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Superhal
11-21-2009, 02:24 PM
I've been smoking for over 20 years now. Smoking runs in my family. All the males do it, and my father is currently in his 80's with no adverse health effects. Imho, once you take health reasons out of the equation, is there any reason to quit, or any reason to stay off the cigs when you do?

I've quit smoking on 4 occasions:

1. The first time was in my sophmore year in high school. I stopped smoking because I wanted to make the baseball team. I couldn't get into condition in time, so I was cut. When my reason to quit went away, I started smoking again. I stopped for about 3 months.

2. The second time I quit was the longest, this time was for a year and a half. I was finishing up my bachelor's degree, and I didn't want distractions. When I graduated, I started smoking again.

3. I quit for about a year because I had some issues with lethargy and dizziness. I thought quitting might raise my energy levels, and I also started an exercise regimen. When my energy levels stayed the same, I started smoking again.

4. This time, I'm quitting because I'm trying to save money for a down payment on property. By switching to eCigs, I hope to save 1k a year. When I do get it, I'll probably start smoking again.

No smoking advocates will always turn to the health argument, but seriously, there's a lot more dangerous things you can be doing besides smoking, like unprotected sex, alcohol, or fatty foods. Without the health argument, is there really any reason to stay off nicotine?

Grumman
11-21-2009, 02:34 PM
How much money do you waste on cigarettes a fortnight? Is there anything you'd rather do with the money?

Superhal
11-21-2009, 02:37 PM
Arrgh, ok I forgot to state my central question clearly:

If you quit smoking for a particular reason, and then the reason goes away, why not start smoking again?

Superhal
11-21-2009, 02:38 PM
How much money do you waste on cigarettes a fortnight? Is there anything you'd rather do with the money?

Imho, cigarette money is not a waste, I think that's one of the weaknesses of the anti-smoking lobby. They assume that smoking is purely a dirty, selfish, uncontrollable habit, but they don't care that (to the smoker) there are benefits.

Quasimodal
11-21-2009, 02:39 PM
Many people find second hand smoke irritating, not as a health concern, but just as it is generally not enjoyable to breathe in. Much like having bad breath...

...on that note. Smoking causes bad breath.

Quasimodal
11-21-2009, 02:41 PM
Just curious as to what the benefits are. Can those benefits be found by doing something else instead? Would the alternative be more beneficial?

PaulParkhead
11-21-2009, 02:42 PM
I'm a smoker with no plans to quit.

But saying "without the health argument..." is a bit like saying "disregarding the fact that you'll be splattered on the ground from a great height, is there any other reason why you shouldn't jump out of an airplane at 5000 feet without a parachute?"

Money, I suppose. Smoking isn't cheap. I enjoy smoking, so I tend to just count it as "leisure money" when I budget. But it is expensive.

Grumman
11-21-2009, 02:42 PM
Imho, cigarette money is not a waste, I think that's one of the weaknesses of the anti-smoking lobby. They assume that smoking is purely a dirty, selfish, uncontrollable habit, but they don't care that (to the smoker) there are benefits.
Don't avoid the question. How much do you spend on the wonderful and glorious use of tobacco per fortnight? Is there anything you'd rather do with the money?

Randolph
11-21-2009, 02:43 PM
If you want to smoke, smoke. If you want to smoke and lie to yourself, you can do that too.

Squink
11-21-2009, 02:45 PM
4. This time, I'm quitting because I'm trying to save moneyTobacco is easy to grow from seed, and produces a lot of leaves in a few months. Were I still smoking, I'd seriously consider growing my own. That's got to be cheaper than even mail order smokes.
A quick search on growing tobacco turns up several how-to sites, for example:
http://www.growtobacco.net/

don't ask
11-21-2009, 02:48 PM
Your post is a little verbose.

I spent 30 years smoking and gave up overnight because I wanted to.

You could have just posted "I want to keep smoking."

I don't care and probably neither does anyone else.

If you ever want to give up let me know. It isn't very hard once you want it.

panache45
11-21-2009, 02:50 PM
If you ever have a serious medical problem . . . and eventually you will . . . smoking is the #1 factor making that problem way more serious than it would otherwise be. Especially anything related to your cardiovascular system. Many doctors will not even perform necessary surgery on a patient who smokes; it's just too risky.

Superhal
11-21-2009, 02:51 PM
Many people find second hand smoke irritating, not as a health concern, but just as it is generally not enjoyable to breathe in. Much like having bad breath...

...on that note. Smoking causes bad breath.

Maybe off on a tangent here, but smelling bad isn't a good argument. I've smelled far worse from people than smoke, yet we don't take away their civil rights or get in their face and insist they wash RIGHT NOW.

Second hand smoke (trying to avoid the health argument here) is another can of worms. But, in the research I've seen, there's only been one woman ever who died solely from second hand smoke (her husband was a chain smoker, and they lived in an enclosed space, she developed lung cancer.) The other studies I've seen show that second-hand smoke may cause serious or fatal complications in existing conditions (bronchitis, asthma, etc.) but rarely creates them, and that any pollutant would cause the same result. Some are even worse than second hand smoke (e.g. asbestos.)

BrandonR
11-21-2009, 02:55 PM
Smoking is a civil right? I must have skimmed over that part in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

There are lots of people who are allergic to smoke. My eyes get ridiculously sensitive and burn like crazy when exposed to a lot of smoking, which I conveniently found out when I was in Vegas earlier this year. So beyond the fact that it makes you smell and look horrible, there's the health factor (which you seem to be conveniently ignoring), and the cost factor. In fact, I'm failing to see where the benefits of smoking are...

Superhal
11-21-2009, 02:56 PM
Tobacco is easy to grow from seed, and produces a lot of leaves in a few months. Were I still smoking, I'd seriously consider growing my own. That's got to be cheaper than even mail order smokes.
A quick search on growing tobacco turns up several how-to sites, for example:
http://www.growtobacco.net/

I found a couple of cheap tobacco sources:
Duty Free stores at airports: domestic US cigs are ~$15/carton now.
Rolling your own cigarettes: about half the price of regular cigs for double the volume of tobacco.
After RJR (or somebody) bought Skoal/Copenhagen chewing tobacco, prices were cut in half.

The e-cigs are a good deal too. 1 "carton equivalent" of reloads is about 1/3 the price of regular cigs, and I just heard you can by the oil separately for even cheaper.

Superhal
11-21-2009, 03:02 PM
Smoking is a civil right?

Good luck finding it there, I was referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where no one (in "protected classes") can be discriminated against at work, employment, housing or school.

Can I be denied a job because of smoking? Yes. Buying a condo or renting a house? Yes. If I do get a job or housing, will I be treated differently than others who don't smoke? Yes. In fact, in many cases, they will be upfront about it.

Grumman
11-21-2009, 03:08 PM
Good luck finding it there, I was referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where no one (in "protected classes") can be discriminated against at work, employment, housing or school.

Can I be denied a job because of smoking? Yes. Buying a condo or renting a house? Yes. If I do get a job or housing, will I be treated differently than others who don't smoke? Yes. In fact, in many cases, they will be upfront about it.
A desire to poison yourself and pollute your environment doesn't make you a member of a protected class, it just makes you an idiot.

Superhal
11-21-2009, 03:11 PM
re: the benefits of smoking:

1. I'm sure this is a pointless debate because no matter what I say, anyone who is anti-smoking will dismiss them out of hand.

