Recently, one of my colleagues was fulminating on the Evils of Smoking. All the usual nonsense about how smoking is responsible for everything that is wrong in the world today – the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, the outbreak of bird ‘flu, the moral degeneration of Western Civilisation, the rise of James Blunt etc.

I haven’t smoked anything since 1993, so I am well aware of the benefits of not smoking. There aren’t any. I mean sure, there’s the stuff that people normally mention – like the ability to climb stairs, not smelling like the Marlborough Man’s armpit and so forth, but these are more like nice-to-haves than actual bona-fide benefits.

I liked smoking. A lot. I used to wear a nicotine patch to bed because it was the closest I could get to smoking in my sleep, so you’ll understand that this whole not-smoking thing is kind of an exercise in masochism for me. Although the cravings have abated somewhat after twelve years, they haven’t disappeared altogether. Every time someone lights up, my hand still twitches in reflex. I blame my success on semantics. You see, I’ve managed to convince myself that I haven’t “given up” smoking – I’ve merely “stopped” for a while. I can start again anytime I want. Anytime.

So why haven’t I? Habit, I guess.


23 thoughts on “SSSSSmokin’!

  1. I also LOVED smoking, have stopped now for nearly 3 years – I actually stopped 6 years ago but did of alot of “social smoking” in between like at weddings and parties and such. The cravings never go away, I know people who have stopped for about 20 years and still get cravings. It just doesn’t taste like you remember it though. Why did I stop? Cause I was pregnant. But I think if you ask any ex smoker, they will tell you – they miss it and enjoyed it.


  2. I am sooo thankful that I did not get hooked on smoking when I was in high school. I used to smoke socially, like when someone had a pack and would offer them to everyone in the group. I just didn’t get the whole appeal of smoking.
    I like how you turned around the end there with “I can start again anytime I want. Anytime.” It’s freakin’ hilarious!


  3. I don’t think I even like most of the smoking I do any more, but it’s hard to quit when you’re responsible for a whole industry, now.


  4. Started in High School. Actually my moms fault (partly) I always had to lit her a smoke so I started inhaling it. I like smoking but I need to stop. Want to use Zyban they said it works. A few of my friends stoped with it. You always here the bad side of it so Im a little scared. My will power is not that strong. But I will stop before the end of the year.


  5. I so wish I could form the habit of NOT smoking! Although i hate feeling like I am denying myself something. (That must be the addiction part)

    Good for you, staying off that long! Did you use any crutch for the initial quitting? (ie; patch, gum, Zyban, which is really just Wellbutrin by a different name) I’d use the Zyban, but you’re not supposed to drink alcohol while taking it. I can’t give up ALL my vices at once. Can I?



  6. Whatalotoffun – My husband quit with Zyban, it worked very well and he has never looked back. There were a few side effects, but when he spoke to his doctor about it they had advice for him. And it is only a four month course, it’s not a permanent thing either.


  7. Spookie: Dear God, haven’t we suffered enough?

    Lunasea: It was something I did religiously, too.

    Anduin: Curse you. And the horse you’re riding!

    anne: It’s a dirty job…

    whatalotoffun: Best of luck, then – 9 months to go and counting.

    3T: Ah, well that’s my other dirty little secret – I actually stopped drinking in 1992. Makes it a lot easier.

    Spookie’s twin: So one of the side-effects is a really stiff neck?


  8. I’m happy then that you haven’t hooked up with any women who smoke, even if fate has been dangling them in front of you. It’s the blog gods ensuring that you’ll be around for our amusement for years to come!

    I never started either, which is good because I *really* enjoyed it when I did, love the smell of a freshly lit cigarette and have some addictive tendencies already. But the cost! My god. That’s the biggest turnoff of all.


  9. Ah yes, can relate.

    I’ve stopped smoking a few times, the longest being three years; the latest is currently standing at two years.

