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Getting People to Stop Telling You to Quit Smoking

No Smoking

Smoking is legal but not in certain places.

Smoking is legal but not in certain places.

I am a Smoker!

I am a smoker, I smoke around 20-30 cigarettes every day and I have done so for many years now.

I know about all of the health issues associated with smoking, I know it is bad for me and I know about the dangers of passive smoking and the dangers that it may pose to others but I go outside when I light up a cigarette to avoid other people and to keep the smell of burning tobacco out of the house.

I am an addict, addicted to smoking but I am a happy smoker and at this point in my life I have no intention of stopping, no matter who tries to persuade me otherwise.

The Right to Smoke

Smoking is not illegal, cigarettes and tobacco are readily available in many shops and I am free to buy them with no fear of incrimination, I have the freedom of choice and to put it quite simply I choose to smoke.

I may not be allowed to smoke in public buildings, or in some outdoor public areas but other than those places I have the right to light up anywhere that I choose too.

I believe that I am a respectful smoker, I never smoke in a crowd, I don't smoke in front of my children and I would certainly never smoke in someone elses home.

I like to Smoke

I like to make my own cigarettes, not only is it a cheaper alternative but there is something theraputic about it.

I like to make my own cigarettes, not only is it a cheaper alternative but there is something theraputic about it.

Smoking Kills

I do know smoking is bad for my health but at the moment I am in a happy place with it.

I do know smoking is bad for my health but at the moment I am in a happy place with it.

I Smoke, Why do You Hate Me?

As a smoker I am often approached by strangers in the street who feel that it is their job to lecture me on the dangers of smoking and passive smoking.

These people seem to have nothing better to do with their time than go around telling other people how they should live their lives and are always holier than thou.

They always say one of four things.

"I am breathing in your smoke, you are putting my health at risk"

"You do know that smoking is bad for your health"

"Do you ever think of the money you would save if you didn't smoke?"

"You smell of smoke, your breath, your hair and your clothes all smell of smoke"

If I had a penny for every time I have heard any of those comments from strangers in the street, I would have enough money to keep me in cigarettes for the rest of my life.

Over the years I have learned how to respond to these well wishing do gooders and their comments and they don't stick around long enough to lecture me anymore.

"I am breathing in your smoke, you are putting my health at risk"

There are a few ways to answer to this accusation but my favorite answers are.

"Sir/madam you approached me and that is the only reason you are breathing in my smoke"

"Sir/madam we are standing here beside a busy road, the exhaust fumes from all of these cars are doing more damage to your lungs than my tiny bit of smoke from a cigarette could ever do"

"You do know that smoking is bad for your health"

"Yes sir/madam I do know the dangers of smoking but I choose to smoke despite the dangers"

"Yes I do sir/madam, do you know that shooting yourself in the head is bad for your health?"

"Oh My Goodness sir/madam is it really bad for my health? thank you for the warning"

"Do you ever think of the money you would save if you didn't smoke?"

"I often think about how much money I could save if I didn't smoke, I also wonder how much I could save if I didn't eat or drink either"

"Oh no! Ive spent all of my money on cigarettes, can you lend me some"

"Yes, I worked out that if I didn't smoke I could afford to buy heroin or other hard drugs and inject myself every day"

"You smell of smoke, your breath, your hair and your clothes all smell of smoke"

"Really I can't say that I ever noticed that before"

"Why do you worry about how I smell sir/madam, I am a happily married man and I have no intention of ever getting that close to you"

" Oh No! I spent all that money on deodarant and breath mints are you are telling me they don't work?"

Of course if all of these retorts fail to get rid of your lecturer a simple Fu** off usually does the trick.

Passive Smoking Kills Too

Avoid smoking in the company of non smokers.

Avoid smoking in the company of non smokers.

The Dangers of Smoking

Do you smoke?

