Smoking bans — an opportunity, or will things get ugly?
Smoking helps soothe anxiety, suppress unwanted emotions, and dumb down the pain of living.
It's all to do with the nicotine receptors in the brain and the resultant pleasant hormones like dopamine that are produced.
So is roughly 30% of the world going to go raving mad? What's going to happen with all these smoking bans?
As well as not getting their nicotine fix, smokers are reacting indignantly — like one smoker huffed on TV, "When you want to do something and you can't do it, it makes you mad."
Take wild and wonderful Scotland, one of the latest countries to toe the line with some pretty severe smoke bans.
Will Scotland now be overrun by mad Scotsmen (and women) in nicotine withdrawal mode?
... Somehow a mad Scotsman conjures up a worse picture than a mad Australian for example — something to do with what, if anything, is worn under a kilt — and racing across the moors, bagpipes all a-akimbo, yelling "och aye, I'd kill a grouse wi' me sporran for a wee bit 'o baccy."
This is all nonsense of course, because firstly the Scots are still allowed to roam the moors in modest states of dress, looking for grouse... and smoking. It's only the pubs and clubs that this malarky is controlling — so far. Watch out grouse!
But in some countries, there are extremes where towns have bus stops, beaches, parks and doorways as smoke free zones.
And secondly, if you're a smoker don't worry that you might go off your rocker if you can't smoke...
... The mood altering effects of smoking are very mild, and after several days the nicotine is out of your brain, so you can focus on re-adjusting your habitual and emotional ties to smoking.
A minority of smokers have a headier reaction, either due to the stronger nicotine receptors in their brain or unresolved mental or emotional problems.
For these smokers to quit, it involves a serious re-focussing on alternatives to replace nicotine, but it can be done.
That's right smokers; re-focus instead of panicking, getting mad or going mad.
You can't beat the smoking bans so grab this opportunity by the horns.
It's now your call to look at some smart new habits to occupy your time and hands and save your money and health — whatever your age or where ever you live.
Quit the nicotine-drug-induced false and fleeting sense of tension release. It's a poor imitation of the real long term pleasure you can gain from natural means.
Go mad instead on — exercise, join a new club, get a pet, help the community, learn to build a website, take up cooking, design a new tartan, build a boat, wood-carving, juggling, crafts, puzzles, games, travel and a hundred and one other better ways than smoking to soothe your anxiety, control emotions and find the joy of living.
The effects of smoking are grim, and smokers know this, so they are mad to smoke anyway.
Any new temporary madness at having to quit at least has a light at the end of the tunnel — and it's not a Zippo, more like a yippee!
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