2. If I do explain it, it's very difficult for a non-smoker to relate to it, or they'll just assume another way is better for the same effect (when it's not.)

3. The biggest benefit of smoking, in my opinion, is the same as a person I met on a plane once. He was Indian (from India,) but immigrated to the US when he was a child. He loves coffee, and he told me he drinks about a 2-3 32 oz cups per day. One thing he told me that didn't make sense at the time (but is very relevant to this discussion): "Coffee is like magic. In the morning, it wakes me up. It gives me energy during the day. When it's time to go to bed, it relaxes me." Imho, this probably the best explanation for what I get from cigarettes: what I need, when I need it.

BrandonR
11-21-2009, 03:11 PM
Good luck finding it there, I was referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where no one (in "protected classes") can be discriminated against at work, employment, housing or school.

Can I be denied a job because of smoking? Yes. Buying a condo or renting a house? Yes. If I do get a job or housing, will I be treated differently than others who don't smoke? Yes. In fact, in many cases, they will be upfront about it.

Uhh do you have any clue what that act refers to? I'm guessing no, and I also think members of actual protected classes would find you lumping yourself in with them quite offensive. Partaking in a voluntary, unhealthy habit doesn't give you the right to claim discrimination the same way a black person may feel by a neighborhood preventing him/her from living there.

Superhal
11-21-2009, 03:13 PM
A desire to poison yourself and pollute your environment doesn't make you a member of a protected class, it just makes you an idiot.

Wow, I didn't know so many idiots drank wine and used washing machines.

BrandonR
11-21-2009, 03:13 PM
3. The biggest benefit of smoking, in my opinion, is the same as a person I met on a plane once. He was Indian (from India,) but immigrated to the US when he was a child. He loves coffee, and he told me he drinks about a 2-3 32 oz cups per day. One thing he told me that didn't make sense at the time (but is very relevant to this discussion): "Coffee is like magic. In the morning, it wakes me up. It gives me energy during the day. When it's time to go to bed, it relaxes me." Imho, this probably the best explanation for what I get from cigarettes: what I need, when I need it.

It's not magic. He was addicted to caffeine and you're addicted to nicotine. No difference. Still, there are ways of getting that nicotine without smoking, and I don't see why you'd willy want to be addicted to a substance that is quite costly and is coupled with a lot of other unhealthy side effects.

Superhal
11-21-2009, 03:16 PM
Uhh do you have any clue what that act refers to? I'm guessing no, and I also think members of actual protected classes would find you lumping yourself in with them quite offensive. Partaking in a voluntary, unhealthy habit doesn't give you the right to claim discrimination the same way a black person may feel by a neighborhood preventing him/her from living there.

Maybe you should just let it go. You were looking for civil rights in the Constitution, so let's just assume I have a better understanding of it than you do, so don't try to question it.

ps. Religion is also voluntary, unhealthy (Ramadan fasting) and protected.

BrandonR
11-21-2009, 03:20 PM
Maybe you should just let it go. You were looking for civil rights in the Constitution, so let's just assume I have a better understanding of it than you do, so don't try to question it.

ps. Religion is also voluntary, and protected.

Maybe I should just let it go? The fact that you're claiming it's a civil right to smoke? No, sorry, I can't let that go. You do realize the purpose of this message board is to fight ignorance, right?

Jackmannii
11-21-2009, 03:37 PM
Add to the benefits of smoking:

4. It boosts Jackmannii's retirement funds.

Quite a bit of my income as a pathologist derives from diagnosing diseases caused by smoking - not just the cancers (there are now 15 types of cancer that have been linked to smoking, including malignancies of the mouth, throat, pancreas, bladder, kidney and leukemia) but also the assorted chronic ailments caused or made worse by smoking, such as gastroesophageal reflux. On the one hand it's depressing to diagnose a new small cell lung cancer in a 48-year-old man who will likely be dead within a couple of years; on the other, the biopsies, brushings and needle aspirates add cash to the till. And while autopsies are a very small part of my overall practice, occasionally I get to collect at the very end for one of those too.

So don't listen to the naysayers, Superhal! You're money in the bank, and i appreciate you and the other dogged smokers.

Chief Pedant
11-21-2009, 04:04 PM
Smoking makes you stink and accidentally light assorted items on fire.
It litters.
It drops the value of your car and your home.
It costs money.
It crinkles your skin and stains your teeth, hands and mustache.
It makes you look like a dope standing outside in the cold.

Some of the secondary health consequences, such as a prematurely soft weenie, are underappreciated, in my experience, but I realize you want to leave those out.

Most of all, it limits your acquaintances to those willing to hang around smokers. In the business world and in life in general, this can have substantial consequences.

From a social perspective, it's actually a terrific idea. Smokers are very productive and tend to croak before sucking their retirement benefits (your relatives excepted). This is a net cost savings to society. So by all means, have at it.

Zsofia
11-21-2009, 04:14 PM
We hate it when you bring back your library books and they reek. (For some reason, Chilton manuals are the worst - do people who repair their own cars just always happen to be chain smokers?)

And you do smell. You don't realize it because you can't smell anything. You reek and if I stand next to you when you're smoking I reek too. I hated it like hell when they put in a local smoking ban in bars, because I don't think it's the city's right to tell a business owner what to do like that, but I do like going out for a drink and not reeking like an ashtray afterwards.

Bryan Ekers
11-21-2009, 04:22 PM
And you do smell. You don't realize it because you can't smell anything. You reek and if I stand next to you when you're smoking I reek too. I hated it like hell when they put in a local smoking ban in bars, because I don't think it's the city's right to tell a business owner what to do like that, but I do like going out for a drink and not reeking like an ashtray afterwards.

Similarly, I've gotten so used to not contending with cig stench that when someone blithely comes in from his smoke break, his or her reek repels me, and I'll bet ten years ago that same level woudn't even have made me blink.

Superfluous Parentheses
11-21-2009, 04:54 PM
I'm a smoker. It's pretty hard for me to quit - I did manage it once, for about half a year. I think the evidence that smoking is quite hazardous is pretty clear and for me was the main reason to try to quit. Economic considerations are not interesting to me since I make enough money to smoke (and I probably spend more on alcohol anyway).

If you want a few another reasons: it stinks up everything - really - and it's bad for your sense of smell and taste. I love good food, and I'm actually bothered that I can't taste it as well as I could if I quit smoking.

Pray for peace
11-21-2009, 05:13 PM
It reduces your fitness and stamina, e.g., your ability to walk up a couple flights of steps/play softball/tennis/golf/skiing
It makes your teeth yellow
It reduces your sense of taste
Depending on how much you smoke, you may have to plan parts of your life around your habit - finding a place to smoke after a long plane flight or while you are watching a baseball game or concert
Life insurance is more expensive
It takes up more time during your day than you think

Wesley Clark
11-21-2009, 05:19 PM
Just curious as to what the benefits are. Can those benefits be found by doing something else instead? Would the alternative be more beneficial?

http://healthliteracy.worlded.org/docs/tobacco/Unit3/1why_people_smoke.html

Smoking is good for stress reduction and weight loss. I think those are 2 of the big reasons people take up smoking and do not quit.

It'll take me a while to dig up the polls I've seen showing these 2 factors are big reasons people take it up and refuse to quit, but I'll do it if need be because dammit I love you guys.

