9 January 2007

Smoking

July 1st will be a special day in England as JJ of "All Cobblers" reminded me. This is the day when smoking will cease in pubs and restaurants across the land. Like other non-smokers, I look forward to the day when the air that I breathe in pubs is not polluted by stinking tobacco smoke that clings to your clothes, gets in your hair and stings your eyes. Heaven knows what it has been doing to our lungs.
But once I was a smoker - twenty or more a day for twelve years between the ages of twenty one and thirty three. Having tried unsuccessfully to give up on previous occasions, I decided that I really must give up before our daughter, Frances, was born. Forget nicotine patches, gum or hypnosis, the only thing that can get you away from the smoking habit is will power.

stop-smoking

On the chosen day, I got up and instead of smoking my usual cigarette, I went outside to our dustbin and crushed up all of my remaining cancer sticks - my favourite "Benson and Hedges". Then I crushed the gold pack and like a lunatic spoke to the dustbin - "I pledge that I will never smoke again". And you know since that day in 1988, I have never had even one cigarette and I can't say I have ever really had the urge to smoke one. My decision to end was so firm and so strong that there could be no other option. If you want to give up, you must mean it 100%. Like an alcoholic who realises that just one wee drink could by the beginning of a slippery slope back into the abyss, so I think smokers should view the evil weed. One cigarette could be your downfall. You have to cut away all mental and emotional ties with smoking - reminding yourself over and over that you are a non-smoker and you never want to go back to the habit.
I can sympathise with smokers - especially those who are desperate to quit. It's not easy. But everything says you should stop - health, wealth and social acceptability. When you stop, you're lengthening your life, food tastes better, you don't get so breathless, you have more money and your house doesn't stink. Breaking away is also a breaking away from the cynical control of major tobacco companies which, in the name of profit, have tried everything they can think of to keep people hooked - including sports sponsorship and putting addictive chemical additives into cigarette tobacco. Such evil people don't deserve a penny of our hard-earned money.

6 comments:

  1. 171 days to go and counting.

    Though why we haven't had the ban ages ago I really can't understnad.

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  2. I know it's bad for you and eveything but pubs won't be the same without a little bit of wafting tobacco smoke. Perhaps they'll be able to buy one of those plug-in airfresheners thats puts the the smell of old smoke out to recreate the atmosphere

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  3. It's a lot of fun to go into smokeless pubs. I can actually hang out with my smoker-friends now without inhaling the smoke. There have been reports that it's been bad for businesses (here in Seattle), but I'm hoping that changes after the initial period of adjustment.

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  4. When I moved to Canada, I was a smoker. I spent a little bit of time in the Republic of Ireland first - Limerick to be specific.

    To go from a place where smoking in pubs and bars was allowed to a place where it wasn't (The ban in ireland had already been put into place) was a little unusual. I soon got used to it, and I did notice the atmosphere was better as smoky places made my eyes sting.

    The same thing with Canada, the ban here has been in place for many years, although now and again, you might come across a place where smoking indoors is allowed.

    I finally quit smoking for good last September, after 11 years of smoking on and off. It the one time I've quit where I haven't had the urge to start again. I didn't use any of the NRT (nicotine replacement therapies) but I did chew sugar free gum like it was going out of fashion. I found it did help with the cravings somewhat.

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  5. Well done DAWN! But don't ever let your guard down! Don't say "I was feeling stressed so I had a cigarette!" That's bullshit! It's just the lingering effects of the tobacco addiction speaking.

    ALKELDA - Yeah they always pull out that bad for business argument. The manufacturers of gas chambers in Nazi Germany made the same complaint when the war ended.

    ARTHUR - Gives me ideas for a whole new air freshener range including "Richmond Farts" and "Country Air - Manure Aroma"

    JJ - Answer = Tobacco compamies' power and influence in Westminster - e.g. Kenneth Clarke sponsored by American-British Tobacco.

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  6. craig1:02 am

    Gave up almost 7 years ago after many attempts at quitting failed. Did not realise how much you missed out on the taste of food etc... when i was a smoker.That cough went away quickly as well.

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