Saturday, August 23, 2008

Obnoxious Ex-smokers

Out of 7 siblings, 6 of us smoked. My brother was the first to quit because he was having surgery and was told that he would not heal very well if he continued to smoke, so he quit on the way to the hospital. After his surgery, he nagging the rest of us and was just obnoxious with his holier-than-thou attitude towards those of us who continued to smoke. Years later after I quit, he confessed that he developed that attitude on purpose to keep him quit. He knew that if he ever picked up another cigarette, the other 5 of us would just rag on him to no end. So if an ex-smoker is giving you a hard time, it might just be a defense mechanism.
Most individuals are allergic to smoke and after they quit can develop symptoms when around smoke such as runny and watery eyes, upset stomach, and headache. Secondhand or environmental smoke does affect others, especially children since they systems are still developing. So an ex-smoker may be allergic where they didn't have symptoms when they smoke, as if they were immune before.
For other ex-smokers, they might have been the in-you-face- kind of smoker like Morton Downey Jr. who would call individuals like me "health Nazi's", that is until he developed cancer and quit smoking himself. He had what I call an "Ah -Ha" moment, where a smoker finally gets that it's not about his right to smoke, it's a health issue. They say we spend our youth creating our wealth, then as we age, we spend our wealth trying to regain our youth. Smoking robs a person of their youth, causing wrinkles and damaged skin and will kill 50% of long term smokers and disable a large percentage that it doesn't kill. So the next time an obnoxious ex-smoker gets in your face, just realize that they have finally "got" it--it's about health and longevity and they care for you enough to want to to stop to be around for a long time.

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