As far as weight loss drugs like Wellbutrin can help with smoking addiction and weight loss. And a variety of medications, lifestyle interventions and alternative therapies can help with stress. So a person can achieve the goals of weight loss and stress reduction w/o the cost and health risks of smoking.

Also young people take up smoking due to peer influences and to look/feel mature as big reasons. I have no idea what other activities they could do to fulfill those urges. Maybe having sex and drinking or something. Damn kids.

Plus there is the pleasure some people get from smoking.

Blut Aus Nord
11-21-2009, 05:32 PM
Also young people take up smoking due to peer influences and to look/feel mature as big reasons. I have no idea what other activities they could do to fulfill those urges. Maybe having sex and drinking or something. Damn kids.

Kids only think they look mature when they smoke, when in reality, everyone knows they're dweebs. If they want to look/feel mature, maybe they could ditch the bullshit homeboy anti-culture and opt for a flannel suit, a job, and proper English.

norinew
11-21-2009, 05:38 PM
Plus there is the pleasure some people get from smoking.
If the good Lord wanted me to get pleasure from smoking, He would never have invented illegal drugs or sex! ;):p

guizot
11-21-2009, 05:53 PM
Plus there is the pleasure some people get from smoking.Is it really a pleasure in the true sense, or is it just the temporary alleviation of addiction? I've tried smoking a couple of times, and I found nothing pleasurable in it at all.

I know a guy who can't sit through a meeting calmly without rushing out to smoke every 40 minutes--especially if it involves any uncomfortable thoughts at all. If he can't smoke, his rational thought shuts down and he says whatever he thinks will make the meeting finish as soon as possible. I don't know why anyone would want to be free of this kind of distraction only while in school.

On the other hand, smoking a cigarette is a socially acceptable way (amongst smokers, at least) to interrupt whatever business people are doing and mingle. So if that's what you need, then perhaps that's enough of a rationale to continue doing it.

guizot
11-21-2009, 05:57 PM
It takes up more time during your day than you thinkI once thought about calculating how much the time that people devote SOLELY to smoking itself reduces the GNP. Maybe someone who smokes could do that instead of their next few cigarettes.

Der Trihs
11-21-2009, 06:31 PM
Maybe off on a tangent here, but smelling bad isn't a good argument. I've smelled far worse from people than smoke, yet we don't take away their civil rights or get in their face and insist they wash RIGHT NOW.Really? I've never smelled anything worse from someone than smoke. Nor have I run across non smokers who leave a stench behind that lasts for such a long time, or attaches itself to everything. When you smoke you are putting out enough that it's visible to the naked eye, after all.

Has it occurred to you that your nose may be rather inured to the stench of it by now?

It's not magic. He was addicted to caffeine and you're addicted to nicotine. No difference. Well, except that coffee is a whole lot less damaging to the body, and drinking coffee doesn't affect anyone but you. Someone drinking coffee can be right next to me and he won't affect my health in the slightest. Consideration for others is a good reason to stop smoking.

Fake Tales of San Francisco
11-21-2009, 06:48 PM
Good luck finding it there, I was referring to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, where no one (in "protected classes") can be discriminated against at work, employment, housing or school.

Can I be denied a job because of smoking? Yes. Buying a condo or renting a house? Yes. If I do get a job or housing, will I be treated differently than others who don't smoke? Yes. In fact, in many cases, they will be upfront about it.

I suppose a good reason to quit is to avoid being discriminated against then.

Honesty
11-21-2009, 06:51 PM
Is it really a pleasure in the true sense, or is it just the temporary alleviation of addiction? I've tried smoking a couple of times, and I found nothing pleasurable in it at all.



No, it's pleasure. At least biologically. Nicotone results in an acute rise of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine The problem with cigarettes is that its combustion aberrantly modifies host DNA molecules. This can be reversed by cellular repair mechanisms (I think they're called Base Excision Repair and Nucleotide Excision Repair) but as we age, those systems can't keep up and cancer inevitably results.

I've always wondered whether if you could protect people from cigarette-induced DNA damage by injecting them with IL-12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interleukin_12) which increases cellular output of repair proteins. Grr, too bad I don't have a lab (yet) and government funding to figure that out. Damn, I want to be a researcher. :(

- Honesty

Honesty
11-21-2009, 06:58 PM
I suppose a good reason to quit is to avoid being discriminated against then.

I don't smoke but I don't think smokers should be discriminated against. We should stop treating them like slow-moving suicide victims. I do agree that that they should not be able to smoke in the public. Second-hand smoke is a carcinogen and should be regulated by the government. <shrug> But I hate to see smokers from having employment or housing. That's absurd to me.

Pray for peace
11-21-2009, 07:14 PM
No, it's pleasure. At least biologically. Nicotone results in an acute rise of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine The problem with cigarettes is that its combustion aberrantly modifies host DNA molecules. This can be reversed by cellular repair mechanisms (I think they're called Base Excision Repair and Nucleotide Excision Repair) but as we age, those systems can't keep up and cancer inevitably results.

I've always wondered whether if you could protect people from cigarette-induced DNA damage by injecting them with IL-12 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interleukin_12) which increases cellular output of repair proteins. Grr, too bad I don't have a lab (yet) and government funding to figure that out. Damn, I want to be a researcher. :(

- Honesty

Well, cigarettes have really bad health effects other than cancer. Smoking causes COPD and emphysema, and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Markxxx
11-21-2009, 07:31 PM
I've been smoking for over 20 years now. Smoking runs in my family. All the males do it, and my father is currently in his 80's with no adverse health effects. Imho, once you take health reasons out of the equation, is there any reason to quit, or any reason to stay off the cigs when you do?

No smoking advocates will always turn to the health argument, but seriously, there's a lot more dangerous things you can be doing besides smoking, like unprotected sex, alcohol, or fatty foods. Without the health argument, is there really any reason to stay off nicotine?

Using your question in the strictest sense I'd say almost none.

Perhaps the only reason I could think of is the smell of smoke offends some people around you.

I think smokers go on the defensive a bit, because the social norm is becoming smoking is socially unacceptable. Many things in the past that were the norm, we simply don't do now

Thudlow Boink
11-21-2009, 07:54 PM
No smoking advocates will always turn to the health argument, but seriously, there's a lot more dangerous things you can be doing besides smoking, like unprotected sex, alcohol, or fatty foods.Does anybody know the name of the fallacy that goes like this? "There are worse things than X; therefore X isn't so bad." Anyway, you seem to be making, or at least flirting with, this fallacy, here and in Post #13.

Quasimodal
11-21-2009, 08:17 PM
Superhal, you asked for a reason. Sure some people work in manure all day, that doesn't cause cancer either, but I don't really want to be around someone who reeks all the time. How the hell did civil rights come into this? I thought you wanted a non health related reason not to smoke. I gave you one...you're changing the direction of this thread.

I guess since there are worse things then second hand smoke we should be thankful for breathing it in. Tell the family of the kid with fatal complications that line.

Maybe off on a tangent here, but smelling bad isn't a good argument. I've smelled far worse from people than smoke, yet we don't take away their civil rights or get in their face and insist they wash RIGHT NOW.

