Monday, July 11, 2011

Crazy Americans! Smoking like a Chimney


Oh how I loved smoking!
Really!

If I could smoke just ONE cigarette whenever I would feel blue (as in extremely stressed) and then quit smoking again, I would do it in a heartbeat! Hmmmmm, maybe not.....

I used to smoke... a lot.


I started this nasty habit when I was 16 years old. Yes, the age where you think you are invincible and you can take on the whole world. My friends were smoking and in The Netherlands there was no official law that you couldn’t, besides it wasn’t that hard to get cigarettes. It started with a couple of cigarettes a week. Mostly when we would go to a bar or a club, or after school in the school yard, hanging out with my girlies on our bicycles.

But soon, it got more and more. Life wasn’t easy (as for any teenager) and so when I was studying Agricultural Economics I was up to 1.5 packs of cigarettes a day. Yep, I did not drink but I did smoke A LOT!

That all changed on the first day of chemo. I figured I might as well quit the bad habit (read NASTY addiction to nicotine) while starting a much MUCH more harmful chemical “medicine” that would mess up my whole insides anyway. I thought of it as, “Well better stop with the smoking while they are pumping all this other stuff in my body. I can’t handle both!”

Of course that was just though talk! It isn’t as easy as it seems to quit a 13 year old habit/addiction that easily. Good thing was I had my chemo working for me!


Because of the side effects the Interferon had, smoking was ABSOLUTELY impossible! The first day after we started I could not even smoke half a cigarette without running (as in crawling, I didn’t have the energy) to the bathroom and throw up! Trust me; if you have to throw up every time you light up a smoke, you will STOP SMOKING, FAST!

But now you might be thinking what does all of this have to do with this week’s “Crazy Americans”? Well, actually a lot! Because as a former smoker I always look, see, find people who smoke. It is like a second nature. If I see somebody smoking, anywhere/anytime my sub consciousness automatically registers it!

And I must say living in America was not what I had expected it to be as far as being a smoker goes!

All over the world you used to see those amazing appealing commercials, big signs, in magazines of those though cowboys with a cigarette. Well in the “real America” that I have come to love, there is NO such thing as what those advertisements promise. You are not allowed to smoke in a club/pub/bar. You are not allowed to smoke in a restaurant and your are not allowed to smoke in any public building. And don’t get me wrong, I think this is good/fantastic for us human beings, but it is kinda disappointing as a smoker coming into this country!

Now to get to the root of my “Crazy Americans” post. Why is it that woman and normally I ONLY see WOMEN smoke while driving their cars???

YEP, it is the ladies that I see… everywhere!


Driving too town, driving too another state, driving around just to drive my car. I see ladies, girls (cause yes you can drive a car here at SIXTEEN!!!), older women, girlfriends and grandma’s behind the wheel, smoking like a chimney! What is up with that!? Maybe it is something that women do in the Midwest but I have no idea why? I don’t see them smoking on the street and of course I don’t see them smoking at home cause I don’t know them, but why???

Maybe it is much more fun driving and smoking in the own comfort of your car, or maybe they are not allowed to smoke at home, they sure are not allowed to smoke anywhere else so the car is the best option…? I don’t think so…. Smoking and driving isn’t the safest thing to do….

BUT as a former smoker and relatively new to America (Indiana) seeing women smoke whenever they drive their cars just makes me wonder. Is it something they grew up with or is it something new because society doesn’t allow them (the smoker) anywhere else anymore?

Do you see ladies smoke behind the wheel, or do you see as many guys as girls smoke while driving? Or haven’t your noticed this “smoking trend” at all and is it just me being "crazy"?



46 comments:

Clint said...

Congrats on being a FORMER smoker! I haven't noticed women smoking while driving, but I have seen mostly women talking on their cell phones while driving. It is a national epidemic.

texwisgirl said...

we haven't always outlawed smoking in public places - only in the last 5 or so years has it become more prevalent with whole cities going 'no smoking'. i think folks smoke in their cars now more because of that - they feel that is their personal space so can light up there unlike at work, restaurants, etc. i've never been a smoker (thank goodness!) and am grateful. not only the health issues it causes, but lordy how can anyone afford it!?

Dar said...

I can't answer your ? but agree with texwisgirl in them thinking it's their own personal space...
I have had only one puff on one cig in college and thought I was about to die...so, not a smoker, ever.
Glad you gave up that nasty, stinkin' habit tho...smokers do not realize how offensive it is for us nons to smell it everywhere on them and in their homes. Thanks to God your health is grateful.
BlessYourHeart

Furry Bottoms said...

