It's funny, in some areas people seem to smoke more than in other areas. It's not a class thing, although I do think it's at least partly cultural. We've found when we go outside Australia, we see so much smoking everywhere. And in some parts of Australia where you have pockets of people from other cultures, you get a big increase in smokers. In Australia smoking is now banned in all public buildings; in restaurants and clubs; on ALL transport; you have to book a smoker's room in hotels, if you want to smoke. Workers get cigarette breaks when they need to duck outside for a quick gasper. Increasingly, this is being discouraged. It's easier to quit. We have government and non-profit campaigns to help people to quit. Anyone dropping a cigarette
is liable to a heavy fine for littering, or even for risking starting a fire. Tossing a cigarette
out the car window in a dry country area can get you lynched.
Nobody in our family smokes. We have never had anyone smoke a cigarette inside our house. We've had smokers visit, but they ALL smoke outside. I will sit outside with them while they smoke and we drink coffee. We don't own ashtrays. Used to - don't know where they went.
husband & I both grew up in homes where parents smoked. His parents quit when he was very young. My mother never smoked - she had bad asthma and it would have killed her. Living with a smoker was bad for her health, though. My father finally quit when I was about 16. He's been told he would only live another five or ten years because of his emphysema. So he simply stopped. He had tried to quit before, but he now turned his addiction for cigarettes into a determination to quit AND get fit.
He carried his last pack in his shirt pocket. He wrote on it in red pen "Smoking is bad for you!" "Smoking kills!" "You will die if you smoke any of these!" (this was in the days before warnings printed on packs). So when mates at work bludged a cigarette off him, it was a bit embarrassing to pull out the packet he'd written over, but it did stop him taking one too. And when the packet was empty (emptied by his mates) he had no more. And he never smoked again. No gum, no patches - just cold turkey. Bu he did begin to gain a lot of weight.
Once he retired, he joined a fitness centre. I remember seeing this supposedly old, emphysematous man doing bench presses with the best of them. husband & I couldn't keep up! My dad eventually bought a home gym, set it up in his garage and would work out every day at 4 am. He would be in there before sunrise, the doors wide open so he could see the sun rise over the ocean as he exercised. So HE got to see Halley's Comet on its way to the sun, when everyone else stayed in bed and said, "We'll get a good look on the way back." But it was too far from the sun on the way back to be seen much at all. He was very smug!
And he lived a healthy, active life for another 25 years after he had been told, "five or maybe ten, if you quit now."
And what killed him - a dormant TB bacillus (there since 1940) that took over when he got shingles, and he had to stop exercising, having physiotherapy and was put on steroids. Then collapsed lungs (from the TB) and getting an infection from the heart-lung machine in his second operation. He STILL lived another two years, back home enjoying his view of the ocean. Tough old coot.
Without the TB we'd still have him, remarkably fit and still working out in his garage gymnasium.
So if you CAN give up smoking, it's remarkable what you can do to regain and keep your health.