Not smoking makes you fat.

From the (at times quite odd) Slate Magazine comes this gem:

Not because smoking makes people fat, but because not smoking does—or at least, stopping once you’ve started.

It’s got nothing to do with the nicotine and other pollutants and carcinogens, it’s about habit, routines and ceremony. Eating is simply a replacement ceremony. Smoking is no simple task: Find cigarettes, open pack, get cigarette, find lighter, light, inhale and then repeat the inhaling for 10 minutes, maybe find an ashtray. That’s a complex little set of behaviours involving much of the body – and takes no account of the addiction which has been shown to disappear quite quickly or the oral nature of the behaviour which could have other (freudian) roots – and if you want to stop smoking you need to replace that complete routine every time. That’s the problem that needs addressing. I used to sit on the floor to play videogames (because I had not yet fallen off the floor). I had alcohol on one side of me, an ashtray and cigs on the other. I still find it very very difficult to play the same games and not want those accompaniments. I have such a strong link forged between the place and the behaviours that just being in front of the TV makes me think of whisky and cigs. Yet ‘Giving up smoking’ is just seen as “Wear a patch for a week” and the ‘will-power’ part is underplayed. It’s not that simple. It’s an every day task. I get asked why I have given up alcohol. My reply is always “I haven’t. I just don’t want a drink right now”. As an ex-smoker my reply would be the same – and sometimes for both the not wanting comes down to “I’ll wait a minute and see how I feel….”. Habits … very hard things to break. Don’t set yourself up to fail.

4 thoughts on “Not smoking makes you fat.

  1. It’s weird you should write about this. I haven’t smoked at all in almost 12 months now and for the last 7 years it’s just been the odd one here and there. Today I was having my lunch while painting the new store. I finished my sandwiches and started patting my pockets for my fags and lighter! It was such a weird feeling, forgetting that I had quit….I could almost taste the cigarette and it took a while for that need to go away!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *