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Cycling and smoking

Old 10-22-19, 07:02 PM
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Careful with the Sweedish snus (chewing tobacco). A shipmate developed cancer in his jaw and eventually lost his lower jaw from it. It is difficult to understand in a modern world filled with knowledge, why people choose to use products like this. Something I will never understand. No, I do not hold habits like this against anyone, I just marvel at how primitive the brain really is.
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Old 10-22-19, 07:25 PM
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Addicts can't see the wood for the trees because drugs poison the mind. The addiction corrupts sense.

It's why good people lie, saying they 'can't' give up, or smoking in front of kids.. the drug comes first.

Tobacco smokers are addicts. If you need to do a drug morning, noon and night then you have a serious drug problem. The power of societal acceptance, eh?!

Where does cycling fit in? Oh, it doesn't. Because the tar coats the lungs and starves the body of oxygen. This makes exercise in this state futile at best, and dangerous at worst.

A smoking cyclist will ignore the coughing, as if non-smokers do it too..

Can't see the wood for the trees. Or don't care. Because.. drug addicts.
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Old 10-22-19, 10:34 PM
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A bit off topic here with Vince Lombardi (arguably the greatest USA football coach in history), but growing up as a kid I always wondered how Vince or, for that matter, any prestigious person in athletics could promote the idea of smoking? Still, it was obviously an acceptable thing to do back in the day:

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Old 10-23-19, 05:03 AM
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On the evening of April 8th, 2016, I smoked my last cigarette. It was the 20th cigarette of the second pack that day.

With the exception of the period from November 1999 to November 2003, I had been a regular smoker since around the time I turned 19 in 1992, averaging two to three packs a day in my later smoking years.

I quit in 2016 the same way I quit the first time in 1999: cold turkey. I had finished my last pack and decided not to buy another. That was it and that was all. No programs, no scheduled cutgdowns, no counseling, and no support groups. Just a decision I made in a moment of time.

* * *

I smoked much less frequently back when I commuted my way through college in Irbid, Jordan in the mid- to late 1990s, averaging two to three cigarettes a day. Sometimes I would go smoke-free for days at a time; other times I’d be going through a pack in a day or two.

That average gradually increased into the regular two to three packs a day after I abandoned cycling altogether and moved to Jordan’s capital Amman for my first reporting job about a year after having graduated. It didn’t help that absolutely everyone in the newsroom smoked heavily AF.

It was around the tail end of that job that I realized the error of my ways and quit cold turkey for the first time.

* * *
Fast forward to late 2003. I had just moved to Saudi Arabia for another job in journalism. Some of the people around me were the same people I had worked with in Amman. To their credit, though, serial smokers as they were, they did try to keep me from taking the habit up again.

A lot of the reasons why I took smoking back up in 2003 were similar to the reasons why I took it up in 1992: peer pressure, low self-esteem and wanting to fit in – but with a few key differences: unlike in 1992, by 2003 I was much more financially independent, which went a long way to embolden me to be more assertive about my habits, both the good and the bad.

Another difference is that the urge to take up smoking as a form of self-destroying escapism was compounded by feelings of homesickness and anxiety about future prospects in a foreign country.

A third motivator was that in Saudi Arabia, we could buy and “enjoy” the original, genuine versions of our favorite brands, in lieu of the locally produced (and licensed) knockoffs we had to endure in Jordan.

* * *

After I got back into cycling in 2015, I quickly realized – again – what I had known all along: I couldn’t smoke and be active at the same time. The choice I made that Friday evening was an easy one.

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Old 10-23-19, 05:50 AM
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After I got back into cycling in 2015, I quickly realized – again – what I had known all along: I couldn’t smoke and be active at the same time. The choice I made that Friday evening was an easy one.
I'm the same way, but I would also add the various smokeless forms of tobacco too. Nicotine really constricts my cardiovascular system, makes physical exertions painful, and that effect occurs no matter in which form it's administered. It's really the "anti-exercise drug" as far as I'm concerned. I tried to smoke and ride, but like running, it just didn't work for me. Alcohol I find equally incompatible with "serious" riding.

