Monday, October 29, 2007

New York Anti-Smoking Ad

The State of NY began a new anti-smoking campaign that seems to be getting some traction. Whoopi Goldberg, who has smoked for over 40 years, said the new commercial inspired her to seriously try and stop. I thought I'd drop it in here since the ads are local to NY.

I'm of the opinion that smoking is bad. It's funny, though, how people approach this topic so differently.

My ex was a smoker. He said it was an addiction he just couldn't stop. I give him credit that he did give it up for several months but started back up on a business trip to China where everyone apparently smokes.

• The ex felt very shameful about his smoking. He hid it, and hid it well. It caused him to be dishonest about it. Whenever he'd succumb to the temptation after quitting for a while, he'd never admit it to me. I found this odd since I never belittled or shamed him about it. I suppose if you don't like taking responsibility for anything you say or do, why would smoking be any different?

• The ex's ex, who he was living with when we met, took a passive-aggressive approach to get him to quit. Every time he found a pack of cigarettes, he put them in the garbage right on top. He didn't destroy the cigs, or mention that he found them, it was more of a "I know what you're doing and disapprove."

• I tend to be more live and let live. You wanna smoke? Fine. You're an adult. It isn't my job to follow you around and nag, plead, shame, or get on your case. I'm not a nanny; I have my own issues, thank you very much. And I'm smart enough to know that kind of behavior will only poison the relationship. As long as it doesn't effect me, go for it. At the same time, don't expect any sympathy when you're carting around an oxygen tank. Part of being an adult is understanding the consequences of one's actions, making an informed decision, and living with the results. (I take this hard-line stance from growing up with a father that had diabetes but absolutely would not stop eating sugar and later went blind from years of neglecting his health.)

Nagging won't work anyhow...a smoker won't stop until they say they want to stop even if they know they can't. But if you say you want to stop but don't know how, and you want my help, I'll be your biggest cheerleader and do anything I can to support you. If you haven't tried the gum, the patch, Wellbutrin, acupuncture, or hypnosis, you aren't really serious about quitting. I know lots of smokers who simply like doing it. So just admit that to yourself.
The only thing I ask of smokers is that you refrain from blowing the smoke in my face and properly disposing of your butts!

[Did I mention I enjoy smoking while I'm driving? An odd thing, that. It started when I was in California traffic, and now I associate smoking with driving. I don't always smoke when I drive, but I'm always driving when I smoke.]


Lacey said...

I quit about four years ago but I can tell you, I could light one up right now. It's such a powerful addiction. I truly crave a cig as much now as I ever did. Mentally, anyway. I guess once you beat the physical addiction, then it's possible to beat the on-going mental addiction. But if I ever get a terminal illness, I'll be smoking up a storm til the end.

Al said...

I can't speak personally as I've never smoked, but I agree that it's not until the smoker wants to quit for themselves that it truly is going to be something they will stick with. My mom tried to quit for forty years, and it wasn't until a major health scare that she finally stopped.

I'm not particularly a fan of the shame and blame way that we as a culture discourage smoking. As public health methodology it's never been successful in curbing anything, and has often made the problem worse.

Big Daddy said...

Oh man.

Wellbutrin cracked me out like I just went on a crystal meth binge.

That stuff is evil.

Y | O | Y said...

After I wrote this post, The View had a segment on Whoopi quitting. They had a doctor on with all sorts of ways to quit (most of what I listed). After all was said and done, she chose the Wellbutrin — the doc said that acupuncture and hypnosis have a poor success rate. I have a friend on Wellbutrin for depression and hasn't had a bad reaction. Just goes to show you that all meds should be properly prescribed and monitored by a doctor!

michael sean morris said...

The problem with Western medicine is that it treats all people like they're interchangeable, but I think that attitude is gradually being eroded. I think it's great that there are so many ways to help people overcome both the addiction and the habit, which are separate.

I'm just worried that some doctor on an influential show like "The View" saying hypnosis and acupuncture don't work is going to give more money to pharmaceutical companies.

I'm just not a pill person, I guess.