Recently, a successful graduate called me complaining that she needed a cigarette. When I inquired as to why she needed to smoke, she said that there were many problems at work and she felt that a cigarette would calm her down and make her better able to cope with the current sutuation. She went on to explain that the woman who sits across from her is always smoking which futher enhances her cravings to take a cigarette.
I asked her to describe the lady who was always smoking around her. She said, "She is a co-worker who is really neurotic. She is always a nervous wreck. We have the same boss, and he is the source of much of our tension."
There seemed to be a great inconsistency in her story. She needed to smoke so she could calm down. She saw this lady smoking which made her feel the need to smoke even more. I could understand if her smoking companion was always calm and tranquil when confronted with unbearable stress. But to the contrary, "She was NEUROTIC". It was apparent in her case that cigarettes were not an effective stress reducing technique. Upon realizing the simple inconsistency in her story, she laughed and realized that cigarettes were no answer to dealing with her stress.
Often when an ex-smoker sees another person smoking, they wish they too could have a cigarette. They may automatically think how much the person is enjoying that cigarette. The fact often is that the person may not like the particular cigarette or even realize they are smoking it. They are simply maintaining a deadly addiction, trying to avoid nicotine withdrawal.
Ex-smokers should consider how while they were still smoking they used to envy people who quit cigarettes. No matter which situation you are in, a smoker observing an ex-smoker or visa versa, the other side has its appeal. The ex-smoker has the great advantage. The ex-smoker can go back to smoking any time she wishes. The smoker cannot always quit. The ex-smoker will go hours, days and eventually weeks without thinking of a cigarette. The smoker is constantly reminded by family, friends and associates of their socially offensive habit.
So, next time you observe a helpless smoker maintaining this deadly habit, have pity on them. If they ask how you kicked it, share with them the philosophies we taught you. That may be all the assistance they need. If they need more help, they can always come to see us.
We wish you luck in helping those closest to you quit this dangerous addiction. Once they break free, always reinforce the one concept which can guarantee continued success in staying free from cigarettes. Make sure they understand to Never Take Another Puff.