06
May
14

Talking with a Smoker

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There’s something relentlessly unnerving about talking with anyone who (still) smokes, especially when being (a non-smoker) with them (outdoors) while they are smoking. Some might control their need/habit/fix better than others. Some try their best to respect you if the smoke is a (health) problem. But, in my experience, most smokers cannot survive the full extent of an intense, serious chat without that impulse to “light up” crossing their mind and, eventually, forcing their hand. Thus, it makes me continually uncomfortable being in their presence, fearing I will exhaust that short fuse.

Their defense systems have been worn down by addiction to the point that the slightest discomfort triggers a shortness of breath other people associate with general stress. What makes others want to punch someone or pause to take a deep breath (to avoid conflict) is enough for a smoker to go through a full pack. A minor tiff or disagreement…even a compliment, something positive…can tickle that nerve. [Which is how the concept of a cigarette after sex became popular. The emotional, mental and physical stimulation of sex is like a construction vehicle doing an arduous task. The arm moves its load, and the smokestack huffs dark exhaust fumes.] Try if you will to watch your words. But, I can’t fathom the safe route to spend a day with a smoker without them lighting up more often than they take a break to use a bathroom/restroom.

And, if any who read this just happen to be smokers (or drinkers) and get the impulse to light up, I cannot apologize enough to change your minds. It’s up to you and your support systems (if you have one) to control/stop yourselves.

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