The Idea of Addiction Clobbered (in a small way)

One is back after a pleasant break – nothing exciting – just reading, chatting, drinking and banqueting. I say ‘banqueting’ because I have leant that even a three-star hotel’s buffet dinner can have some interesting features. For example, one evening, there was cuttlefish on the menu – not a dish that I remember experiencing before. (As a matter of interest, the consistency is rather rubbery and the taste salty. Nothing special, but pleasant enough)

OK – I exaggerate when I say ‘banquet’, but seven courses, a little of this and that, is near enough, especially when consumed with a local, fruity red wine.

It has been a long day. I was up at 7 am and, damn it!, the French Air Traffic Controllers were on strike again! So we suffered a three hour delay. Only got to Manchester airport at about 4.30 pm. I am in no mood for blathering tonight.

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I was thinking about my ‘addiction’ to tobacco when we went to the airport a week ago. Manchester airport has a ‘smoking area’. You have to know where it is because there is little advertising of the fact. There is a notice outside on the wall which tells you about it, but not in much detail. I suspect that the traders who depend upon idle passengers were not very happy about lots of passengers checking-in and then spending time outside smoking when they should be inside shopping. Anyway, even though the smoking area is more like a cage than a ‘desirable facility’, it is better than nothing.

As it happens, I decided to have only one visit to the smoking area. Frankly, since I was with herself and she has to use a wheelchair, it was a bit unfair to leave her on her own. But what is more important is that I was not really bothered by the idea of not smoking. I really mean that – I was not bothered. It’s surprising how easy it is in specific circumstances not to be bothered. But what is interesting is that I deliberately made myself think about whether I was bothered or not. I am not sure how important that is – the idea of avoiding NOT thinking about smoking. Do you see my point? Normally, when you cannot smoke, you try to avoid thinking about smoking. I reversed that situation and deliberately did think about smoking. The odd thing is that I was still not bothered.

I do not know quite what to make of it. I ought to have been desperate for a fag, but I wasn’t.

This situation is even more exemplified by the return journey. As I said earlier, there was a three hour delay. Ordinarily, one would expect a smoker to be ‘spitting feathers’ at such a long delay, but it did not happen. There is no smoking area in Palma airport, but there is a toilet at the very far, quiet end of the ‘gates’ area where …….

Oddly, I had no particular desire to bother. Instead, in order to pass the time, we strolled around watching the activities of baggage loaders and un-loaders, and similar activities. Again, I let my mind dwell upon having a fag, but, again, I was not bothered. If fact, I found it hard to think about having a fag. Even when we arrived at Manchester, the first thing that we did was go to the cafe and have a coffee while we waited for our transport. Only after that did we exit the terminal and light up. That was after some seven hours of ‘deprivation’.

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Once again, by simple observations of our own behaviour, do we find that it is not the slightest bit difficult to modify our own HABITS as we wish to. Contrary to what the Tobacco Control Industry preach, the fact is that smoking tobacco is a mild form of addiction, if it is an addiction at all. The fact is that smoking tobacco is ENJOYABLE AND CALMING. That is why, even after twelve months of abstention, It is possible to light up and really enjoy a cigarette.

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By the way, I failed to purchase any socks.

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8 Responses to “The Idea of Addiction Clobbered (in a small way)”

  1. prog Says:

    Generally, I agree. But there are many nervous flyers who are deliberately being denied the chance to smoke in comfort whilst hanging about in airports.

  2. J Brown Says:

    Glad you had a good trip, Junican!! I had a similar experience a couple of years ago, flying to Florida on a non-stop 9 hour flight, with at least 2 hours before that in the security line at the airport, as well as another hour at the other end waiting for baggage. So, approximately 12 hours without a cigarette. I never thought about it at all – didn’t pine for a smoke, a nicotine patch, nothing.
    Of course, once I left the airport terminal, the first thing I did was light up a cigarette – but even then, it was because I could, rather than desperately needing one. Interesting.

    • junican Says:

      Thanks, JB. You reinforce my thinking. Together with Beo below, that is three out of three smokers who ‘are not bothered’. That means, in epidemiological terms, that all smokers feel the same.
      Yes – once outside, you resume normal activities.

  3. beobrigitte Says:

    I couldn’t be bothered sums it up nicely for me. I had the same experience; the long haul flight out was via Shiphol, so I could have a cigarette inbetween flights. Still, the next 10 hours (8 hours flight, 2 hours to get into the country!) I could not smoke and missed a cigarette only briefly – after the meal and with the bottle of beer I had.
    The return flight was awful; via Paris; being stuck at Charles De Gaulle airport for a few hours before boarding the next. If Charles DeGaulle airport has a smoking area, it sure is not sign posted. And I just could not be bothered to look for one.

    Glad you had a great time, Junican! I take it that smokers are no longer welcome in shopping places in Spain?

    I am off to Austria again in a week’s time. I shall DEFINITELY re-visit the shops and the coffee place!!!!

    • junican Says:

      Thanks, Beo.
      ‘Shopping areas’ are ‘on the streets’ in Magalluf and not in ‘malls’ – the problem does not arise. It is not unusual to see shopkeepers having a fag just outside their shops. In any case, the weather is warm enough to sit outside of places to drink coffee or beer and have a fag.
      But your observations reinforce the idea of HABIT rather than ADDICTION.

      • beobrigitte Says:

        I agree – it’s a HABIT.

        I started the long haul flight without any idiotic plasters or annoying chewing gum.
        I figured that I would just go to sleep to shorten the time; I was tired anyway, had worked the night before and had not slept for 26 hours when I set off.
        For quite a number of reasons I did not get any sleep on the plane and missed a cigarette only briefly after my meals and the bottle of beer I drunk.

        Surely addicts do not react calmly when they can’t have their whatever?

  4. cherie79 Says:

    I am in Canada just now and didn’t have a cigarette for 12 hours, didn’t bother me. I had one when I left the airport finally but once I knew I couldn’t have one I just forgot about it.

    • junican Says:

      Precisely. What annoys me is the habit of cabin staff reading from their notes and shouting that smoking is not allowed and shouting that there are smoke alarms in the toilets.
      WE ALREADY KNOW! Those statements only make things worse.

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