    I love smoking. I adore smoking. There are few things that compare to a cigarette after a good meal. That feeling when the nicotine hits your lungs, that first, deep drag…..Hmmmm, smoking….

    Unfortunately, it stinks. And it is for that reason, and that reason only, that I no longer smoke. I don’t want my babies to have to turn their delicate little noses away in disgust every time I lean over and say “give mommy a kiss” (although they don’t seem to be too fond of the wine breath – what’s up with that??).

    But I miss smoking.

    As soon as they invent a non-stinky cigarette I am back on the habit in a flash.


  10. Lol… nice reversal on the ‘I can start anytime I want to’ bit! =) And if my smoking caused the issue with James Blunt, I am so very, very sorry. I do feel guilty smoking; now I know the real reason as to why.


  11. I’ve had two strangers talk to me recently in the last couple of says without any prompting… the first was telling me that she had to stock up on pistachios because she’d just given up smoking… and the second how she was going to a gym to see if she liked it… and how she had run the London Marathon, just not recently… must be in the air…


  12. I stopped in 1989 and am absolutely intolerant of the habit, although after a meal I “hang” for a ciggie or when driving really far. Lol on wearing the nicotine patch at night.


  13. andrea: I think you’d get bored loooong before smoking killed me. Hmmm… that sounds like a challenge.

    Tertia: Kids. How quickly they forget that we had to put up with all their filthy habits, like eating bogies and worse.

    LiVEwiRe: I knew it was you! At least I’m only responsible for the moral degeneration of society.

    Caroline: As long as they didn’t offer you candy.

    Tammy: My Dad’s also a member of The Church of Reformed Smokers. Not a pretty sight when he’s thundering from the pulpit.


  14. I LOOOOVE smoking. I (insert heart pic here) smoking. I am one of the few smokers left on the planet it would seem. Sadly I have resolved to give it up by my next birthday due to health warnings from my GP. Not that I am dying mind you, just is risky to smoke beyond a certain age (which we won’t mention on air) for a wimmin (sic).


  15. Death awaits you whether you smoke or not.
    I smoke when I want to… which amounts to about 1 cig per month.
    Interesting fact: Adolf Hitler did not smoke.
    This of course has nothing to do with his lust for wanting to conquer the entire known world. Although an image of him being a chain-smoker better becomes the persona, wouldn’t you say?


  16. Apart from dope, I hardly smoked at all until I was about 37 – I met someone who did, so I blame it on him. That’s almost 10 years ago so I think it’s time to stop but I don’t really want to.

    chitty: Hitler was also a strict vegetarian or some other sort of health diet fascist so it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t smoke. He did, however, create a lot of smoke in parts of Poland.


  17. Anyone ever see a smoker with black lung hooked up to one of those suction machines in the hospital?

    This contraption would constantly suck all this black nasty tar-like stuff out of the patient’s lungs…it’s the most horrible thing you could possibly see.

    It’s enough to deter me from smoking.


  18. I smoke and I enjoy smoking and I’ve given up beating myself up about it – the stress I was putting on myself to quit all the time was bad for my blood pressure, haha!
    Good for you for quitting though. I’ll take up the slack on your behalf, OK?


  19. Bee: Ja, it can make wimmin (sic) quite sic (sic).

    whatalotoffun: Possibly…

    Chitty: And The Merry Widow was Hitler’s favourite operetta, which may explain a thing or two.

    Nomad: It’s like a cult: It separates you from your loved ones, takes all your money away and it’s almost impossible to quit.

    Phoenix: Most horrible thing? Are we forgetting James Blunt performing live, perhaps?

    Terri: Excellent. The industry is relying on you.


  20. Smoking can be blamed for a lot of the world’s evils, but James Blunt isn’t one of them. I only wish the guy would light up once in a while, so as to bust his voice and make sure he doesn’t torture my eardrums every time he opens his mouth.

    Oh wait. This entry wasn’t really about James Blunt…


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