I am a Smoker Let Me Be

I am a smoker and I am in a happy place with my habit, I do not encourage anyone to take up the habit and I certainly do not work for a tobacco company.

I smoke because I choose to smoke and all I want is to be allowed to smoke in privacy and in peace without the goody two shoes interupting my pleasure zone; after all I don't walk up to overweight people and tell them to stop eating

Smoking is detrimental to your health and your wealth and I would encourage anyone not to start smoking in the first place it isn't cool even if all of your friends are doing it.

To those who are trying to stop smoking I wish you luck and success.

Questions & Answers

Question: My father nags at me to quit smoking. My smoking keeps me sane and calm. How do I nicely tell him to stop trying to force me to quit?

Answer: Everyone who smokes gets nagged about it from someone close and even from strangers. Politely inform them that it is your personal choice to smoke and if you stop enjoying it or want to quit, you will. Also, tell them that if you did stop they may not like the person that you become because as you say, the smoking keeps you sane and calm.


Ashley Bollman on December 27, 2019:

It really bothers me when people nag me about my smoking. If someone has given it up after 40 years good for them! I’m not going to listen to them saying it over and over again because they think they are encouraging me to follow in their footsteps and give up smoking but it actually makes me want to smoke more each time they bring it up.....like good for you quitting smoking after 40 years would you like a trophy or something?

AllanM on June 15, 2016:

So well said, on this article! Sadly, Chicago's mayor(Rahm Emanuel) is trying to wage one of those stupid wars against smokers, and even throwing e-cig users under the bus as well. :( In early 2016 himself and Chicago's city council passed a stupid smokeless tobacco ban at ballparks, raised the tobacco age to 21, and passed a minimum tobacco pricing law that even included cigars in those rules, plus as a further insult increases all prices each year based on inflation! E-cigs to my surprise weren't included, after I examined the fine print of that legislation. One downtown cigar shop just sued, over those new rules. And this is on top of other pathetic moves as well, including banning smoking in parks(largely unforced btw, though I still remain respectful of non-smokers and ensure my smoke doesn't hit others while in a park), and doing a lame anti-tobacco billboard campaign that even includes anti e-cig messages!

Seriously, I'll end this by saying as an infrequent smoker, people should live and let live. It also would've helped those fighting against bans, if smokers, e-cig users, and pot users had banded together to fight against further indoor and outdoor bans, instead of smearing the other side(particularly e-cig and pot smokers smearing cigarette smokers). And I agree with the person who said above that whenever I totally quit one day, I won't negatively judge those who continue to smoke or vape.

Jasmine P from New Jersey on July 21, 2015:

Us smokers certainly know of the consequences that come with our habit, I've never understood people feeling it necessary to inform us. In this day in age you'd have to have grown up under a rock not to have known from the jump. Of course smoking is no good, but heck, we are smoking while having loving family and friends wishing we didn't (although a lot of my family/friends couldn't care less and respect my decisions.) and despite the people we love desiring for us to quit, what would make a stranger nagging us on our smoke break a better candidate to finally persuade us to quit?

Don't get me wrong. Smoking is bad. But I had been addicted to meth for a good amount of time, and when people nag me about quitting I'm sure to tell them of this. "Dude, I've been clean off of meth for only two months, meth would have killed me a lot quicker. Now let me smoke in peace!" Usually does the trick for me. ;)

Sondra Rochelle from USA on August 15, 2014:

Ahh Jimmy: I am a former smoker who is blissfully happy that I gave it up over 30 years ago simply because it was making me physically ill and breaking my bank. If you are happy with your addiction, so be it...but I have a real problem understanding why anybody these days would continue to smoke when they know all the problems it causes. Usually a little dose of cancer, heart disease or COPD wakes people up...but of course, by then, it's too late. Nonetheless, most people miraculously are able to stop when that happens.

Micheal from United Kingdom on March 17, 2013:

Hello Jimmy,

Do you remember the sketch of Morecambe and Wise.

