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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

View Poll Results: smoking &50+ members
used to smoke 58 54.72%
never smoked 43 40.57%
still smoke 5 4.72%
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Old 01-30-05, 05:01 AM   #1
greywolf
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smoking & 50+

1.used to smoke
2.never smoked
3.still smoke

When we were younger many of us used to smoke ,before the real health dangers were widly known! I gave it away 17 years ago when my then new born daughter was diagnosed with asthma, I was wondering how many 50+ cyclist used to smoke ?
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Old 01-30-05, 06:41 AM   #2
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Due to our age demographic, probably many of us smoked at one time. Though the health effects were known when I started at 16, the influences to start smoking were great. My parents smoked, my friends smoked, and the advertising was powerful.

In 1982 at the age of 31, I saw the "light" and quit my 3 packer habit. I started cycling to combat the immediate weight gain and 3 months later had ridden my first century. I've been addicted to cycling ever since.

I know, I know it's a "happily ever after" story, but it's true.

-Dennis
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Old 01-30-05, 07:25 AM   #3
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I came from a totally non-smoking family - pretty interesting - neither mom nor dad, nor aunts or uncles (on both sides) nor grandparents (at least the ones I knew), nor cousins by the dozens ever smoked!

Don't know why. Just happened that way, I guess. So, I was never tempted, except for one "drag" which left me coughing. Same way for divorce. There were some things you just didn't do!

None of my wife's immediate family (brothers/sisters, mom and dad) smoked either, although her dad would partake of a cigar now and then.
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Old 01-30-05, 07:55 AM   #4
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I sometimes ride with a guy and after several rides saw him light up. I was in shock. His performance was average. i just cannot imagine cycling at a high level (something above casual) and smoking. I know it happens but i have only been exposed to this one time.
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Old 01-30-05, 09:14 AM   #5
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In 7th grade science class, our teacher (a smoker) set up an experiment were he 'smoked' a cigarette making the smoke go thru a glass jar filled with water. (NOT A BONG) . Then he pointed out the CRUDE that was left on the top of water telling us this was what went in our lungs. Many of my fellow classmates never smoked after seeing that. I have smoaked maybe 1/2 of a cigarette total in my life.
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Old 01-30-05, 10:11 AM   #6
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Yes I admit that I smoked a LONG time ago. The wife & I both did. She quit when she learned she was pregnant with our son (whose now 24). I switched to snuff,Skoal,Copenhagen,etc. Took me another 8 years to finally get off that as well. Some of my coworkers smoke & the tobacco smell that permeates their skin, clothing, etc. sometimes almost nauseates me.
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Old 01-30-05, 12:09 PM   #7
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When I was younger, I tried cigarettes a few times, probably never smoked more than one pack total. I did smoke cigars when I went camping just a little mosquito control, that's it. I haven't had any tobacco in 30 years.
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Old 01-30-05, 01:45 PM   #8
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I smoked until sometime in my late thirties. I'm 62 now, so it's been quite a while since I quit. It seems like when I was young "everyone" smoked.

As mentioned by another poster, we just weren't aware of the dangers then. And of course when I was young I felt invulnerable.
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Old 01-30-05, 02:09 PM   #9
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I smoked, off-and-on, from high-school days (early 1970's) until 1986, when I was finally able to quit, after two years of trying... and I don't think I was ever physically addicted to the smoke. But I loved the paraphernalia around smoking... lighters, ashtrays, &c... if I had had just that little bit more money (and panache), I'm sure I would have had a cigarette case in some esoteric material or other.

Of course, since I only went back to riding bicycles this past October, smoking didn't have much effect (at least, little of which I'm aware). It would be nice to blame my poor performance on my recovering lungs, but alas, that excuse is lost to me!
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Old 01-30-05, 03:52 PM   #10
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Ever notice - go to a re-union - High School, Military, lunches with retired folks , etc & ask about were's joe-bill ,,,,whomever.... you know, heavy smokers back in our youth. Observation = almost all dead.
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Old 01-30-05, 04:42 PM   #11
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Never smoked TOBACCO! But, . . . the statute of limitations has run.

However, I am Choctaw and am considering smoking some tobacco ceremonially in a lodge blessing this spring. Hope I don't cough too much!

Tyson
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Old 01-30-05, 05:26 PM   #12
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I've always loved the smell of tobacco smoke; that makes the escape from nicotine tough. I smoked cigarettes from the late 60's until 1983, when I quit them, but kept smoking cigars and pipes. I figured since I didn't inhale the pipe and cigar smoke, and my coughing cleared up, I was ok. Fact is, the stronger secondary smoke of cigars and pipes is only slightly better than inhaling cigarette smoke, and by the time I turned 50, my frequent bronchitis after colds and sinus infections was more like chronic emphysema. 17 months ago, at 52, I quit.

I didn't buy a bicycle until this last September, but I do 80 to 100 miles a week on one now, and plan on increasing that when daylight savings time starts. Neither my legs nor lungs have felt this good in at least 30 years. I haven't even had a cold since I got the bike (knocking on wood as I say that). I guess it's never too late for even the most addicted of us to change, as long as we're still upright.

