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freediving and cigarettes

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Pinoy Deeper Blue Member
Jun 7, 2002
Hey guys,

First of all thanks for all the replies in the other threads.
I’m really liking it here at Deeper Blue :) .
I am really learning a lot!

Anyway, I’m just curious…
Do any of you guys smoke?

I only got certified as a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver last year.
And I’ve noticed that a lot of divers smoke cigarettes.
I was just under the impression that divers are more health conscious.

I dont smoke but one of my mates smokes everything I mean everything, he never tried holding his breath before we were at the pool for hpe and I told him to try holding his breath he did 2min first try ever not bad for a hard core smoker.


Hey Ivan,

If I have never tried holding my breath, I wouldn't make a half a minute on a first try in a pool for sure. And I sure don't smoke!

Two minutes huh...man, I feel so out of shape for a non-smoker!
when I freedived/spearfished for a living
in the Greek isles in the 1960s

I smoked like a chimney, up to 40/day.
This included taking cigarettes with me in a waterproof container
on my fish string.
I usually spent 6 hours total per day in the water.
after about 1 1/2 hours I would hawk up -
through my nose into the mask(arrrgh)
this darkbrown slimy crap
- tar I suppose,
that normally STAYS in your lungs.

after that I was
good for an extra fifteen feet

my girlfriend once timed me hunting at between 15 - 20 meters:
2 mins 08 secs,
not bad for a nicotine fiend
(besidesI knew it wasn't my record
- ah, them were the days!)


Mixed story

Ironically, smoking, as bad as it is for your health in general, can produce short-term gains in breath-holding. Before I continue, let me be clear; the greatest performances are only reached by non-smokers, but still, smoking can make apnea easier for beginners, for several reasons.

Although no smoker has ever set the constant weight record or the static record, the greatest 'smoking' freedivers I know are Pierre Frolla and Claude Chapuis.

Why does smoking make holding your breath easier?

1. Smoking kills the CO2 receptors, so you don't feel as much CO2 burn, even without any apnea training
2. Smoking inhibits thyroid function, lowering your temperature, reducing your metabolic rate & O2 consumption rate, and also lowering your appetite
3. Smoking introduces various poisons in your blood (including CO, CN-, etc..) which cause constant hypoxia, and this constant hypoxia can make your body actually produce adaptations similar to hypoxia training

I heard of a chain-smoker who took a freediving course, without ever practicing to hold his breath before hand. On the first day he did a 4+ minute static and blacked out face down in the water. No CO2 receptors to tell him he needed to breathe.

However, in the end, the negative effects of smoking have prevented smokers from ultimately reaching the performances of non-smokers.

My suggestion: DON'T SMOKE !! : )

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
hi eric

geeze how do you know all that stuff about co2 resistance and stuff I just found out that co2 is what makes you want to breathe are you the guy who is training to dive 111m, and is this variable weight because if its constant I will faint to think that someone can even consider diving that deep, if thats you your lungs must be 5 times the size of mine, thats awsome to know somone is that good.

Eric, not Erik

Please don't confuse me (Eric) with Erik ! We are both on the forum.

Personally I think my mind has sharpened up from freediving; especially when I do daily hard static sets....

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Sorry Eric, i did not confused you with Erik, it was just a manifestation of my bad spelling...

Hope static apnea helps me with this!

Gabriel (thanks for sharing your experiences!).
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