However, if you're really in a depressed, existential, self-destructive mood, and want to look the part (think Rod Serling) they're essential. And smoke breaks are great for bonding with others, especially these days when smokers are a shamelessly-persecuted minority.

I still love the smell of tobacco smoke, outdoors at least. My neighbor used to light one up every day at the same time each day, and I actually got addicted to the second-hand smoke wafting into the window. I think that's part of why so many chemicals are added to cigarettes, so that the second hand smoke smells really good in order to get people like me to start up again.

It's evil stuff though, even in its pure natural form. You can make an insecticide with tobacco leaves. One would not expect such a plant to have such powerfully-addictive properties, but it remains one of the toughest addictions to break, for some. I was definitely physically-addicted to smoking at one time, but I got so little out of it, I had almost no trouble quitting.
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Old 10-23-19, 06:58 AM
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It is possible to be moderately active and still smoke, although not heavily. You aren't going to break any records, but a few cigarettes a week aren't that much of hindrance for being rather fit, if you get enough exercise - it certainly isn't futile.
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Old 10-23-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jim_pridx
I always wondered how Vince or, for that matter, any prestigious person in athletics could promote the idea of smoking? Still, it was obviously an acceptable thing to do back in the day:
You just answered your own question. Back then, EVERYONE smoked. OK, not everyone, but such a large part of the population did and it was extremely socially acceptable. Even up into the 1980's cars were still built with ashtrays installed. I'm just grateful I grew up in a time when the health hazards of tobacco were known and the anti-tobacco movement, though in its infancy, had already begun to make smoking something to avoid. When I was in high school in the 80's, it was uncool to smoke. The only kids who smoked were the marginalized kids who desperately tried to act cool. But the rest of us laughed at them for smoking.

Of course what killed the desire to smoke for me was when I worked at my dad's shop, and the old guys in the town would come in to hang out and BS for a few hours while they smoked. All the cigarette smoke bothered me and I hated the way it smelled, so I knew I would never smoke when I got older. But even though smoking was on its way out, it was still pretty popular then and I didn't mind it quite as much. Now it's getting pretty rare that when I do smell someone smoking I can't stand the stench of it.
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Old 10-23-19, 08:51 AM
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I smoked when I was younger, I slowed down when we had our daughter, I didn't want her to think that it was ok to smoke by seeing me smoke, my wife never smoked. I promised myself that I would only smoke when I was out of town. I slowed down my smoking to about a pack a year, then on one trip I just decided that smoking a pack a year was stupid and haven't smoked since. This is the best thing that I have done for myself and for my daughter. She has never smoked.
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Old 10-23-19, 01:47 PM
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I smoked for over 40 years. I quit in 2015 after a few dozen tries over the more recent years but not before being crippled by COPD. I now still ride as I did when I smoked but I am very slow and I canít hammer, ride hills hard, or even keep up on slow group rides. When I see someone smoking I really have a hard time not breaking into a lecture. Especially with young people.
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Old 10-23-19, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK
Addicts can't see the wood for the trees because drugs poison the mind. The addiction corrupts sense.

It's why good people lie, saying they 'can't' give up, or smoking in front of kids.. the drug comes first.

Tobacco smokers are addicts. If you need to do a drug morning, noon and night then you have a serious drug problem. The power of societal acceptance, eh?!

Where does cycling fit in? Oh, it doesn't. Because the tar coats the lungs and starves the body of oxygen. This makes exercise in this state futile at best, and dangerous at worst.

A smoking cyclist will ignore the coughing, as if non-smokers do it too..

Can't see the wood for the trees. Or don't care. Because.. drug addicts.
This is a narrow-minded and non factual way to view it. But to each his own.

You are clearly aware that addiction is a disease and some people have predispositions to addictive behavior that is beyond normal realms of "control". Addicts also often suffer from depression which adds a layer to the difficulties of managing it. Combine with the fact that cigarettes are considered as addictive as almost any narcotic, is legal and has added chemicals and marketing to make it more addictive, and the activity is associated with pleasurable activities ( post sex, drinking socially, after a good meal, etc) makes it incredibly difficult to stop. All current day smokers know the risk yet still do it.

It's not as easy for all as you make it appear.