Two old guys sitting watching the sun go down on the porch of an old folks home, wrapped in blankets and sitting in wheel chairs.

Feeling sorry for themselves that they lived so long.

Eric turns to Ernie and says.

'Wish I had carried on smoking'

Ernie nods.

It is a classic.

Great hub Mr Paterson.

TheBadJuJu from USA on December 31, 2012:

Nice hub!

I'm a happy smoker and actually went to rolling and growing my own tobacco. There's no chemicals in my smokes. I do it this way because if you are going to have a bad habit, you might as well make it as healthy as you possibly can. :)

As far as the busy bodies go... I always tell them that everyone has a nasty habit. They either smoke, are fat or "pick it and eat it." Then I just smile and ask them which habit is theirs. Everyone I have said that to immediately walks away so it works for me.

Wendy Golden from New York on November 10, 2012:

It's amazing how many busy bodies feel it is their personal duty to tell everyone how to live their lives. I'm trying to quit, mostly because spending money on it aggravates me.

Here in NYC we currently have a mayor who's waged a war on smokers and fat people. He's eliminated smoking just about everywhere and he's managed to get restaurants to stop selling super sized sodas. He's an annoyance to the public and micromanages when he should be working on bigger issues like affordable housing and jobs. Great hub about pointing out the rudeness of people. We're all going to die one day, even the nonsmokers. LOL.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 02, 2012:

Amen!! Well said Jimmy!!

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on August 22, 2012:

Thanks Chuckd, for your visit and comment, smokers unite lol.....jimmy

Charles Dawson from Bartow, FL on August 20, 2012:

I am 41 years old, and I have been smoking for 24 of those years. I have tried quitting so many times in so many ways that the thought of those attempts makes my head spin. I've tried cold turkey, patch, lozenge, gum, smokeless tobacco and various combinations thereof. In the end, I pick up the cigarette and light up. It just seems that I'm not ready yet, and yes, I have those that lecture me all the time. So, I will add your suggested arguments to my list of retorts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights on this subject. This hub was very well written and extremely easy to read. Great job!

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on August 18, 2012:

Hi Drax, great to see an old friend. thanks for your visit and comment lol never has a saying been so true, Mark Twain certainly knew what he was talking about.....jimmy

des donnelly from Co Tyrone.... on August 18, 2012:

great Hub Jimmy... I always think of Mark Twain who said "It's easy to quit smoking I've done it hundreds of times" :-)

Bev G from Wales, UK on August 18, 2012:

Well done, Jimmy. I am an ex-smoker but I have never nagged anyone to give up. I have noticed there is a difference between happy smokers and guilty smokers - happies are healthier and guilties are often ill. My mother and step-dad are prime examples. Me... well, I breathe in illicit smoke at every opportunity :-)

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on August 18, 2012:

Thanks for your comments everyone, it's great to know that there are people out there who agree that smokers should have the right to smoke if they want to without being approached by people who are holier than thou.

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on August 17, 2012:


So it wasn't just me that these people have been annoying? Interesting.

My most favorite come-back line I ever delivered (and I only did it once because it was pretty harsh and I was in a mood) but I had a woman walk over to me and tell me I was killing her with my smoke...

I said that she has confused me with somebody who gave a sh*t about her health and as far as I was concerned she could drop dead in front of me where she stood and I would celebrate by stubbing my cig out in her dead ear. (yes...as I said...I was in a mood that day).

Well...the conversation didn't go much further than that...really? What could she say.

Enjoy your day good sir.


Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on August 17, 2012:

Jimmy - You've dared to put into words for the world to see, what other 'happy smokers' dream of screaming at the top of their voices.

Those around you - friends and family are, in their own way offering support should you need it in what they feel is a dilemma for you. They have your best interests at heart - but they don't always 'get it' when you tell them you're a happy smoker. It's frustrating, but don't be mad at them - they love you, with or without the smokes.

