If you are a smoker, you are a minority in the world. Out of 7 billion breathing, approximately 1.3 billion are doing it just like you—through burning tobacco leaves.

Almost anything that is a billion is a lot. This is especially true about actual people, like you, who walk around this planet, producing highly poisonous smoke and filling the environment with cigarette butts.
These countless people, who are united by the common denominator of tobacco consumption, are not a homogenous group, after all. Based on their attitude to smoking and, more important, their approach to stopping smoking, I would classify them into the following subgroups:

1) The Ignorant: they smoke and don’t want to quit because they don’t know about all the hazards of the deadly process. They don’t smoke for any particular reason except for the fact that people around them smoke. Their number used to be considerably greater, but with proliferation of internet in the last 20 years, they started shrinking rapidly. Nonetheless, you can still find a lot of the representatives of this group among those who use TV only for watching movies and evening news, and the internet—only for short emails and uploading photos in social media networks.

2) The Denying: they are the ones that don’t want to quit, because they don’t see such a great harm in smoking. They know it’s bad for their health, but their usual excuse to others but, most importantly to themselves, is something like “Life is so dangerous that it’s detrimental even to breathe the air in the city today.” Or another favorite one: “Life is harmful because you die from it.” They are identifying themselves with smoking as smoking for them is next to religion, if not before.

3) The Defensive: they don’t want to quit smoking because they “like smoking” as it helps them feel and even “think better.” This group is quite aggressive to any measures aimed at smoking restrictions in public places. They are also the ones who claim to be able to cease smoking any time as they “are not actually addicted to cigarettes,” but they don’t quit because they like smoking. They believe fervently in equality and free choice for all members of society, quite often forgetting that they deny those basic human rights to those nonsmokers who happen to be around them when they light up another cigarette.

4) The Admiring: they simply adore smoking and don’t want to stop doing something they enjoy. They find satisfaction in everything connected with tobacco. Many of them are making roll-your-owns and consider themselves experts in all questions related to smoking. These people usually rationalize their smoking by the fact that this is something they truly love and wouldn’t trade it for the sake of anything in the world. Not even their lives.

5) The Conscious: they want to quit but can’t do it by themselves, or at least they think they can’t. They have tried and failed numerous times, and, what is worth mentioning, they do admit it. But they want to get rid of the addiction. Such a group is usually a visible majority. People, however, don’t stay in this group forever. They either succeed in their attempts to quit and leave the ranks of the smokers or they gradually migrate to the next group.

6) The Desperate: they feel bad when they smoke, but they can’t stop as they don’t know how. They have lost faith in themselves as they cannot live without cigarettes, but they can’t smoke joyfully either. They clearly feel and see what effects smoking has on their bodies, and these facts are usually visible to the people around them. These are the people with the longest experience in smoking and they are the ones that stink most. Those around them do feel it – especially when getting in one elevator with them.

Belonging to a group depends on many conditions, including age, experience in smoking, socio-economic background, the internal belief system, and the environment. Most often smokers migrate from one group to another, until they have finally reached the point when they either quit or stay forever in the desperate crowd.

Decide to which group you belong. Do you acknowledge the enormous risk to which you are exposing yourself and the people around you every time you make a puff or you prefer to put your head in the sand and hope that it will somehow pass? Do you care about the health of others a bit more than you do about yours? Do you understand that every time you smoke around children or nonsmokers, you are abusing them? Do you consider yourself a well-educated person of at least average intelligence who is able to measure all pros and cons and can actually say that smoking is their conscious choice?

If you answered positively at least one of the questions, maybe it’s time for you to think how to get off the sinking boat. It’s never too late until it’s too late, so act now. Put away all the fears and uncertainties and make the most important step in your life as a smoker — cease smoking.

Author's Bio: 

Daniyar Aha is a co-founder of the personal empowerment company DAYAMOGU that creates and holds workshops in personal development, work productivity, interpersonal relations, and tobacco-free life.

For more information on DAYAMOGU, please go to www.dayamogu.com and www.facebook.com/dayamogu