Stay strong all those quitting and those who have already done so. I smoked on and off for the better part of 2 decades. It's not an easy habit to kick!
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Old 10-23-19, 06:08 PM
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I've known people who were particularly susceptible to the addictive qualities of tobacco, to the extent that smoking had practically become hard wired into the brain. These were not weak or lazy people, they just become so full of unease from not smoking that they had to start again, just to stay sane. And this is days or weeks after the nicotine has left their systems.

It's gotta be one of the worst addictions out there, but if people want to do it, more power to 'em, I kinda like the smell.
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Old 10-24-19, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985
if people want to do it, more power to 'em, I kinda like the smell.
I had an uncle who used to smoke a pipe. The smell of the pipe tobacco smoke actually wasn't bad. However, just thinking about the smell of cigarette smoke makes me want to vomit.
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Old 10-24-19, 03:19 PM
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I smoked for about 34 years (quit a couple of times, in the latter 6 years of that). I actually started riding daily before the last relapse. The relapse lasted for about 6 months (last year even). I agree that riding was becoming such an inconvenience. Started with, "ok, one more smokke before riding to work." ended with jumping in the car instead, so I could smoke another before starting work. We (wife and I ) decided it was time...for good (She had never quit before...and the reason I relapsed so easily). Well, it's been a solid year since I smoked a cig, and I will never go back. I love riding more than smoking, and I can't have them both. (I'm 52 now) My wife has been cig free since December, so the 1 year mark is coming up for her. She is riding more and faster now too.

I will say though, the other kind of smoke (legal in some states) doesn't seem to have any effects on performance. As long as my water bottle is full, I can ride and ride, and ride, and enjoy every minute of it.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:19 AM
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Still smoke free, thanks! I think I've got it beat. Now I'm trying to lose the weight I gained during quitting and a shoulder injury by riding more again. I hate to say it but I've never felt the same again on a bike. Maybe I just didn't care before and just rode without thinking about it too much. Now I'm hyperfocused on the limits of my endurance. I hope that will get better again too! Thanks for the support!
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Old 11-04-19, 11:24 AM
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That's exactly how it was for me for year. It's a perfect way of putting it. Even now I don't call myself a non-smoker. I'm an ex-smoker and I know whatever my feelings are towards smoking now that can change on a dime and I'll want one again. I catch myself fantasizing about the days of lounging on my patio with a smoke and a coke after a long ride and then I also have to remind myself of what I've seen happen when people don't quit. The fantasy is short-lived but it's always there. I literally have to decide all the time to be smoke free even though I also say that I hate the smell and how it would make me feel, which is true, but when you're addicted it matters less and you notice it less.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:32 AM
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Awesome! thanks for sharing. Congratulations too! I totally understand how we think of cycling over smoking or vice versa, as a choice. While it seems obvious to others, when you have quit it is a choice and it stays a choice every day to be healthy. There's no magical way of becoming a non-smoker. It's a decision you make every day. It requires a lot of work but it starts with making a choice. It was for me too, and I realize the freedom now of not arranging my life in order to enable to smoke more easily. Life is better when you get to do what you really want.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:40 AM
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I've never not exercised just because I was a smoker. Addictions are hard to break but a great number of addicts, of any kind, are human beings first, not ghosts in a shell who only have one side or do one thing. Are you actually reducing everyone to a stereotypical junkie? I've been a cyclist for 5 years, I was runner and a boxer before that. Did smoking hamper me? Of course it did. Was exercise futile or dangerous? Of course not. Everybody can benefit from exercise.

ps: I never coughed until I stopped smoking. That is what is supposed to happen because your lungs clear and everything starts to function better.

