Tag: smoking

Smokers Have Already Quit

by on December 30, 2011 under Education, Health

Smokers Have Already Quit ShirtWhy would you persist with activity like smoking cigarettes in the face of mountainous evidence that smoking kills? Well, lets take a look at it.

Human beings are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Pleasure is perceived as something that supports our values and pain is perceived as something that challenges our values. Pleasure is provided by perceived benefits, and pain is experienced with perceived drawbacks.

For a person to conduct any activity they need to be motivated to do so. That motivation comes from a perceived imbalance in the ratio of benefits to drawbacks expected from conducting the activity. If you expect more benefits than drawbacks you will do it, if you expect more drawbacks than benefits, you won’t do it. Common sense, right?

Well for a smoker to continue to smoke, they must perceive more benefits than drawbacks in smoking. Lets look at some of the common benefits reported by smokers:

  • It relaxes me
  • “Its a social activity”
  • “Smoking helps me think”
  • “It gives me a break”

So for a smoker to continue smoking, they prefer these benefits, over the all-to-well advertised drawbacks. What I notice about these benefits though, is that they are all immediate, and short lived. As we know the ultimate drawback of death, is long term.

So smokers are trading off these short term benefits, ultimately for their life. This is why regular smokers have already quit. They have given up on the idea of a long, healthy and vibrant life, and sometimes you can see it in their body language, their actions, and their attitudes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying smoking is bad. I’m saying that at the most fundamental level, regular smokers have given up on life. This is a choice smokers’ have made, either consciously or unconsciously, and that is fine. People are entitled to their choices. Yes smokers burden the medical system and therefore all of us through medicare, but hey, they also stimulate the economy and pay ridiculously high taxes that relieve the pressure on our income taxes. The truth is that the benefits and drawbacks for all of us are balanced.

My values are on life, health, and vitality, so personally, smoking challenges me. I would be happy if smoking in public was banned entirely. The smell is unpleasant and I feel my lungs choking up even when I smell cigarettes at a distance. This is my body’s natural defence mechanisms responding to avoid the toxins in cigarettes. I am ok with you smoking, but do it in private. It is not my desire to share your passive smoke and your ultimate fate.

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