Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do You Really Need to Quit Smoking Now?

Why I started this blog?

Why I decided to start the blog, devoted to the topic, which I do not personally support... as of today? Yes, I am a long-time cigarette smoker, I never have tried quit smoking, I never even thought about quitting smoking. Both me and my wife smoke, while my parents and my kids do not. Most of my friends smoke, but the amount of quitters is growing up. We almost do not have smokers in the office, and I do not smoke during business hours not to offend those who do not tolerate cigarette smoke hints in coworkers. I do not have any health problems, and I really like the process of cigarette smoke coming out in nice circles.

So, why being so comfortable with my personal bad habit (I have no doubts that this is bad for my health), I am starting the blog about quitting smoking? May be because, I am think about think of stopping smoking? May be, the development of this topic will cause me to pass the line and become a strong ant-smoker? Or, may be, I will decide that this "bad habit" is essential part of my personality, and I need it? I do not have answers for any of these questions yet. May be, I am not going to find an answer even after couple of hundreds of the articles? May be, it will help you, who is reading this blog, to get better understanding of yourself?

At this ground starting point, all directions are open. But, the basis of this investigation is the idea, which the tobacco smoking phenomena is not as simple to understand as it sounds. The history of smoking is so long that this cultural habit became a part of the human civilization.

Humans first came into contact with tobacco plants about 18,000 years ago when migrant Asiatic people first crossed the Bering Strait and spread across the continents known today as the Americas, where tobacco is native. The 18,000-year-old evolution of humans' relationship with tobacco has seen wide dissemination both of the plant's cultivation and of the practice of smoking, a kind of physiological stimulation long sought-after, but only relatively recently reviled - and only very recently understood at a chemical level.

In fact, aside from its social aspect, tobacco has been celebrated for its medicinal and ritualistic characteristics throughout most of its history. Even to the present day, smoking, particularly that of the ubiquitous cigarette, remains pervasive in many cultures, so commonplace as to appear a natural act” instead of, say, a bad habit. But landmark scientific research begun in the 1940s detected a possible correlation between the rise in cigarette smoking and the rise in cases of lung cancer. Their conclusions would have a profound impact on the culture and politics of tobacco manufacture and advertising and while some of the smoking public has heeded their warnings, others have been more reluctant. Lung cancer may be a troubling reality, but what of that "perfect type of perfect pleasure", as Oscar Wilde put it?

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Ernest Dichter, performing psychological assessment of many smokers in 1947, noted that smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is a physiological satisfaction. As one of the survey respondents explained: "It is not the taste that counts. It's that sense of satisfaction you get from a cigarette that you can't get from anything else."

So, let's start our journey to the World of Smoking and to the way of getting out from this world open-minded and ready to respect ideas that might not align with our personal beliefs. 

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