Sunday, July 28, 2013

What Type Of Smoker Are You? Four Types From Rashad J. Gober

 Stop Smoking In Chattanooga!, their local online news source revealed there are only 4 types of smokers out there.  Not in terms of BBQ mind you, but in terms if cigarette smoking.  In my book, How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone, I'll tell you there are only two types of smokers, but let's see how Rashad J. Gober categorizes the smoker people out there and then we'll have a bit of my two cents on the matter!  Fair enough?

Rashad put forth an interesting look at the types of smokers based on the degree of smoking.  Basically when and how often an individual decides to lite up.  Remember, it will always be a choice you make.

There is the Social Smoker.  These are the occasional smokers.  The ones who light up only at the coffee house, outside the bar on a Friday night, at the BBQ with the boys standing around an actual smoker, etc.  If you're in this category, you're walking the fine line between hooked and "I can quit anytime."  This occasional smoking can quickly and easily turn into the next level of smoker according to Gober.

The Anxious Smoker.  The way I see it, if you're smoking socially, you'll soon recognize that this occasional activity really helps you chill out.  So you go from only smoking at parties to every time something stressful happens or is about to happen.  This is the gateway.

Here's what's happened so far, which you'll read more of in my book.  Nicotine crosses the blood-brain barrier and fires up the Dopamine in your body.  Nicotine can be very Pavlovian.  It makes you feel better, like you've been rewarded.  Stress becomes the bell and the cigarette the dog food and sorry to say, but this is how you become big tobacco's little bitch.

Rashad also introduces us to the Skinny Smoker.  There are people out there who use nicotine as an appetite suppressant.  I think about when I was evolving into a pack and half a day smoker, I'd bum one when I was hungry.  Many people, who are image conscious will light up as a way to curb hunger.  This in my opinion is the grand irony.  OK, so the scale looks good, but my teeth are yellow and my face looks like John Wayne's saddle from The Searchers or worse yet, Cosmo Kramer from the Seinfeld episode where he and Jackie Chiles try to sue big tobacco for how his face looks from smoking cigars!

The last type on Rashad's list is the Addicted Smoker.  This is where you cross over and cigarettes have become a part of your daily life.  They are your crutch, they enhance food, music, driving and sex.  Every time you have a pleasurable experience you need to make it a little better with a cigarette and every time life throws a curve ball, you need to handle it with a cigarette.

Keep in mind, this happened to you the exact same way someone gets hooked on crack or heroin.  In fact, it's also, as they say, as challenging to stop smoking as it is to kick heroin or crack.  I really like Rashad's types here as it also shows the downward spiral into nicotine addiction.

In my book, I'll tell you there are really only two types.  Smoker's and non-smokers.  Non-smokers are people who are tinkering with it yet still have a way out.  They don't even hold a cigarette right and they look awkward trying to smoke.  Smokers on the other hand are smokers, that's their identity and it has always been that way for them.  I am a smoker.  I am, however, a smoker who chooses not to smoke.  After 15 years of smoking and the last 11 not, I am still a smoker at heart.  It smells good, tastes good, looks cool and it is romantic.  It also is a passive aggressive form of suicide and highly toxic method of self-medication.  For many, especially in AA, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.  You simply choose not to drink anymore.  And so it goes for me.  A smoker who doesn't smoke.  This can be you too.  You need to get your mind in the right frame in order to get back to the non-smoking section and you need to see smoking for what it truly is and then have a serious one-on-one with yourself about why you knowingly continue to choose to do something that takes out almost a half a million people a year.  How is that a good idea?

There will come a time for you to stop.  The time can be right now or shortly after your doctor puts you on oxygen and/or radiation therapy.  Mind you, you don't have to quit smoking to stop smoking.  I haven't quit yet!  I also haven't had a cigarette since 2002.  Maybe the time for you is now?  How do you plan on handling it?  I'm here to tell you that you can handle it, that you are already handling it and probably don't even know it.  There are some very simple strategies and mindsets you can adopt in a matter of minutes that will enable you and empower you to finally kick the habit....

[insert shameless plug - why?  because it's my blog, that's why!  =)]

...before the habit leads to you kicking the bucket and that is what my book is all about.  How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone.  Are you up for the challenge and the ride of your life?  How would you like to be able to tell someone, "I stopped smoking, it was the best thing I've ever done for myself and I came out a stronger person on the other side because I won the battle and the war."  

NOTE:  If you're about to leave a comment pitching e-cigarettes as a safe alternative to cigarettes and a link to buy some, read this first ( E-Cigarettes:  More Dangerous Than The Industry Wants You To Think) and then wake the eff up.  My book will always be safer and cheaper!