Second hand smoke (trying to avoid the health argument here) is another can of worms. But, in the research I've seen, there's only been one woman ever who died solely from second hand smoke (her husband was a chain smoker, and they lived in an enclosed space, she developed lung cancer.) The other studies I've seen show that second-hand smoke may cause serious or fatal complications in existing conditions (bronchitis, asthma, etc.) but rarely creates them, and that any pollutant would cause the same result. Some are even worse than second hand smoke (e.g. asbestos.)

Antinor01
11-21-2009, 08:42 PM
It reduces your fitness and stamina, e.g., your ability to walk up a couple flights of steps/play softball/tennis/golf/skiing

I walk quite a bit, often smoking while doing so. My regular walking pace on a treadmill is about 4.2 MPH.

It makes your teeth yellow

My teeth are naturally a slightly yellow color, no big there. And there are ways of fixing that, much like removing coffee stains from your teeth.

It reduces your sense of taste

I asked about that here on the dope and was advised that this is not true.

Depending on how much you smoke, you may have to plan parts of your life around your habit - finding a place to smoke after a long plane flight or while you are watching a baseball game or concert

Not a problem for me personally.
Life insurance is more expensive

This part I agree with.

It takes up more time during your day than you think

No it doesn't. I smoke about a half a pack a day at 3-4 minutes each so that's about 30-40 minutes a day. It's rare that I'm smoking instead of doing something else anyway.

Bryan Ekers
11-21-2009, 08:48 PM
I suppose a good reason to quit is to avoid being discriminated against then.

Yeah, so all those gay people should just cut it out, already!



Just kidding, honestly.

Pray for peace
11-21-2009, 08:59 PM
Antinor01 - I'm a former smoker. All of the points I made came from my personal experience when I quit smoking about two years ago. YMMV. Wait, do you really smoke on the treadmill? :p

Antinor01
11-21-2009, 09:03 PM
Antinor01 - I'm a former smoker. All of the points I made came from my personal experience when I quit smoking about two years ago. YMMV. Wait, do you really smoke on the treadmill? :p

Heh. They won't let me smoke in the gym. But when I'm out on a walk (usually a couple miles), I'll often have one or two.

shijinn
11-21-2009, 10:17 PM
... 3. The biggest benefit of smoking, in my opinion, is the same as a person I met on a plane once. He was Indian (from India,) but immigrated to the US when he was a child. He loves coffee, and he told me he drinks about a 2-3 32 oz cups per day. One thing he told me that didn't make sense at the time (but is very relevant to this discussion): "Coffee is like magic. In the morning, it wakes me up. It gives me energy during the day. When it's time to go to bed, it relaxes me." Imho, this probably the best explanation for what I get from cigarettes: what I need, when I need it.

... in short, you sacrifice your health to make you feel temporarily better (you, not the coffee drinker)

if you're not willing to stop for your own sake nor for others, what is the point of fishing for a rationale from anyone to stop? you already don't care.

Fantome
11-21-2009, 10:21 PM
It reduces your sense of taste I asked about that here on the dope and was advised that this is not true. You mean the following exchange in this (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=509310) thread?: I hear all these great things like your sense of smell gets better, things taste better, you turn into superman etc. All bullshit. Sounds like you don't want to quit so light 'em up and enjoy. Is that all it takes for someone to convince you something isn't true on this site, or does it just make you feel better about smoking so you'll accept it without citation? There have been several studies that have showed it's not bullshit. Here's a recent one:

http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20090821/cigarette-smoke-dulls-taste-buds

gonzomax
11-21-2009, 10:25 PM
Did we mention house fires, burns on furniture, car upholstery, dashboards, carpeting, clothes , ashes blowing into eyes ? How about stopping in a gas station on the way to work to hurry up get a pack when you run out and have to pay big bucks? How about scrounging around the house searching in desperation for a stub because you are in withdrawal. How about spending so much attention and time in your life to cigarettes?

Antinor01
11-21-2009, 10:34 PM
You mean the following exchange in this (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=509310) thread?: Is that all it takes for someone to convince you something isn't true on this site, or does it just make you feel better about smoking so you'll accept it without citation? There have been several studies that have showed it's not bullshit. Here's a recent one:

http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20090821/cigarette-smoke-dulls-taste-buds

That study doesn't appear very conclusive. However, no one 'convinced' me of anything and I don't need to feel better about smoking.

Bryan Ekers
11-21-2009, 10:46 PM
It reduces your sense of taste

That's crap, a smoker can enjoy a pound of garlic just like anybody else.



(stolen from Mad Magazine)

Fantome
11-21-2009, 11:02 PM
That study doesn't appear very conclusive. One study on its own is rarely conclusive. I said it was one of many studies that concluded with smoking reducing the sense of taste and doctors, such as otolaryngologists, consider it a fact due to the same result from multiple studies. However, no one 'convinced' me of anything and I don't need to feel better about smoking. Hard for me to buy since a legitimate study is something you're not willing to accept because it's not conclusive but someone "advising you that it's not true" seemed to have been good enough for you. Hey, rationalize away and enjoy your addiction- no skin off my apple.

RickJay
11-21-2009, 11:10 PM
You might get away with not getting cancer, and maybe you won't start a fire, but there is no changing the fact that smokers stink. All of them, every single one. You smell like shit. It's in your hair, your clothes. You carry it everywhere you go, and it's a horrifyingly persistent smell that can be left behind for hours, if not days.

I mean, I wouldn't want to smell gross. That's reason enough for me.

Antinor01
11-21-2009, 11:11 PM
One study on its own is rarely conclusive. I said it was one of many studies that concluded with smoking reducing the sense of taste and doctors, such as otolaryngologists, consider it a fact due to the same result from multiple studies.

Then maybe it is, I haven't studied it as much as you seem to have.

[/quote]Hard for me to buy since a legitimate study is something you're not willing to accept because it's not conclusive but someone "advising you that it's not true" seemed to have been good enough for you. Hey, rationalize away and enjoy your addiction- no skin off my apple.[/QUOTE]

Again, that may be the case but I really don't care. I'm not that invested in it being true or not being true. I don't need to rationalize anything, but thanks for your concern.

needscoffee
11-22-2009, 02:45 AM
Second hand smoke (trying to avoid the health argument here) is another can of worms. But, in the research I've seen, there's only been one woman ever who died solely from second hand smoke (her husband was a chain smoker, and they lived in an enclosed space, she developed lung cancer.) The other studies I've seen show that second-hand smoke may cause serious or fatal complications in existing conditions (bronchitis, asthma, etc.) but rarely creates them, and that any pollutant would cause the same result. Some are even worse than second hand smoke (e.g. asbestos.)You have no way of knowing how many people might have developed lung cancer from second-hand smoke. There may only be one on record, but when someone who is a nonsmoker dies of lung cancer, the government doesn't send out special agents to come in and investigate. The nature of diseases makes it almost impossible to conclusively attribute a cause to any one factor (excepting asbestosis and such). Example: a few years ago, a man wrote in to Dear Abby saying how he didn't believe smoking caused lung cancer because he was a heavy smoker all his life and was fine, but his non-smoking wife had died of lung cancer. Abby pointed out that there was no way of knowing if perhaps his smoking had contributed to her early demise.

You will always "like" smoking. That's a product of the addiction. You just have to decide if the benefits you derive from smoking outweigh the potential harm. The positive benefits seem to be very few.

And remember, you inherited 50% of your genes from your maternal side. They might not be as forgiving as the ones from the other side. I wouldn't place a bet on those odds.