On the bike trail I rode most often when I first got my bike, I saw a man who seemed to park his bike for a smoke break regularly. That really seemed strange to me; studies long ago showed that smoking and exercising was worse than smoking with no exercise at all. But then, I guess there isn't too much logic in a nicotine habit anyway......
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Old 01-31-05, 11:10 AM   #13
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Became a former smoker on Dec 23 2004 after 42 years of smoking. Doing OK. Have up'ed mileage on bike and trainer to avoid weight gain.
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Old 01-31-05, 11:39 AM   #14
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I became a non-smoker after being a two-packer for more than 30 years. I was in hospital with an undiagnosed lung infection. Shortly after quitting I sold my car (cost me $12,000 a year to maintain) and bought a bike.

Now I can't even stand the smell of tobacco smoke and have to hold my breath when I leave office buildings.

With the money I have saved from not smoking and driving, I can retire early or take a European vacation every year. I chose both.
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Old 01-31-05, 12:31 PM   #15
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I have never smoked but my parents, grand parents brothers and sisters, etc. all smoked. I guess that's why I spent most of the first 16 years of my life sick with every upper respiratory problem you can imagine. It stopped when I was about 16 years old, because I left home. Now, I will still not go near a lit cigarette (and I'm 52). By the way, most of my family, on both sides, have died from cancer. Both my sisters, which are still alive, watched the rest of the family die from smoking and both still smoke. Oh well!
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Old 01-31-05, 01:35 PM   #16
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quit smoking about four years ago. Nothing that I am proud of. Today I am home from work recovering from pnemonia. Imagine how I would be doing if I still was a smoker?
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Old 02-01-05, 05:54 AM   #17
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Never smoked but both parents smoked.
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Old 02-02-05, 10:01 PM   #18
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I'm 60 now and quit when 36 - I was a 2 marlboro-pack-a-day-man. Kept an ashtray on the bedside table and smoked last one before I went to sleep and lit one up when the alarm went off in the morning. Thru the years, I quit hundreds of times but always went back. Dr. said that I had some places on my lungs that could be the begining of emphysema and that didn't make me want to quit. Then my little 3 year old daughter began to refuse to sit in my lap or let me read her a bedtime story because she didn't like the smoke ----- time to quit and I did.
Now 24 years later, I think quitting is one of my crowning accomplishments. I am now one of those that cannot stand to be around tobacco of any form. However I do feel for those that are still addicted as I remember how hard it was to quit.
Sometimes I feel like I'm short of air (lung capicity) when I work out or ride and wonder if it would be any different if I had never smoked.
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Old 02-03-05, 05:17 PM   #19
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I quit 13 years ago when I couldn't explain to my 10 yr old son
why people smoke. I REALLY felt stupid that day........
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Old 02-03-05, 05:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaws
Kept an ashtray on the bedside table and smoked last one before I went to sleep and lit one up when the alarm went off in the morning.
Yep, and if I got up in the middle of the night to pee, I'd have one then, too.


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Now 24 years later, I think quitting is one of my crowning accomplishments.
Me, too. I feel like I've accomplished a lot in life, but nothing compares with my quitting smoking. I remember waking up as much as 10 years later after dreaming that I had started smoking again and be almost in tears thinking I had taken up smoking again.

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Old 02-04-05, 10:30 AM   #21
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I smoked from about 1969 to 1983. At times, 4+ packs of unfiltered Camels a day. I tapered down to one or two a day eventually - ran the Boston Marathon in 1982 when I was still smoking! Back then - everyone smoked. I can hardly believe now that I smoked constantly at work! Even funnier is that when I was quitting, I would sneak a smoke in my private office (remember those?) and then think that I could hide the smell by flapping my arms; I can smell smoke from a block away now.

Speculation obviously, but I doubt that I'd be alive now if I had continued, although my mother smoked for 75 years and passed away last year at 93. I'm really happy that I gave it up, and that I married a woman who nagged me to stop!
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Old 02-04-05, 02:09 PM   #22
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I remember waking up as much as 10 years later after dreaming that I had started smoking again and be almost in tears thinking I had taken up smoking again.
That is REALLY WEIRD! I have been having the exact same dreams on and off for more than 10 years. I wake up in the morning feeling really guilty. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to realize that it was a dream and I don't smoke anymore.

I wonder if other ex-smokers have similar experiences
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Old 02-04-05, 02:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
That is REALLY WEIRD! I have been having the exact same dreams on and off for more than 10 years. I wake up in the morning feeling really guilty. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to realize that it was a dream and I don't smoke anymore.

I wonder if other ex-smokers have similar experiences
Yes - I have had those dreams from time to time. Not so often anymore...
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Old 02-04-05, 03:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
That is REALLY WEIRD! I have been having the exact same dreams on and off for more than 10 years. I wake up in the morning feeling really guilty. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to realize that it was a dream and I don't smoke anymore.

I wonder if other ex-smokers have similar experiences
no, but I woke up after having a weird dream, and realized that I had been doing unatural things with my pillow.
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Old 02-04-05, 03:52 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicharron
no, but I woke up after having a weird dream, and realized that I had been doing unatural things with my pillow.
You have your pillow, I have my bicycling tights!
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