Poor Marlboro man lost his horsie! :(

I used to smoke a lot too... and once I quit, I realized how much I must have smelled bad. And there are people here at work who smoke... bring in that stink. I don't like it!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I smoked for 10 years - but haven't touched them in the last 8. I still miss it when I'm stressed but I'm very thankful I kicked the habit.

bon bon said...

my parents smoked when i was a kid. i hated the smell so never started myself, but my brother and sister both smoked, so i don't know why i saw things differently. things have gradually changed over 20 years and i hardly know anyone who smokes. i also don't see many people smoking in the car, male or female. i'm in madison, wisconsin though so i probably see/know more pot smokers. ha!

Debbie said...

i just can't imangine why people smoke, really i just can't. i would give anything to have my health.....if i was healthy, i would NEVER knowingly do something to jeopardize that.

i despise the smell!!

i see a lot of people smoking outside buildings & restaurants, i don't notice if people smoke in their cars!!!

Sharon said...

I come from a whole different generation of smokers. Back then it was "cool", it was right in front of your face in ads, commercials (I remember the dancing cigarette pack with lovely real legs), movies. Most everybody smoked, the cool guys carried their extras in their shirt sleeve or over an ear. The elegant ladies with their fancy cigarette holders. It was a whole different era.

I wish tobacco was never discovered!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Leontien, I am a rabid non-smoker... I grew up riding in a car with a smoker, sick as a dog from smelling the smoke. Cured me from ever wanting to light one up for my whole life. Not so for my four other siblings... obviously, it didn't make them sick at their stomachs. Lesson here: Nausea at smoke = non smoker. I see those people with cigarettes lit in their cars and I thank God that I am not in there with them! So, I can never answer the question as to why anyone would smoke anywhere. blessings ~ tanna

Lois Evensen said...

Good for you for quitting! We quit together, cold turkey, on December 31, 1998, and never looked back. We would probably be dead by now if we hadn't quit.

When we are at sea I walk the promenade deck for exercise. On one side of the ship in a special area smoking is permitted. I agree that most of the smokers are women.

Louise said...

I'm the same generation as Sharon, and, yes, it was way different back then. You smoked because it was cool. I quit in 1985, and there are still days, when I am extremely stressed, that I wish I could have one. Then, I look at the cost of a pack of cigarettes today and quickly lose the desire.

Around here, when I see people smoking in cars, it's about evenly divided between women and men. But, I can honestly say that I see fewer people smoking even in cars, these days.

Elizabeth Grimes said...

Congrats on quitting! The "no smoking in public places" rules began less than 10 years ago, and people were SO angry about it. It would affect the business privately owned bars, etc and people said it was an infringement on freedom. I can't believe how much the attitudes have changed in a short amount of time. Now smoking is almost shameful. I personally don't smoke, nor do I mind when others around me do. But people have passionate opinions on both sides in this country!

Melodie said...

People here have always smoked in their cars.I remember as a kid we always arrived in a car full of smoke where ever we went and no one thought twice about it.Today you would practically be stoned if you smoked with the windows up and your kids in the car! Of course now we know better!

About A Mom said...

Hi! I've never been a smoker but know that it is very hard to quit so congrats! I am a new follower from Mon Hop! Please stop by http://aboutamom.com

LindaG said...

Congratulations on quitting, though not the way you would have wanted to, I'm sure.
My parent's smoked, and several of my brothers did. Neither my husband or I smoke, but my middle son does and he has told me how hard it is to quit, so I'm happy for you.

I see equally men and women. More women during the week, because more men usually work during the day.
And I see just as many men as women talking on cell phones when they drive.

Have a great week!

sawn48 said...

I am not a smoker ,but I am married to a man who is a smoker and a habitual cell phone talker. In my opinion, those are two of the worst habits any human can have. When we are out together in a vehicle, it's every fifteen minutes.He lights up another cigarette. I've watched and kept track, so I know that for a fact. The minute his rear hits the truck seat,he lights up. It is such a habit, he doesn't even realize he is doing it.It will be a toss up as to which one kills us first,the cell phone or his smoking.

Julia said...