Cool hub and very useful. Thanks for sharing.

Lightshare on August 16, 2012:

Great! great Jimmy, U did a social service. U r a real hero!! -) Thank you very much..

ngureco on August 16, 2012:

Cough! Cough! I can smell your cigarettes’ smoke through the internet.

Twenty years ago, smoking was fashionable. Today, smoking is not fashionable.

Jimmy, you shouldn’t blame them 100% because they themselves believe they are sincerely trying to help you out of a big problem. They want you to live for 101 years instead of 100 years.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on August 15, 2012:

I've always loved an individualist! I truly love 'Devil May Care' in a person , with all my heart. Oh and how refreshing to have a Hubber rock the sanctimonious boat.

John Harper from Malaga, Spain on August 15, 2012:

I am a happy smoker, stopped once for 13 years and then just wanted one again so started again.

Marks right, you can only stop when you want to, but when you do, then it's not that difficult, takes me about 9 days to get clear from the addiction, but normally about a month later I just want a smoke again.....

sportsfather on August 15, 2012:

You said it Mark. You have to WANT to quit in order to quit. My dad has smoked 3-4 packs a day my entire life (all 31 years of it). He's "tried" to quit in the past, but it wasn't because he wanted to. One time my mom and he got in a fight about it. He tried, he started smoking again after a couple of weeks. He tried to quit when my siblings and I started having grandchildren and our spouses were very concerned about the fact that he chain smoked in the house (the place smelled like an ashtray). He started smoking again but to his credit, he started smoking outside whenever the kids were there and the rest of the time made every effort to smoke outside so the house didn't smell as bad. My dad knows he should stop smoking, but at the end of the day he really doesn't want to. That is his choice and he's done a good job of not subjecting everyone else in the family to it

Margaret Perrottet from San Antonio, FL on August 15, 2012:

I love your article. I quit smoking 15 years ago, but I vowed that as an ex-smoker I would never be as rude as many people were to me when I smoked, and I have lived up to my promise. It's a personal choice, and nobody's business if you smoke or not, unless you're affecting them somehow. I just can't stand the self righteousness attitude that people have about this subject (or many other subjects for that matter). People need to mind their own business.

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on August 15, 2012:

I always assume that smokers know the downside . . . or don't care. I think it is very rude of strangers to make those comments.

I appreciate smokers, like you, who try to be considerate of others. We had very few smokers in our extended families. I miss them.

Mark Knowles on August 15, 2012:

I would tell them to fuck off and mind their own business lol.

I quit 3 years ago after 36 years of heavy smoking. Got to say - I feel a whole lot better. I used to tell myself I chose to smoke, but - after watching one of my neighbors die slowly from emphysema over a period of 3 years and eventually succumb to lung cancer - I decided I was kidding myself.

I am not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of having to drag an oxygen bottle around with me for the last few years of my life.

Either way - there is only one way to quit smoking and that is to WANT TO QUIT. No amount of nagging will help. You have to decide to do it for yourself (or your kids maybe).

One of the worst years of my life was the first year of quitting. lol

Russ Moran - The Write Stuff from Long Island, New York on August 15, 2012:

Very good Hub and one that took no small amount of courage to write. Smoking seems to engender in non-smokers an irresistible urge to pontificate. Just think Jimmy, you can light your cigarettes from all the flaming you're going to get! Pardon me, but I'm now going to take a cigarette break.

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on August 15, 2012:

Printed this out. Folded it up. Put it in my pocket. Next time I hear one of those rude comments, I'll have a snappy answer at my fingertips. Thanks, Jimmy!

spryte from Arizona, USA on August 15, 2012:

I usually tell them that I can only quit one bad habit at a time and overcoming my crack habit is taking a bit longer than anticipated. :)

Jeff Gamble from Denton, Texas on August 15, 2012:

Power to the people Jimmy! Great hub! (happy smoker)

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