think the stench is just too much to bear.

kyh - hehe... keep stealing.

alan zed - definitely bro.

zewt said...

AngryYoungChild - not an addiction la. if it can be stopped just like that, it's not an addiction.

Kimberly Ho - try it, maybe it will work.

penang-kia - tonight got meh? oh yeah... shit... man u playing eh?

Michael Song - hehehe... i tot you already have someone?

seok thong - here, most of them smoke after eat... bad bad bad.

seaqueen - wah... means you're very important to him lor.

bee ean - but my friend can remain calm despite sitting amongst smokers... it's mind over matter.

wee-leng - wow... i am really impressed with the way you look at things. but i think it's good that you dont want to argue over such a matter.

lenny said...

smoking is an addiction + a habit. the nicotine in it makes it addictive.

to anon: although smokers are not the no. 1 public enemy, i'm afraid the smoke that comes from the cigarette affects others health. And thanks to it, some people suffer from lung cancer just because they breathe the same air that smokers do.

zewt said...

lenny - hey there...i do agree with u... second hand smoke is more deadly.

Jun said...

"For guys who want their girlfriends to quit, sorry… think the kissing trick won't work."

why do u say this? (just wondering...)

mar said...

Me no kissin no ash tray... Just wondering if it works online. :)

Michael Song said...

i dont have anyone yet lar zewt...

bongkersz said...

i will think smoking is a habit. after some period, the nicotine kicked in become an addition. my dad is a heavy smoker. he try to quite 3-4 times (yeah.. when he was hospitalised) but failed. He is still smoking. I noticed when he is not occupied with things, he starts to smoke. haha!

hmm, just be considerate to others when you lit up the cigg. if you choose to smoke, that's your choice. but try not to 'force' other people around you to be 2nd hand smokers. er, every year when haze season come, we all become smokers..maybe inhale in more deadly substance so what's the big deal eh? :P

zewt said...

Jun - dont think the girls care if the guy told them such... what say u?

mar - online? how?

michael song - oh... sorry. time to find one :)

bongkersz - damn right... the haze comes everyone smoke and ppl complain... what some ppl dunno is that they have been poisoned by haze without the haze too.

me said...

ya, sure! i told one boyfriend 'me or the cigarette'. suffice to say, i broke up with him not long after. i guess my appeal isn't enough to get him to kick it.

Jun said...

i can see why u said that-- girls these days tend to wear the pants in the relationship. but i also think tht if the girl truly loves the guy, she would-- and should-- respect his opinion. after all, it's also for her wellbeing-- not like the guy's wanting her to lose weight jt so tht he can be seen gng out with a "hot chick" when his other half is within the healthy weight range for her height, know wat i mean?

zewt said...

me - hahaha... well, at least you know that early... right?

Jun - precisely. i think it all bogs down to what is in the heart... if you are unwilling... if you think it's not worth it... words just cant get things going.

narrowband said...

Some of my friends can't get by a day without at least a stick. And to think how much the habit costs nowadays...

IT is a habit, I believe - although I'm not a smoker myself. I think the word 'addiction' is simply an excuse.

zewt said...

narrowband - certainly... addiction... if it hits... the whole body will shivers... no smokers experience that before.

jolcy said...

wow... I love this post... :)

I dun smoke but I would just like to add one point.. from smokers around me.. or rather smokers that I've known.. I got to know that there is no such things as slowly quitting.. it will never work.. for smokers.. in order to stop it's about chopping it entirely.. this is from my analysis of a few smokers who manage to quit smoking..

zewt said...

jolcy - i do heard of some reducing basis kinda quitting... but the thing is... they get back at smoking very easily. i mean... how do u measure 'less'? right?

aSstHa said...

aih... why a smokers so condemned? sometimes it's easy to say harsh/unkind words towards all smokers... what we need to find out is why/what got them started.

trust me, before i started picking up the habit/addiction, i too condemned smokers. until i myself became one. for a very different reason.

in short (i shall try not to turn this into a mini blog)... i turned to ciggies as a form of comfort at that time... sometimes you can hit rock bottom and being the egomaniac i am, didn't want anyone to know that i was at rock bottom, so ciggies were my sole comfort then.

wen u begin to question urself and sort of lost ur identity for more than 4 yrs, hving no way to express it (egomaniac ma) and throw in the sudden departure of your only brother can make you turn to smoking (better than drugs rite?). i for one hv never been good at expressing anything that deems me as weak, locked it all up inside... it can be really hard to pick yourself up after. some ppl do it better than others becos mayb, i dunno, they hv friends and family to turn to...

i lost all of that and was searching for it back then so ciggie was my only fren. one i cud count on to be there whenever i needed it. so sometimes don't judge to harshly, not everyone smokes for the same reason.

having said that, although i've since come out of that depressed mode, smoking is still my solice... it was there for me when no one else was. everyone dies, i hv an aunt who doesn't smoke/drink but is battling cancer. so wat are d odds of me getting cancer? pretty high too since i am a smoker but then again, nothing in life is predictable... why not enjoy it while u can?

ok. i DO NOT in anyway condone smoking, i've adviced numerous friends from picking up the habit (and ended up sounding like a hypocrit)... at the end of the day it's your life, you choose how to live it but do aso be considerate of those who doesn't smoke (i try to most of the time and i aso frown openly at ppl who smoke in the presence of kids n pregnant women)

anyway... i agree (and admit that after a while... it become more of a habit than an addiction)... i've actually lost my liking for ciggs over the years an constantly switch to different brands cos i'm just used to the habit of holding a stick it my hand...

jz my two cents worth, sorry if i in anyway offended anyone.

zewt said...

aSstHa - yeah, i think many smokers turned to smoking for all sorts of reasons. but whatver it is... like my latest entry said... we should not take our body for granted. if you think you just need to hold a stick in your hand... get a pen :)

Josette said...

Hah! That was one brilliant comment the girl made to Col.

I think smoking is hard to stop. Or maybe smokers just don't wanna stop!

aSstHa said...

zewt... i need to hold a stick and be able to take a puff out of it... hahaha... that's the difference... :P

believe me i've tried to stop so many times... but i guess i hvn't found a good enough reason to... but i swore to myself the minute i get hitched i'll stop.. no excuses.

zewt said...

Josette - i think it's a little bit of both. most importantly...it's the will to stop.

aSstHa - somebody better hitch you up soon. and that somebody better not be a smoker.

Anonymous said...

No. Nicotine is more chemically addictive than marijuanna. Have you ever tried to kick this 'habit'?

zewt said...

anon @ 5.29am - well, i dont think i need to beat it cos... i dont smoke :)

Newt Gingrich said...

In December 2004, a study was published by the Nicotine & Tobacco Research Journal that alarmed physicians. This U.S survey suggests that despite years of consumer education in print and TV ads and in-office patient education, the great majority of smokers are misinformed about the health risks of their habit. http://www.chantixhome.com/

zewt said...

Newt Gingrich - hello there. Well, i wouldnt be surprise, a lot of ppl are just super naive. they can even sue the tobacco company when they have cancer?!!!!??? guess the latest measure to put photos at the pack is a good thing.

girls accompagnatrici roma said...

The dude is totally right, and there is no suspicion.