I'm an X-smoker and I quit cold turkey after smoking heavily. I used some self suggestions that I was harming my asthmatic baby and I also visualized myself rolling dollars ( we had paper dollars back then) and seeing my money go up in smoke.

I realized that if I wasn't smoking I could afford to buy a dishwasher so I wouldn't have to wash dishes by hand while having to hold my baby up so she wouldn't choke on the mucus in her lungs.

I had tried so many times before each time failing and smoking more. It's strange what the power of suggestion and love for a child will do. I never craved another cigarette since then. My daughter is now 43 years old and I never had a cigarette since.

I just thought I'd share my success.

Here in Fredericton N.B. people are not allowed to smoke with a child in the car and not allowed to smoke even in your own car on hospital property.

I love the picture of the cowboy and his horse. JB

rainfield61 said...

I'll be an alien in the groups of smoker.

But I prefer to run away.

They will smoke me.

Dianne said...

Thank you for being my 100th follower!!! I commenced my "Adelaide and Beyond" blog - just to see if how it went and so I'm very happy to have reached 100 followers.
I've so.. enjoyed reading your interesting posts from the other side of the world - Have a lovely week and keep safe. xx

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I am so glad that you do not smoke now... Giving it up was a GOOD thing. I have never been a smoker (thanks be to God)--mainly because smoking killed my Dad in 1969. He smoked for about 50 yrs. and ended up with Emphysema--which ultimately killed him.

I will say though --even after all of the publicity about how bad smoking is, that I DO see lots of people still smoking --especially women (of all ages).

AND---I also hate to see so many teens smoking... What a shame. Don't know how to stop it..

I am thrilled that most of our restaurants in this country do not allow smoking.... HOORAY.

Great post.
Hugs,
Betsy

Buttons said...

Oh this post makes me sad and happy. I am so happy you are now a non smoker even if it was for a terrible reason, it worked I am happy. I am sad as my Dad died of lung cancer and my Brother and Mother have throat cancer all from smoking. My Brother and Mother quit while under going radiation the cancer will not go away it is terminal but they quit. I was so proud of them.
In Ontario you cannot smoke anywhere and you cannot smoke with a child in the car.
I think women smoke in their cars because they can do it, and no one can see them and tell them not to, it is something they can control in their lives. Sad i think.
Sorry if this sounds preachy I guess I hate cigarettes. B

missing moments said...

Very good post! I have never been a smoker but grew up in a household of them! I think folks are smoking in their cars (and maybe more in the midwest) because they feel it is their personal space and can do what they want. I like the fact that many cities are banning smoking. Even in Ireland which was wonderful since then I didn't hesitate going into pubs.

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi leontien, When I was a kid everybodys parents smoked. I never smoked nor wanted to. In California
I don't think people smoke as much . There are so many anti smoking laws.Good for you for stopping!!! Leontien your such a good writer. Your educating alot of people about the pitfalls of smoking.Hugs Cheri

Farmchick said...

I agree that people smoke in their cars because they can't anywhere else anymore. Glad to hear you quit. My parents were heavy smokers when I was growing up and I never took up the habit. However, people here in Kentucky grow tobacco and smoke a lot!

That corgi :) said...

thanks for visiting our blog (a corgi in southern california) and leaving a comment! good for you for quitting smoking, but sorry it was under the circumstances of being on chemotherapy. They have gotten some stringent nno smoking laws here which I'm sure people resort to smoking in their cars!

thanks again for visiting!

betty

Lesa said...

Thanks for tracking down my bookblog! Congrats on quitting smoking. I'm not a smoker and don't notice it until 2nd hand smoke invades my space-- I hate that! But I did see an older gal turning the corner today in her car and she had a cigarette. Now, I['m compelled to keep watch and see who is smoking in cars. I'll get back to you.

It is funny to watch the old movies that Sharon mentioned-- everyone smokes.

Bob Bushell said...

Yep, I am a anti-smoking geek, I used to smoke, but, I can't stand it near me.......

Lana said...

I'm sure the car is a person's last place of refuge when it comes to smoking. There are a few restaurants around my area that still allow smoking, but Lordy you can tell immediately when they light up.

I'm an old mom who had parents who were smokers then quite, but our girls have thankfully never been too exposed to second-hand smoke with the big push to stop smoking beginning before they were born.

Good for you for quitting.

That Janie Girl said...

Come to think of it, I don't see many men smoking in vehicles.

I'm so proud of you for quitting!!! Congratulations!!

