Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just Like Smoking Kills, Enabling Kills

A nicotine addiction is a terrible thing. Not being a smoker, I can only imagine just how hard it must be for someone to quit smoking. Think about it.

First of all, a smoker would have to acknowledge being "played" by the tobacco industry, their "friends" or their family members when they were tricked into smoking while in their teens or preteens, before their minds were fully developed, and before they were legally capable of making rational decisions. No one wants to admit to being played the fool.

Then, smokers would have to acknowledge that they are true addicts, similar to alcoholics or those hooked on illicit drugs. Of course, it's almost impossible for smokers to consider themselves addicts because they don't view smoking as causing a problem in their life.. YET. Remember, most smokers tell themselves that "I can quit anytime".

Finally, after acknowledging their mistake and admitting it's a problem, comes the hard part - actually quitting. Years of smoking have caused both a chemical and a psychological dependence. We've all read about how nicotine is as addictive, or more addictive, than heroin or cocaine. Any smoker that has gone a full day without smoking must know what's in store for them, and has to be fearful of the eventual withdrawal symptoms.

As such, there are numerous nicotine addicts who don't want to quit and refuse go through these difficult processes. I call them militant smokers. These militant smokers have resolved themselves to their eventual fate and have become slaves to their addiction because it's easier to continue then it is to change. They refuse to change until it's too late.

So, it goes without saying that militant smokers will use any means necessary to prevent someone from coming between them and their fix.

We've all heard the frequent irrational arguments from these smokers, and those who profit from their continued addiction, about their "rights" or how other habits are just as harmful. It's all bullshit, but militant smokers will try their best to convince the gullible just how bad their constitutional rights are being violated by interfering with their "freedom" to smoke.

If you look close enough, you will see that militant smokers have learned to become master manipulators, and nothing anyone says or nothing anyone does will convince them to quit. But, that doesn't mean you have to become part of their addiction.

As a compassionate human being and a caring healthcare professional, I'm totally against smoking and the harm it causes. Personally, I have nothing against these militant smokers. Most of them became addicts when they were children, before they were really able to make rational decisions, or realize that they were being exploited. I just don't like it when their addictive behavior affects my life, and I refuse to enable them.

One of the worst things someone can do is to become an enabler and assist in a nicotine addict's self-destructive behavior. Addicts love foolish enablers and will manipulate them to their fullest extent, and usually without remorse. Enabling only makes things worse for the smoker and eventually takes it's toll on the enabler too.

Just something to keep in mind if you live with a smoker.

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