Yes, smokers stink. So do their cars and houses. Your home's resale value will be lousy if you smoke in it. Ask any real estate agent. Is this the house you plan on spending the rest of your life in? Because you'll have a terrible time selling it if you don't. Ever read any eBay ads? Sellers are sure to note if the product comes from a smoke-free house. Now, why would that be?

Smokers wrinkle sooner, their skin develops a greyish pallor, and they look old before their time. Ever notice how old movie actors looked like they were 50 while they were in their 20s? When you hit 40, you will look at least 10 years older than all your friends. It may sound trivial now, but that is the age your hairline starts receding and that is exactly when you won't want to look like an old man. This skin aging is due to the constriction of the blood vessels, which is the same reason surgeons don't like to operate on smokers. In the 1980s, I read in the newspaper that when severed digits needed to be reattached, the success rate in children was very high, 90%, because of the excellent blood circulation; in adults, 70% success, but in smokers, it was only 40%. Figures may be different today, but that's a very good example of the physical changes caused by smoking.

aruvqan
11-22-2009, 06:08 AM
Maybe you should just let it go. You were looking for civil rights in the Constitution, so let's just assume I have a better understanding of it than you do, so don't try to question it.

ps. Religion is also voluntary, unhealthy (Ramadan fasting) and protected.

please note, Ramadan fasting is able to be skipped by small children, elderly, pregnant women and people with health issues. And if you are healthy, not eating from sunrise to sunset is not unhealthy, and frequently people do 12 hour or longer fasts all the time without a religious basis.

Theoretically the same caveats pertain to jewish and christian fasting rituals. I have no direct experience with nonjudeo-christian ritual fasting.

And I do not see why smoking should be a protected right, use the freaking patch and stop causing my COPD to roll into pneumonia.

theR
11-22-2009, 07:56 AM
re: the benefits of smoking:

1. I'm sure this is a pointless debate because no matter what I say, anyone who is anti-smoking will dismiss them out of hand.

Huh? The exact opposite is happening. Every time someone brings up one of the reasons you requested, you hand wave it away. One person even brought up a reason and you claimed it violated your civil rights. Suggesting a reason to quit in answer to your opening post certainly does not violate your civil rights. Someone getting in your face to complain that you stink does not take away your civil rights.

2. If I do explain it, it's very difficult for a non-smoker to relate to it, or they'll just assume another way is better for the same effect (when it's not.)

A lot of non-smokers used to smoke. It's not that difficult to relate to it. You are not a unique snowflake.

3. The biggest benefit of smoking, in my opinion, is the same as a person I met on a plane once. He was Indian (from India,) but immigrated to the US when he was a child. He loves coffee, and he told me he drinks about a 2-3 32 oz cups per day. One thing he told me that didn't make sense at the time (but is very relevant to this discussion): "Coffee is like magic. In the morning, it wakes me up. It gives me energy during the day. When it's time to go to bed, it relaxes me." Imho, this probably the best explanation for what I get from cigarettes: what I need, when I need it.

If you want to delude yourself, feel free, but don't expect us to go along with it, particularly when you asked us into this thread to give other reasons to quit aside from the obvious health reasons.

Francis Vaughan
11-22-2009, 10:12 AM
Personally I've never smoked. OTOH all the usual arguments from us pious non-smokers really cut very little ice. My usual argument in favour of people smoking is that, in general, they aid the economy of the country by dying early, and unloading the economy of the need to care for them as they age.

Anyway. A long term friend of mine has been a smoker though a couple of long periods. (No longer smokes.) His story of giving up was interesting. One night, with a few mates around, drinking, playing poker, and generally having a good time, he ran out of cigarettes. None of his friends smoked. He searched the house. None. None in any special reserve places. None in the car. Nothing. By now it was the early hours, and in a place and time long before 24 hour shops. He had to drive into the city at 5am to find one of the very few places that were open and buy some cigarettes. I think he actually had to convince one of his friends to drive him there. Once he bought the cigarettes he stopped, and thought about this. He decided that he was not having his life ruled in such a manner, and gave up that day. He didn't smoke again for nearly 20 years.

There is nothing very special about smoking. Nicotine addiction, a bit of flavour, and bit of ritual. As pointed out, coffee is not a lot different, just not a health issue, not so brutally addictive, and much the same cost. If you are prepared to ignore the health issues, and don't care about the increasing social stigma, well, really there isn't a lot left to care about. Personally I don't think it is exactly smart, but it isn't my problem either. If you have no dependants or loved ones that care when you die early or become seriously ill, well nobody else needs to care much either.

Life is all about playing the odds. Nothing in life is certain, but sometimes you can stack the deck your way. Or you can stack it against yourself. The latter is much easier.

you with the face
11-22-2009, 10:18 AM
Health aside, smell aside, money aside...smoking tends to age people. You get tons of lines on your face, your lips lose their youthful pucker, and your skin turns yellow. I can always tell if a woman over 35 smokes. They tend to look as if they've lived hard lives out on the frontier somewhere.

Bryan Ekers
11-22-2009, 10:31 AM
They tend to look as if they've lived hard lives out on the frontier somewhere.

That's Malboro Country, show some respect.

Jackmannii
11-22-2009, 11:23 AM
Health aside, smell aside, money aside...smoking tends to age people. You get tons of lines on your face, your lips lose their youthful pucker, and your skin turns yellow. I can always tell if a woman over 35 smokes. They tend to look as if they've lived hard lives out on the frontier somewhere.Even better, take a woman from Texas or elsewhere in the South/Southwest who's a smoker and spent a lot of time in the sun. The erosive effects are remarkable.

This also brings to mind an old proposal for an anti-smoking ad (this was when TV cigarette ads regularly featured vibrant, healthy-looking young people puffing away).

The counter-ad depicts a prematurely decrepit, saggy middle-aged New York cab driver. He smiles at the camera, exposing large yellow-stained teeth, waves his cigarette and says "By me, it's Camels." :D

Palo Verde
11-22-2009, 12:30 PM
I think one of the big disadvantages is that it limits one's romantic partners. A LOT of women (and men) would never date, sleep with, or marry someone who smokes.

I wouldn't, and not for health reasons. Smokers smell terrible. And too much of their income goes to smoking. And they either smoke around me (yuck!) or have to frequently excuse themselves to go outside to smoke. And I don't want my children exposed to it in a way that would make them more likely to smoke themselves.

Better to just date, sleep with or marry a non-smoker.

gonzomax
11-22-2009, 01:32 PM
Of course smoking is just an act of accumulating poisons in your system to get high. If you are really ,really lucky you may live a normal life span. But your innnards will suffer. Your lung capacity will be gradually diminished. You organs and circulatory system will suffer. It has a bad effect on skin .It ages you earlier.
Then the last few years of your life will be greatly diminished. Your ability to play sports or exercise will be worse. The last few years may be being hooked up to a respirator while secretly berating yourself for not quitting before it was too late. You get to remind yourself that it was all your fault and you should have stopped because you knew better. You knew better. You know better right now.

needscoffee
11-22-2009, 02:35 PM
And there's this:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=486796&highlight=Smoke
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=540760
Now, think of your innards.

Quasimodal
11-22-2009, 03:20 PM
Here's a cigarette calculator...

Hey Superhal, care to learn how much of your money has gone down the tank?

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/ped_10_CigCostCalc.asp

begbert2
11-23-2009, 01:01 PM
Aside from the health issues...

