A few thoughts on cigarettes (SF day 16)

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Catharsis through writing! It’s smokefree day 16, and here are my thoughts:

When you quit smoking, what you really miss are not the actual cigarettes, it’s rather certain moments. Sitting in bars with people smoking left and right is not the problem, at least not after a week or so. No, what you really miss are those moments when you’re not allowed to smoke anyway but looking so forward to being able to. The moments in seminars, when you know that in about 30 minutes you’ll be stepping out of the building, enjoying not lungfulls of fresh air but rather the scratchy sensation of smoke moving through your body. Or when you’re at work, knowing that it’s only another 15 minutes until you’ll be having that well-deserved cigarette break.

The thing is, there is no sensation similar to the one of getting your throat scratched by smoke and having your head put into a spin by a little dose of an extremely potent nerve toxin.

So this is the actual problem when you quit smoking: suddenly you are bereft of those little moments of joy, the ones you keep looking forward to when you’re stuck in the subway, a seminar or work. Eating will only alleviate that craving for the first few days, until you realize that swallowing just doesn’t cut it. It’s simply the wrong tube you’re using.

And here we are again

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Ever since I started to neglect my SmokeFree Category on here, I’ve had the feeling I should pick up writing for it again. Well, Ladies and Gentleman, this is the day I’ve been waiting for: Smoke-free, once again. After the last try, which lasted a mere 7 months, my girlfriend and I have decided to say Auf Wiedersehen to blue fog forever (or until they’ve created cigarettes that are dirt-cheap and healthy, but still scratch my throat in that wonderful way I oh so love. Shit, sorry).

No more money spent on things that will go up in smoke. No more smelly clothes, no more being irritated by non-smokers’ disapproving glances and fists (Ok, I’ve never actually been physically attacked, but hey, it could have happened). Which reminds me of that episode from a few days ago, when our lengthy journey from one end of Austria to the other forced us to sit inside a smoke-free train for the better part of a day. Only possibilities to smoke were two stops where the train had about 4 minutes of stay. So when I and a few other desperate smokers made our way outside, I heard a woman exclaiming something to the effect of: “Why make the trains smoke-free, when all it does is make the smokers smoke outside?”

I would have loved to grace that stupid remark with an adequate answer like, say, shoving my pack of cigarettes down her mouth. But I only had four minutes to enjoy my smoke, so I was in haste.

Oh well, from now on, I’ll be the one bitching.

As some sort of farewell present to my smoking days, here’s a bunch of cigarette-images I took over the years:

And again

Berries and cigarettes

Another coffee
Ah, I’m going to miss that combo.

And finally, the most-viewed image in my Flickr stream:
Having a Smoke
I wonder why.

Smoking criminals

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I know, I’m not smoking anymore, so I shouldn’t really be defending the smoking folk’s case. But hell, what can you do when you read an interview like this? Since the whole thing’s in German, here’s an attempt at a translation of the most saucy bit:

Q: Some smokers are said to be quite fanatic. In the most recent edition of your “Nonsmoker’s Newspaper”, a letter to the editor calls smokers “moral degenerates” and “anti-socials”. Do you share this opinion?

A: Smokers generally are inconsiderate people, but I wouldn’t exactly call them “moral degenerates”. Unfortunately, smokers are much more aggressive and notorious, the proportion of criminals is higher among smokers than among non-smokers.

(emphasis mine)

The man who has such an insight into the intricacies of cause and effect goes by the name of Robert Rockenbauer and, apart from being the head of the Austrian Association for the Protection of Nonsmokers, operates a Christian bookshop.

I rest my case.