Are you feeling that you would like to start smoking cigarettes? Here are 12 steps to follow to help you decide whether or not to be a smoker.
Make a list of the people you know who are smokers.
Don't put anyone on the list who has not been smoking at least one year.
Be sure to ask non-smokers too. They may be former smokers. If so, you can add them to the list.
Ask each person on your list if they mind being interviewed.
Tell them that you are doing this because you want to learn from them. Specifically, you want to know what they have learned from being a smoker.
Only if they say "yes" should you proceed with the interview.
Ask them why they started smoking.
Everyone has their story to tell. Some stories will be similar but no two stories will be exactly the same.
Ask them if they have ever regretted having starting smoking.
Give them room to answer this question in any way that they see fit. Different smokers will feel very differently about smoking.
Ask them what they most enjoy about smoking.
If they no longer enjoy smoking, let them say so. If they really enjoy having a cigarette after a meal, let that be their answer.
Ask them what they least enjoy about smoking.
If they feel that they get more colds because of smoking, let that be their answer. If they can't think of anything about smoking that they dislike, let their answer stand as it is.
Write down all the answers that people give you and keep careful records of these answers.
If you learn from the experiences of others, you save wear and tear on yourself.
Saving yourself from unnecessary experiences by learning from the experiences of others is experience that you get for free. It doesn't cost you anything and is the key to a graceful and happy future.
Ask the people how long they've been smoking.
This is so that you can tally up the total number of years that all your respondents as a group have smoked. If you talk to 100 people who have been smoking for 1 year each, you will have recorded 100 years of smoking experience.
Likewise, if you talk to 4 people who have been smoking for 25 years each, you will have recorded 100 years of smoking experience.
If you add the two groups together, you will have recorded 200 years of human experience smoking tobacco.
Don't stop recording people's experiences with smoking until you've recorded over 200 years of human experience.
This is important! You don't want the opinions of just a few people. Otherwise, you might end up with an unbalanced view of smoking.
Expect to be surprised!
The answers that people give you will often be anything but what you expected. Remember, each person will have a point of view that is a little bit different because their experience with smoking will be a little bit different.
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of being a smoker.
Take a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle. Label one column Advantages and the other column Disadvantages. List the advantages of smoking in one column and the disadvantages in the other.
Continue this list to several pieces of paper if your list of advantages or disadvantages threatens to run off the page. Important! Don't stop listing the advantages and disadvantages of smoking until you've thought of everything you possibly can.
Decide whether or not to be a smoker.
The key moment has arrived. Envelope please!
The old saying "Some teenaged kid decided I was going to be a smoker" is so true. You, however, are at an advantage: You've got 200 years of smoking experience under your belt.
Trust yourself. You -- with your 200 years of experience as a smoker -- will make a very wise and seasoned decision.
©Edward Abbott, 2002-2004. All rights reserved. Revised May 5, 2004.
Questions or comments? Email me at ed@WebSiteRepairGuy.com.