And the very, very real stench...

And the cost...

And the social stigma...

And the fact you're it's addiction puppet...

And the health issues...

And did I mention the health issues...

...aside from all that, I seriously am having a hard time thinking of a reason not to smoke. I mean, it doesn't cause a comet to strike the earth and destroy all of humanity or anything (and that would just be a disregardable health issue anyway). So the OP has me convinced - I should definitely start smoking today.

LonesomePolecat
11-23-2009, 01:51 PM
You might get away with not getting cancer, and maybe you won't start a fire, but there is no changing the fact that smokers stink. All of them, every single one. You smell like shit. It's in your hair, your clothes. You carry it everywhere you go, and it's a horrifyingly persistent smell that can be left behind for hours, if not days.

I mean, I wouldn't want to smell gross. That's reason enough for me.I was a heavy smoker for many years. When I finally managed to quite, I had been living in my apartment for twelve years.

My sense of smell and taste began to revive.

One day I came home from work, opened the door to my apartment, and suddenly realized the place absolutely reeked of stale tobacco smoke. I'm not talking about a slight odor you might notice briefly once in a while. I'm talking about a stench so strong that it was constantly in your awareness. I scrubbed down the walls with every household cleaning product I could think of. I left the windows open constantly to air the place out. I used deodorants and air fresheners by the truckload. I had to get rid of the carpet, couch and easy chair because the stench had penetrated so deeply into the fabric that it simply wouldn't come out--and I was dirt poor with no money to replace them. It was at least two months before I got rid of that repulsive odor.

Whenever I'm tempted to go back to tobacco, I remember that stench.

villa
11-23-2009, 06:16 PM
ps. Religion is also voluntary, unhealthy (Ramadan fasting) and protected.

You see, there is this odd part of the Constitution called the Bill of Rights. That includes something called the First Amendment. Which specifically sets out religion as protected! Oddly enough, unless the 28th Amendment has been passed and states "Congress shall make no laws regarding an establishment of tobacco, or prohibiting the free smoking thereof," you are SOL on a comparison to religion front.

Lobohan
11-23-2009, 06:29 PM
I have a similar question. Other than traumatic penis damage, is there any reason to not ram it over and over again into a jar full of rusty razor blades?

I mean other than the TPD, which doesn't count, is there any reason? My grandfather did it and he only had minor surface scratches.

Grumman
11-24-2009, 01:13 AM
I have a similar question. Other than traumatic penis damage, is there any reason to not ram it over and over again into a jar full of rusty razor blades?

I mean other than the TPD, which doesn't count, is there any reason? My grandfather did it and he only had minor surface scratches.
Not making people worldwide instinctively cross their legs in horror?

independentminded
11-24-2009, 02:00 AM
Maybe off on a tangent here, but smelling bad isn't a good argument. I've smelled far worse from people than smoke, yet we don't take away their civil rights or get in their face and insist they wash RIGHT NOW.

Second hand smoke (trying to avoid the health argument here) is another can of worms. But, in the research I've seen, there's only been one woman ever who died solely from second hand smoke (her husband was a chain smoker, and they lived in an enclosed space, she developed lung cancer.) The other studies I've seen show that second-hand smoke may cause serious or fatal complications in existing conditions (bronchitis, asthma, etc.) but rarely creates them, and that any pollutant would cause the same result. Some are even worse than second hand smoke (e.g. asbestos.)

I reside in a state where smoking is banned in public places such as restaurants, bars, etc., and I'm glad of it. Secondhand smoke does much, much more damage than many people care to believe. Why should non-smokers be forced to inhale the smoke of cigarette smokers? They shouldn't, imho.

tumbleddown
11-24-2009, 02:18 AM
The argument that other people smell worse is a canard. I volunteer in a homeless shelter. A lot of our clients smell repugnant. I breathe through my mouth and sometimes have to limit my conversations with them, or stay a few steps further away from them than I do the others (who aren't compelled by addictions and/or mental illness and crave the showers that they can have every time they visit the shelter, if they want). But no matter how close I get to the clients who reek of body odor, human waste and just filth, none of that smell clings to me.

But what does? The smell from the "clean" (i.e. showered and laundered clothes-wearing) clients who smoke, and want (or need) to shake my hand or hug me or have long conversations close to me. I come out of the shelter with the smell of cigarettes on my clothes and in my hair, I don't wear my winter coat inside because the smell would linger in the fiberfill and fleece.

Anne Neville
11-24-2009, 12:48 PM
People might not want to come over to your house or apartment or ride in your car because of the smell. That could limit your social life, or your kids' social lives. Your social life might be limited even further if you're not willing to refrain from smoking in other people's homes or cars.

Most cars I've rented have had a "no smoking" sign on the key ring. That limits your options when you're renting a car, or means that you can't smoke in the car while you're driving a rental car.

Some hotels or hotel rooms are smoke-free. That limits your options when you travel.

You have to spend time outside in bad weather.

Airplanes and many other forms of mass transit don't allow smoking. If you're not willing to refrain from smoking for that long, that limits your travel options. Or it might just make air travel that much less pleasant for you than it already is for non-smokers.

If you're looking for a roommate or want to rent out a room in your house or apartment, it could limit your options.

It would make renting a room, apartment, or house more difficult.

If you smoke in the car, and later want to sell the car, that will be a problem. I'm not sure if a dealer would consider that when evaluating a trade-in (my guess, though, is that they would), but if you were trying to sell the car yourself, it certainly would affect how easy your car would be to sell and how much money you'd get for it.

You almost certainly have a higher risk of a fire at home than a non-smoker does, since you have burning materials around much more often.

You take breaks from your work that a non-smoker wouldn't. That means either you have lower productivity than a non-smoker, or work longer hours. Lower productivity and less time at your desk per day could affect your career, as could the social stigma of smoking. Working longer hours just sucks.

It's legally and socially acceptable to discriminate against you, in a way that it wouldn't be to discriminate against a religious person or (in some areas) a gay person. If someone says they don't want to hire you because you're a smoker, you have no legal recourse. It's quite a different situation legally if someone tells me they don't want to hire Jews. The distinctive smell of a smoker's hair, clothes, and breath makes it hard for you to hide the fact that you smoke when you go on a job interview, and makes it easy for someone who doesn't want to hire smokers to do so. It's a lot harder to hide from a prospective employer than religious practices (at least some of them, a burqa or yarmulke would be harder to hide) or sexuality.

Speaking of hair, it will make your hair look worse if and when it turns white or gray. It will give your hair a yellowish tinge that most people don't find attractive (this is one reason why old ladies used to get blue rinses- to cover the yellowish color in their hair from cigarette smoke).

you with the face
11-24-2009, 01:08 PM
If you don't care about killing yourself early from smoking, that's one thing.

But it must surely suck to suffer from a disease that you know would not have happened had you not smoked. With each emphysemic breath, you'll be reminded of your own stubborness. Every time you hear the wheeze of the oxygen tank, it will be like hearing "toldja so!". Over and over again. What a haunting existence. Not only will you have to deal with the disease itself, but you won't even be able to get the paltry comfort that comes from feeling sorry for yourself. And no one else will pity you either. Your doctors, your friends, your family...all of them will be silently saying "toldja so" when they look at you.

Anne Neville
11-24-2009, 01:22 PM
Your doctors, your friends, your family...all of them will be silently saying "toldja so" when they look at you.

