Monday, July 11, 2011

Conventional Wisdom

Last week, I was sitting in a meeting where my colleagues were discussing a case study regarding a smoking cessation campaign. Normally I would jump right in,... share my experience, brag about my blog and all 16 of my fabulous followers, but this time I sat their quietly, listening to them talk about surveys and statistics. 

"Did you know that when people quit they often times feel very alone?" Was one comment, followed by, "Not only that but ex smokers feel isolated because those that never smoked don't understand how difficult it is to quit and are not sympathetic, and those that do smoke are angry at the smokers trying to quit because they feel like the quitters think they are better than them." The discussion continued and another colleague piped up, "Yes and when a smoker trying to quit relapses, the smokers are all relieved and the non smokers make them feel like failures." 

I said nothing. What is there to say. A room full of people trying to quit and 100 questions later, this is the raw data. I can't say I'm a spokesperson for people trying to quit. I'm not, and I also think I am probably the exception to the rule. I look back at my earlier posts and yes, the first couple months were brutal, but I haven't had a craving worth talking about since.

What I will say is this. That despite what I consider a pretty easy transition (so far), I still can completely understand the data. I think there is this awful stigma that smokers trying to quit will undoubtably have to deal with. There are those who think, "Well you're an asshole for starting in the first place, did you think it'd be a cake walk when you tried to quit" and there are those that think that once you quit, you're going to join the "I hate smokers" club and well, I've always been one to defy convention. I suppose this is just another instance where I rose to the occasion.

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