weird reasons for smoking

Strange Reasons for Smoking

Every Smoker is unique.

Reasons for Smoking

Everyone smokes for a reason. Many don't know the reason. Many people have never thought about it. And some have weird reasons for smoking.

The Angry Smoker

Every smoker is different. One of my clients recently came back for another session after having been stopped for several months from the first session. She told me that she started again after having a bust up with her partner. Her partner hated it when she used to smoke, so she started again, just to get back at him.

Only now she can't stop smoking, because stopping would mean that he had in some way won. And she didn't like the idea of him winning, but didn't want to smoke either. So here she was, back for another session.

Go figure.

Strange Reasons for Smoking: He made me do it

Another smoking client gave me yet another bizarre reason for smoking.

I asked her "Have you ever been hypnotized before?" She said, "Yes, about twenty years ago." I asked "what for?" "Smoking", she replied. I asked her "Did you get hypnotized? Did it work?" She said "I didn't like the hypnotist. He was arrogant and didn't listen to me". "I felt he was unprofessional and abrupt. He annoyed me".

She stopped smoking for a day, and then started again, just to prove he was no good.

Strange Reasons for Smoking: Smoking to stop someone else smoking.

This guy told me that he started smoking as a sort of reverse psychology. He wanted to get his girlfriend to stop smoking. So he started smoking himself to put pressure on her to stop. He ended up spending seven years trying to give it up himself.

Smoking as self sabotage

This man was smoking thirty a day, wanted to stop smoking and did not understand his own behavior. Smoking was making him ill, he was coughing and felt bad. The cough would even waken him up at night. After the coughing fit had passed he would have another cigarette before going back to sleep. His own  behaviour horrified him,  and had tried everything to stop. He could give up for three or four weeks but then something made him start again.

He started smoking at 17, and had no particular family issues. I could find no original behavioral reasons for smoking. He had absolutely no clues as to why he always kept starting again. It appeared that he often smoked in order to get time to think during the day, but this could not explain why he was smoking at night.

Smoking changes feelings

He said that he felt unsettled when he was a non-smoker, and that he had a feeling of calmness when he started again. And was the clue to why he smoked. He had one feeling when he was a smoker, and a different feeling while he was stopped.

I asked him how well he slept. That led on to an analysis of depression symptoms. He clearly had depression.

In particular he had high expectations that led to sudden flashes of irritation when he didn't reach them. This was the reason why he smoked. He was suffering from Black and White thinking. Every time he gave up, he would go along fine for a while, and then something would trigger a negative feeling. He got frustrated with how things were going, so he would start full on smoking as a way of self sabotage.

Keeping a promise

This client had smoked for over forty years. He really wanted to give up. He hated the smell, and the cost and his health wasn't good. I asked him "On a scale of one to ten, where ten is I would do anything. How much do you want to give up?" He said "Ten."

I asked "On a scale of one to ten, where 10 is no problem. How much do you believe that you can give up today?" He said "One."

"Why the huge difference? Have you ever given up?"

"Yes, I gave up once for a week", he said. "What happened?", I asked.

He said "It was so bad, that I swore to myself, 'I promise I will never try to give up again'. And I have kept that promise. I can't break a promise."

Smoking for company

It is not often you can tell the exact moment that a person became a smoker, but this client knew very well. She was 26 years old, sharing a house with a bunch of guys. They were all wealthy, sure of themselves and formed a solid body of friends. She was just out of college, had no job, no money, a lousy upbringing, felt small and weak and unwanted.

rugby hypnosisOne day she was in the house and all guys were watching rugby and drinking and smoking and having a good time. She was not allowed to be in there with them because she was a girl. So she sat in her room and felt miserable.

Cigarettes are my friends

She wished she was like other people. They all had a friend at their fingertips, a pack of cigarettes they could rely on. They all looked confident when they smoked, looked so relaxed. It looked so attractive, smoking, like they could just chill out. And she had never felt that way.

Someone had left a pack of cigarettes in the room, so she started smoking them, just to have something to do, just to feel less unwanted. She smoked the whole pack, and at some point in that time decided that she was never going to be alone again. She got a job the next week, and started smoking as a way of being part of the crowd.
And every time she stops smoking, that old feeling of being unwanted comes back, so she starts again.

Smoking Sex

This client seemed very uncomfortable when I asked him what he got from smoking. I said to him "it's all right, I've heard it all before." He looked a bit shy, and mumbled something. I said, "I'm sorry I didn't hear that, did you say something about the election?"

He then said, "I get an erection." I said, "are you telling me that when you smoke you get an erection?" "Yes", he said.

We talked about this for a while because, frankly, I found it hard to believe. I had never heard of such a thing. But he told me, "When I was a teenager, I lived on a farm. I was lonely and bored. When there was no one else around, I would steal one of my parents' cigarettes, and go round the back of the wool shed and smoke it. I would also masturbate at the same time. The thrill of secretly smoking, defying my parents, the danger of getting caught, and the sexual pleasure was the most exciting thing in my life."

This client had learned to create a psychological link between sexual pleasure, excitement, and smoking! And now every time he lit up, he got a sexual buzz. No wonder he found it hard to stop smoking.

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