Even if you get a disease like lung cancer or cardiovascular disease that also happens to people who have never smoked, people will have less sympathy for you because you smoked.

Shmendrik
11-24-2009, 01:26 PM
Maybe you should just let it go. You were looking for civil rights in the Constitution, so let's just assume I have a better understanding of it than you do, so don't try to question it.

ps. Religion is also voluntary, unhealthy (Ramadan fasting) and protected.

Ramadan fasting is bad for you? Cite?

Shmendrik
11-24-2009, 01:29 PM
No smoking advocates will always turn to the health argument, but seriously, there's a lot more dangerous things you can be doing besides smoking, like unprotected sex, alcohol, or fatty foods. Without the health argument, is there really any reason to stay off nicotine?

Someone already mentioned that your argument here is illogical, but I'm not sure your premise is even correct. Those things are not worse for you than smoking, especially when you compare alcohol/fatty foods in moderation vs smoking in moderation. The risk of unprotected sex depends on the number of partners and their risk status, so let's leave that one out.

Anne Neville
11-24-2009, 01:45 PM
If you're a woman, smoking limits your birth control options. It's generally not considered a good idea to smoke and use hormonal birth control. Your doctor might not be willing to prescribe hormonal birth control for you if you smoke. That means you probably can't use the Pill, the patch, NuvaRing, or injectable contraceptives. Those are some of the most popular and reliable reversible methods of contraception.

If you get pregnant, smoking increases the risk of birth defects and pregnancy complications. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of those, too.

Once the baby is born, exposure to secondhand smoke makes it more likely to get pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma. Maybe you care about your kid's health, if you don't care about your own.

Surbey
11-24-2009, 02:02 PM
Really? I've never smelled anything worse from someone than smoke. Nor have I run across non smokers who leave a stench behind that lasts for such a long time, or attaches itself to everything.

I've worked with people that didn't smoke but you could still smell them 10 minutes or so after they left a room. Or perhaps, still smell their stench in places they've sat on their lunch for the whole day.

You must not be hanging out with the right kind of stinky people.

Turek
11-24-2009, 02:04 PM
Even if you get a disease like lung cancer or cardiovascular disease that also happens to people who have never smoked, people will have less sympathy for you because you smoked.

There's a not-insignificant part of me that's bitter towards my mom who died at the beginning of this year from COPD and complications from chemo and radiation, after smoking all her adult life.

Anne Neville
11-24-2009, 02:58 PM
The risk from the combination of smoking and hormonal contraceptives goes up with age. If you're a woman who smokes, you might find yourself having to look for a new birth control method at age 35 or so.

Lionne
11-24-2009, 04:23 PM
Can I be denied a job because of smoking? Yes. Slight hijack - is this really true? What's the basis for it, health concerns? Insurance coverage?
On that note, what if I get asked whether I smoke during a job interview and I don't know how to answer because I don't know what the company policy is? It's not an illegal question like asking if I'm married or what nationality I am, but it puts me at a disadvantage.

Telemark
11-24-2009, 04:51 PM
Slight hijack - is this really true? What's the basis for it, health concerns? Insurance coverage?
You can be denied a job because you're left-handed in the US. Unless it is a protected class (and neither smoking nor handedness are) there's no reason needed. And some companies have a strict no smoking policy for employees even when off the time clock.

Anne Neville
11-24-2009, 04:53 PM
Slight hijack - is this really true? What's the basis for it, health concerns? Insurance coverage?

In some states at least, yes. It's because of the extra cost of health insurance for smokers, or at least that's the reason the companies generally give.

Scott Miracle Gro sued by employee who was fired for smoking. (http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2006/11/30/off_the_job_smoker_sues_over_firing/?page=1)

Quote from the article, from the lawyer representing the employee:

"I don't think anybody ought to be smoking cigarettes, but as long as it's legal, it's none of the employer's business as long as it doesn't impact the workplace."

Can you imagine a lawyer for a plaintiff in, say, a sexual-orientation discrimination suit saying the equivalent? "I don't think anybody ought to be having homosexual sex, but..." It would be all over the newspapers, just like when the justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry a mixed-race couple. And there would be even more of an outcry if a lawyer said the equivalent about religion. It's socially acceptable to be anti-smoker, in a way that it's not to be anti-gay or anti-(fill in religion here).

heavyarms553
11-24-2009, 11:07 PM
Smoking is really, really bad for you. I'm a med student and one of the first things we want to know is if you smoke. It is by far the number one behavioral risk factor for a wide variety of diseases ranging from lung cancer to atherosclerosis to bladder cancer to emphysema to diabetes to... you get the idea.

As an interesting aside, it reduces the risk that you will develop parkinsons, so... gl with that. Stop smoking.

Edit: I just remembered something interesting from my days at the anatomy lab dissection tables. We had 20 cadavers in our lab, and as we were doing the thorax dissections, it was clear as day which ones had been smokers. The concept that smoking turns your lungs into shriveled black husks is not a fanciful tale meant to scare children. It is real, and it is disgusting.

Der Trihs
11-24-2009, 11:46 PM
Edit: I just remembered something interesting from my days at the anatomy lab dissection tables. We had 20 cadavers in our lab, and as we were doing the thorax dissections, it was clear as day which ones had been smokers. The concept that smoking turns your lungs into shriveled black husks is not a fanciful tale meant to scare children. It is real, and it is disgusting.I recall when I was a kid, at one point my school had a presentation where they passed around slices of lungs preserved in little double glass paned squares. One from a normal person; another from someone who smoked and got emphysema. Seeing lung tissue that looked like someone had take a blowtorch to it was a lot more convincing that a dozen ham handed attempts to convince us that smoking wasn't cool.

groo
11-25-2009, 01:23 AM
Former smoker (knock on wood). Don't try to explain anything good about smoking to non-smokers. They cannot conceive that it is in any way pleasureable. I would submit that one of the best things in the world is a cigarette and a hot cup of coffee, and non-smokers don't know what that's like. In order to stop smoking, I had to deal with the thought: "I will not be able to do this pleasurable thing ever again." And it sucks.

I don't think that living several more years near the end of my life when I'll be living on cat food and welcoming shoppers to Wal Mart is a good enough reason to stop. But there are shorter-term benefits, some of which have been given above (though they were worded as problems, they're problems that get solved by quitting).

It reduces your fitness and stamina, e.g., your ability to walk up a couple flights of steps/play softball/tennis/golf/skiing
It makes your teeth yellow
It reduces your sense of taste
Depending on how much you smoke, you may have to plan parts of your life around your habit - finding a place to smoke after a long plane flight or while you are watching a baseball game or concert
Life insurance is more expensive
It takes up more time during your day than you think
I agree with all of the above, though the fitness and stamina might not return as a near term benefit.
Smoking makes you stink and accidentally light assorted items on fire.
It litters.
It drops the value of your car and your home.
It costs money.
It crinkles your skin and stains your teeth, hands and mustache.
It makes you look like a dope standing outside in the cold.

Some of the secondary health consequences, such as a prematurely soft weenie, are underappreciated, in my experience, but I realize you want to leave those out.

Most of all, it limits your acquaintances to those willing to hang around smokers. In the business world and in life in general, this can have substantial consequences.
...
I don't agree with accidentally starting fires, littering, decreasing the value of your car or home; those are only relevant to absent-minded litterers who smoke inside their cars and homes. But if these apply to you, not smoking will remedy them in short order. Aging your skin absolutely happens, but quitting will not yield a short-term benefit, so let's deemphasize that one.