People can certainly see the woods and make decisions about their lives every day. It sounds like you can't see people for a your limited world view.
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Old 11-04-19, 11:48 AM
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Congrats! Interesting journey! Everyone's road to becoming smoke free is so different and this is exactly what I came to this forum for. Anxiety about life choices was a driver for me as well and kept me smoking longer than it should have. Smoking never stopped me from being active but I had to admit that I have to make a choice to be healthy and get better at what I actually want to do. You have to get rid of the escape to focus on your goals and that's just what we end up doing when we quit. When the time came it was an easy one for me too, but it was a lot of work right after I made that choice. Congratulations and never go back
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Old 11-04-19, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chicagogal
One of my closest loved ones died a couple of years ago due to complications caused by a lifetime of smoking. Over the span of 10 years, he had open heart surgery, surgery to repair blood vessels in the extremities, treatment for gangrene, and a leg amputated. He finally died post-op from kidney failure. He was 63. For those of you have quit smoking, congratulations. For those of you working on it, please keep trying, if not for yourself, for the people in this world who will miss you when you are gone.
Yes, I know I'm quoting a year old post.

I've never smoked. But I lost the grandfather I loved too soon from cigarettes. He had quit and was married to a woman who brought him alive. I also lost two mentors in my professional and spiritual lives to lung cancer. (Both stopped smoking before I knew them.) I suffered toxic reactions to common chemicals from my years building fiberglass boats. I could not inhale straight cigarette smoke, even outdoors. Diluted cigarette smoke affected me for many hours later, costing me a lot of sleep.

One of my challenges now is accepting cigarettes and the damage they do. (If I don't accept this, the resentment eats away at me, no one else.) I have to accept that the biggest drug dealers who spread by far the most damage in this country will never be punished. (Tobacco company CEOs, board and stockholders.)

Ben
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Old 11-05-19, 03:31 PM
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Such a shame to see all these quiters, makes my heart weep. We need to maga and bringing back smoking is the only way to do it.
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Old 04-08-22, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sjanzeir
On the evening of April 8th, 2016, I smoked my last cigarette.
Clean for six years today!
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Old 04-08-22, 04:59 PM
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Out of my entire family, I am the only non-smoker. My parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles, everyone smoked. I grew up in a haze of smoke, ash trays everywhere, riding in cars with both parents smoking. From a young age I could never understand it. I hated it. And the health effects on my family members were serious, all suffered from health problems. Emphysema, heart disease, cancer, etc. Of all of them, I and my sister are all whom remain alive, and my sisterís health is not good (and she still canít quit smoking). For myself, my last checkup showed me in good health. My blood pressure is the same as when I was in high school, my pulse is normal, cholesterol is normal.
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Old 04-10-22, 09:11 PM
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I smoked steadily for two weeks as a junior in high school. D@mn, I was cool! Anyway, I was driving one of my Dad's cars with the windows down to keep the smoke out of the car. Had the cigarette dangling from my lips. Smoke kept getting in my eyes which hindered my sight a little bit. Going down this winding road I noticed my chest getting warm. Sure enough the cigarette had been burning and finally the burnt end got caught by the wind and fell onto my shirt which was now smoldering. I quickly used one hand to pat my chest until it was out while keeping one hand on the wheel. Looked up and I was heading straight which wasn't good as the road was turning left. Put the brakes on quickly and made that curve. Had I crashed that car I probably would have been ok but explaining to my Dad how the car got a fender bender would definitely be a loss of driving privileges. That stopped me from smoking right there and then. I went cold turkey! Never smoked since.
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Old 04-11-22, 11:25 AM
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Never smoked, never wanted to. There's a guy who keeps showing up to our club rides with his son. Vapes like a mad man before the ride, like he's getting caught ahead for a day or two. Then he bonks after 5-10 miles, claiming "asthma." It ain't asthma, he's coated his lungs with condensed oil from the vaper and he can't get any air. His son has to escort him home, or worse, go back and get the car for him. I sort of hope he shows up again this year, but without the vapes. Otherwise, I'm afraid he just won't show up because...
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Old 03-24-23, 08:05 AM
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For as long as I've smoked, I've never allowed myself to smoke while riding a bicycle. I tried not to smoke at all when I was traveling, because it disrupts my breathing. After that, it's very difficult to keep going at the same pace. Now I have completely given up cigarettes and switched to a vape. This way it is not possible to travel with it at all, as it takes a lot of space and also it is very fragile and can break from any fall. If you switch from cigarettes to a vape, understanding how to vape properly is important. So, I decided when I ride my bike to not smoke at all. I hope that soon, I will quit this bad habit altogether.

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