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Just some ranting about my friend's smoking problem.


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A close friend I had in high school who probably was the person in my life outside of family that I spent the most time with, started smoking after school ended. She has kept up her bad habit ever since, although there have been times she's put it on hold. Today I'm not in contact with her as much so I dunno if she still smokes. I am not sure I want to know, either.


There is cancer in my family and to know my old friend has smoked so long is just a huge disconnect, like what is going on here and why is my family history nothing to her. I liked her voice very much - but it has grown noticeably different due to smoking. I guess she never knew how I felt about her voice and she never wanted to know - it hurts, I never had a voice like hers growing up and to see her toss some of it aside... I meant very little to her in some ways. Just strange, strange, strange.

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  • Admin

I can understand your frustration and the need to vent.  We never want to see friends or family do things that are self destructive.  If you think there's a chance she might be receptive, you can mention services or products that could break her of the habit.  But most of the time people with smoking or other bad habits need to find the wherewithal from within themselves.  They've heard all the "good reasons" before, and will likely dismiss them.


Quitting smoking and other addictions takes great strength.  You can't give that to her; she has to find it.  But I admire your friendship and understand your pain.


"Reasons to Quit" is a Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson song that fits this topic very well, and might help understand the issue from the smoker's viewpoint:





Carolyn Marie

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Smoking is listed as the secondary cause of death for my youngest brother who died two years ago.  The third reason was COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). He had a congenital heart problem which had been known for 10 years (primary cause of death)  at the time he died and he had somewhere gotten the idea that his smoking would not affect the condition.  About 6 years ago I had been in a truck with him coming back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas, Nevada, a distance of 270 miles that takes 3 hours and he had a lighted cigarette in his mouth the whole time.  Two packs in the three + hours. He was 12 years younger than I am, but was often mistaken for my much OLDER relative. 

I fully understand your frustration, but for some obtuse reason they do not see the terrible effects it really has.  Two years later while the probate estate continues, I have things from my brother that still STINK to high heaven from the smoke, his apartment walls at the time he died were a dirty brown color which at one time had been a peach color.  He lived in a small apartment when he owned two much better homes in Las Vegas which a sister had given him when she committed suicide, and cut me out of her will, 8 years before.  I am now a joint owner with another brother she cut out of her will also.  I have severe asthma problems at 74 and find my memories are not the pleasant ones I should have.  You have my total sympathies for your friend, but in reality, you may just have to remember the good, and move on. In addiction recovery, we do learn that we need to handle life that way.

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I smoked for 30 years, usually 1/2 pack a day and it took me many years and many attempts to stop. It really is as addictive as they say. 

I needed a good reason, so when I read about the CV risks with being over 40 and HRT, I quit. I wanted transition more than anything in the world.

Besides, it seemed self-defeating to go through the time, money and work to doll myself up and then poison myself.

All addiction is a medical problem, not a moral one. It is not so much a matter of willpower. In my case, it is comparable to divine intervention.

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Thanks for sharing, everyone and especially Vicky... My many condolences for your brother and yes, ceiling stains and ugly smelling clothes were a fact with my father.


My friend has a Youtube channel and that's where I first heard the difference in her voice from then to now. Luckily or unluckily, I saw a photo of her smoking before this so I was able to prepare myself and I wasn't shocked when she said online that smoking was her life for several years. She had a lilt to her voice which is now only heard when she's laughing. Her voice was treble and now is oddly somewhat deeper. Such a pretty part of her life that is now a lot harder to access. She is such a complicated girl but really stubborn and I do hope for her health. I think she began smoking because a mutual friend started, again in high school. BACK THEN, we could gossip about it and tell each other how little our mutual friend made sense. I don't know of her parents having smoked but maybe. Her parents never divorced and she has a little sister. For that matter I don't believe her home life was toxic.

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  • Forum Moderator

I was  addicted to nicotine.  I still snuck cigarettes after open heart surgery.  My heart issues were in part caused by years of smoking.  When i was young the health hazards were unknown and it was easy to fall into the trap.  Fortunately that need is no longer part of my day but i know that if i smoked just one i'd be back at a pack a day.  Nicotine is highly addictive.

I hope your friend gets free!





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  • 8 months later...

This is my first time venturing into this topic and I must say that I'm really impressed and inspired with all of you that have battled your addictions.


My brother died of esophageal cancer last year.  Almost 40 years of chewing tobacco and smoking pot will do that to a person.  My best friend has hypertension and COPD.  Beer and cigarettes are his favorites.  He's been trying to quit drinking for years and I did years of research online of how to help him.


I helped a partner of mine get off alcohol about 10 years ago.  She moved in with me and I wasn't drinking.  And I didn't give her any pressure to not drink.  She gave it up pretty quickly.  I think I just gave her the right environment for cleaning up.


I do consider myself an addict, but I'm not sure how true that really is.  My dad put me through a treatment program for smoking weed when I was 16.  I took it seriously and made some of that psychology a basis in my life.  I do have my drinking and drug use under control, but I'm not sure that all the effort I put into getting this kind of control was worth it (as opposed to being 100% clean and sober).  To give you an idea of this control, I've spent about $400 on alcohol in the last 8 years.  And the only thing I've smoked in the last 7 years was one bowl of pot.  I haven't been drunk since the 90's.  I've done hard drugs about 10 times in the last 25 years.  I think I latched onto inventory as a way to not be in denial.


Perhaps I'm just a dry drunk though.  I am antisocial.  My takeaway though is that environment is important for changing behaviors.  And replacing the undesired behavior with something else.  And focusing on being productive.


I loved Stveee's line:



Besides, it seemed self-defeating to go through the time, money and work to doll myself up and then poison myself.



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I quit tobacco many years ago.  It was very hard to do.

In my own experience staying off of it has been fairly easy for me.  I have occasionally tried it for some reason, but when I do it makes me feel so sick that… just nope.

I don't know of anyone else with this experience though.  But surely I'm not the only one.

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