The big ones are that smoking exacerbates other health problems and allows all non-smokers to treat you like a second-class citizen. Smokers are one of the few groups that everyone can dump on, socially, financially and legally. Now they've gone outside of buildings and are writing legislation prohibiting smoking outside in some public spaces. Some companies are testing job applicants for nicotine, and denying them employment because of the higher cost of health insurance. And they're not going to stop.

Unlike your experience, I rapidly increased my fitness level after quitting, and generally felt like I had more energy.

Quitting also opens up a larger segment of the population who are willing to have sex with you.

Regarding the "planning" in the first quote block, if you get involved with something wherein you just can't get away to have a smoke, you might be going ten hours without a cigarette, and you'll be getting more and more irritated at everything and not enjoying whatever it is you're doing. That sucks.

Another benefit: you get calmer. Nicotine is a stimulant (that makes you feel relaxed), and within a week of getting it out of your system, you may note that you're just not as anxious as when you smoked. Because you'll be a little bleary, but the bleariness is a good thing.

Also, the prematurely soft weenie comment above is not my specific experience, but I've heard anecdotally from some ex-smokers who say that sex got better after quitting.

Francis Vaughan
11-25-2009, 06:58 AM
I don't think that living several more years near the end of my life when I'll be living on cat food and welcoming shoppers to Wal Mart is a good enough reason to stop.
The thing about this argument is that it misses a critical point. Life is like a boat - they don't get longer at the ends - they get longer in the middle. Your increase in lifespan isn't an extension of additional years of decline. It is an extension of the best and most healthy and productive years of your life. You put off the time when your body and income starts to decline. So a non-smoker gets more years in the peak of health. Smokers get an early decline in health, fitness, and general quality of life, as if they prematurely age. Mostly because they do prematurely age. Of course if you are dead broke and living on cat food, well that is more a problem of financial management than health. Probably because you had to quit work earlier, and you have had such appalling medical costs.

groo
11-25-2009, 07:37 AM
The thing about this argument is that it misses a critical point. Life is like a boat - they don't get longer at the ends - they get longer in the middle. Your increase in lifespan isn't an extension of additional years of decline. It is an extension of the best and most healthy and productive years of your life. You put off the time when your body and income starts to decline. So a non-smoker gets more years in the peak of health. Smokers get an early decline in health, fitness, and general quality of life, as if they prematurely age. Mostly because they do prematurely age. Of course if you are dead broke and living on cat food, well that is more a problem of financial management than health. Probably because you had to quit work earlier, and you have had such appalling medical costs.
I was being a little flippant, but in my case, I needed to come up with a list of reasons that I could feel with a sense of urgency, because they were what I'd have to think about a couple of dozen times a day when deciding not to smoke that one cigarette. For anything with benefits more than six months away, I couldn't feel the sense of urgency. Whether they were a few more years in my "still healthy-ish" state or during my decline, they were still too far in the future. So I came up with a list of all of the shorter-term benefits, and mentally read through that list whenever I was having a strong craving. Seriously, for me it was easier to focus on not feeling like a second class citizen, because I could experience that benefit immediately.

Sandwich
11-25-2009, 08:00 AM
Can you imagine a lawyer for a plaintiff in, say, a sexual-orientation discrimination suit saying the equivalent? "I don't think anybody ought to be having homosexual sex, but..." It would be all over the newspapers, just like when the justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry a mixed-race couple. And there would be even more of an outcry if a lawyer said the equivalent about religion. It's socially acceptable to be anti-smoker, in a way that it's not to be anti-gay or anti-(fill in religion here).

Yes, you are correct. It is socially acceptable to be anti-smoking. That is how unacceptable smoking is.

Do you have a problem with that?

Jackmannii
11-25-2009, 08:38 AM
...smoking...allows all non-smokers to treat you like a second-class citizen.Not to single out this comment to the exclusion of some valid points in your post, but anyone who came of age before the big turnaround in attitudes towards public smoking would have to laugh at this.

It'll take quite awhile before the "injustice" you cite comes anywhere close to the second-class status of nonsmokers whose right to decent indoor air quality was subordinate to the demands of smokers for so many years.I don't think that living several more years near the end of my life when I'll be living on cat food and welcoming shoppers to Wal Mart is a good enough reason to stop.Not hauling around an oxygen tank or wasting away on a ventilator is some incentive.Quitting also opens up a larger segment of the population who are willing to have sex with you.Observations like this need to be emphasized more.

Francis Vaughan
11-25-2009, 08:40 AM
Can you imagine a lawyer for a plaintiff in, say, a sexual-orientation discrimination suit saying the equivalent? "I don't think anybody ought to be having homosexual sex, but..."

Curiously I can imagine just that. That seemed to be pretty much the "People versus Larry Flint" line. Laywer basically saying that his client was a repulsive slimball, but that there was no law against, and indeed constitutional protection for, his particular version of slime. Lawyers do and say what they think will win the case. That is what they are paid to do. If someone was representing a client in a gay rights case in a right wing backwoods, this might actually be the best tactic.

On the other hand, such behavior does indeed make headlines. Especially if the lawyer wins the case.

Bryan Ekers
11-25-2009, 01:12 PM
The big ones are that smoking exacerbates other health problems and allows all non-smokers to treat you like a second-class citizen. Smokers are one of the few groups that everyone can dump on, socially, financially and legally. Now they've gone outside of buildings and are writing legislation prohibiting smoking outside in some public spaces. Some companies are testing job applicants for nicotine, and denying them employment because of the higher cost of health insurance. And they're not going to stop.

You wanna know something else about smokers? Their tears smell like ashtrays, so I have little patience for their crying, too.

gonzomax
11-25-2009, 01:23 PM
When I stop at a bar, my wife bitches about the smoke in my clothes . I have to change and wash them separately. Smoking reeks.
Lung cancer and emphysema are horrible and expensive ways to die. My dad died of lung cancer, my mother emphysema. Both took time and they suffered a very diminished life style ,for years. Being hooked up to a oxy tank slows your life down. loosing half a lung is a terrible thing to go through. I would not want anybody to go through that just to suck on the end of a burning weed.

billfish678
11-25-2009, 01:36 PM
.

Quitting also opens up a larger segment of the population who are willing to have sex with you.

.

You havent been getting those "people of Walmart" photos that are making the internet rounds these days have you ? :)

Toxylon
11-28-2009, 08:58 AM
I can always tell if a woman over 35 smokes. They tend to look as if they've lived hard lives out on the frontier somewhere.

Ironically, frontier women and subsistance farmer folks everywhere spent much of their time in very smoky surroundings. Similar stress, similar response?

amarinth
11-28-2009, 11:10 AM
I live in a state where smoking is not only not allowed inside of buildings, but also not within 25 feet of an entrances to buildings.

And our weather sucks.

I see smokers, outside, in the middle of parking lots in the rain. (My last office rigged up a little plastic tarp without sides for them to huddle under.) They never look happy. It simply doesn't seem to be a pleasant way to spend 5 minutes.

Rick
11-28-2009, 01:37 PM
Quitting also opens up a larger segment of the population who are willing to have sex with you.
I'm not a smoker. Never have, never will, but this right here would be way more than enough reason for me to quit.