Sandra said...

texwisgirl is right, just started a few years ago and i was so happy, sitting in a restaurant with smoke hurting my eyes was crazy. i do think they have taken it a little far now. saw a sign in the hospital parking lot that says do not even think about smoking on this property. the whole hospital is now smoke free so i am thinking that is why they smoke in the cars. i wish they would make no alcohol drinking in public places since that is what kills others too and makes me crazy being around crazy drunk people, worse than smoking to me,

don said...

A fine post with the comment on smoking. I grew up in a 2-pack-day home where my dad would light up as he sat on the edge of this bed when getting up. So, I decided it wasn't for me. But, I have other addictions.... like food! :-)

Flora said...

I am from Canada...but in 1988 in the schools in our area we had a smoke free by 2000 campaign...they started with the grade 1's and were trying to get the kids to be smoke free by the time they graduated...well all it did I think was make MORE smokers...by 2000 graduation the teen's were smoking more not less... We have mostly smoke free buildings and even smoke free around the buildings...but there are still lots of smokers here... I too just see women on cell phones driving...not so much smoking.

lisa said...

Here, I can probably spot just as many men as women smoking behind the wheel, but statistically there are now far more female smokers than male smokers.

This is a great post, and I truly enjoyed reading it.

Diane said...

I think you see more women smoking because of the new car effect- You know, when you get a new car that's the only kind of car you notice on the road. At least that's my take on it. Now if we could only get the smokers to quit throwing their lit butts out the windows!!!
Congrats on surviving cancer and quitting smoking. I quit 20 years ago. Started when I was 13 cuz it was the cool thing to do.

Saimi said...

It's you, your just crazy! HA! I see an equal of men and woman smoking but I am SO glad you can't do it in public places anymore.

I guess smoking in cars it about as good as it gets for them because they have to put it out before entering any building.

Glad you stopped the nasty habit, your lungs thank you!

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Congrats, Leontien, on quitting smoking! I haven't noticed that more women than men smoke while driving. Unless it's like me and when I'm with my hubby who smokes, I won't let him smoke in the car while I'm in there with him! I can't stand the smell, it really makes me sick, and I'm an ex-smoker myself. Wish he would quit! I'm so happy they won't allow smoking in most public places now. I think we all deserve clean air to breathe and not cigarette smoke. Have a good evening!

Out on the prairie said...

A terrible habit, and hard to break.I notice people driving trying to talk on a phone and smoke a lot, deadly in many ways.

Frugal in WV said...

Both my parents smoked, but quit. My husband used to smoke too, but has also quit. Growing up I remember everyone chain smoking around me, so it wasnt something I ever wanted to touch! Congrats on quitting! Thanks for following my blog, following you back.

Deila said...

I think it must be your location. I have noticed that certain cities and areas have more smokers. I see more smokers in outdoor malls, and mostly Asians. When we sold our house in southern calif., we sold to Koreans, and they were smoking on the driveway. They are probably the only ones on the street though. In San Francisco I saw more smokers, men and women. But it has become very taboo here -- like "how dare you light up around me" --- I am so glad you survived your cancer ordeal.

Jane @ Going Jane said...

Congrats on kicking the habit, no matter how hard it was! I wish you could get my hubby to quit!

Karen said...

I am so glad you were able to quit! I need to kick SUGAR, for sure!

Dreaming said...

This is one example when quitting is good!
I am also a reformed smoker. When I first smoked I did smoke a lot in the car, but that was because my parents supposedly didn't know I smoked. I could go for a drive and have a cigarette. So, perhaps you are right that many people smoke in their cars.
I even smoked on horseback when I would take a break. I thought that was really stupid, but a trainer commented that smoke breaks for the rider were great ways to reward horses for good work!

Not So Simply Single said...

I fucking HATE cigarettes... I have asthma.

However, I get it, I did it as a teenager.

Sugar is what they dip the tobacco in, and then dry it...you are addicted to not only the nicotine, but the fucking sugar.

Getting off nicotine is worse than heroin...

You can't win. Cigarettes suck.

Lisa

Sandi said...

I too live in Indiana, but in central Indiana. I can't remember seeing anyone smoking for a LONG time!...something I had not thought of until reading your post. I tried smoking for awhile when I was a student at Purdue, Marlboro's were my claim to being "cool." But, I decided it was dumb to spend money on something that basically sat on the ashtray since I didn't want them in my mouth. : )

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