Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Puff,Puff, Puff and if you Smoke Yourself to Death…………………..

By: Mike

Before I add a further single word I must confess that I am a smoker; that the first thing I did with my first ever wage packet was to buy twenty cigarettes; that at the ripe old age of 71 I still smoke my pipe and have been doing so now for about forty years. Before that I smoked cigarettes and cigars…………………

I am of an age where I can well remember pregnant women smoking, children as young as ten years old smoking, smoking in bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, on public transport, in offices, in factories and any other place you can imagine. All such places are now out of bounds to smokers. To be honest, I am happy……..

Soon, over here in the UK, Supermarkets will not be permitted to display cigarettes and cigarette packets may only be sold in plain packets. I have no doubt those other outlets for tobacco products will quickly follow. Again I am happy.

It has taken quite some time for the ‘message’ to be taken seriously for it was fifty years ago this week (6th March, 1962) when the Royal College of Physicians, Smoking and Health published their report on the effects of smoking on people’s health. Fifty years and literally trillions of cigarettes later……………

When the report was published as many as seven out of ten men smoked daily and four out of ten women also took part. Nowadays, two out of ten men or women smoke.

Smoking is addictive and certainly does kill. It kills not only the actual smoker but also others through passive smoking. It used to be shown as an act of sophistication in films and such. Leaving aside the cost factor, chain smoking was a habit of the well-to-do whilst now it is an addiction of the disadvantaged. I am pleased that it is now seen as ridiculous by most people, especially by the younger generation.

I find it hard to believe, but know in my heart that it is true, that we used to travel to work in a car full of smoke, or train which was likewise – (oh yes, I almost forgot the ‘Non-Smoking Carriage’). We would then enter an office stinking of stale smoke from the previous day and immediately ‘light up’. We would probably then go for lunch into a smoke filled restaurant, have lunch and once again ‘light up’. Then after work we might go for a drink into a bar thick with smoke and once again ‘light up’. Would you believe it that most men even smoked in their homes in front of their wife and children. As for smoking in bed, I will leave that to your imagination…..

These days, it is all unlawful with the odd person to be seen standing outside in the street in rain, hail or snow having their ‘fix’. It is a really sad sight…………….

Will I ever stop smoking? Probably not for like most smokers, ‘I knew a man who smoked 50 cigarettes (or pipe) every day throughout his life since he was ten years old and he died aged 90 when he was knocked down by a bus’…………….


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5 thoughts on “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke that Cigarette…..”
  1. I was a smoker from the age of 19, when I hopped on my first flight to Europe. I bought a pack because I had that vision of sophistication and some phony image that I would be looked upon as the image of the world traveler. I was an idiot!

    I smoked the entire time I lived in Europe. Mostly, brands that rivaled Benson & Hedges menthol cigarettes. I smoked when I returned home and tried newer brands of Virginia Slims and Capri and all the fashionable brands with much slimmer lines of cigaros or cigarettes. I smoked in every country I ever visited or lived in, after that; buying brands of menthol cigarettes like Mexican Benson & Hedges (which were stale tasting). I smoked El Salvador’s brand of Benson & Hedges called Diplomat.

    But this New Year’s Eve, I finally quit. I don’t know why or how I quit. I know I was completely fed up with smoking. I wanted to quit. I wanted to remove this disgusting addiction. I wanted to smell good. I never smoked in my home, so that wasn’t an issue. I didn’t do it because anyone told me I should, would, or had to. I didn’t use anything to quit. I didn’t even go nuts dying for a cigarette. I loathed the damned things so much I wanted them gone from my life! And since that time, I’ve only had ONE five-second episode where I “needed” a cigarette. It was on a bus ride and it passed quickly.

    I have tried to quit too many times to count. I always had the urge. I’d quit for a period of time and tell myself I’d have “just one.” It never worked.

    And I’m finally not coughing up the remnants of my lengthy smoking history. I can smell once again, which isn’t always a benefit in L.A. I can BREATHE! And THIS TIME, I know I’m not picking them up again. Why? Because I know one cigarette will make me an addict again. They should be illegal for that reason!

  2. I have never been a smoker. My Grandmother was, as was my Grandfather who contantly counseled me (very often while smoking) to “do as I say, not as I do.”

    Not that I never tried, of course I did, I was 14 once…it was still rebellious and cool then.

    I also got stories from my Grandmother of how (although I should never think of it this way, of course) She missed the seduction of men and women smoking together, a gentleman lighting her cigarette. It was all very seductive.

    I think most people can see the tantilizing parts of it. It is also a bit sad that here is another “fun” item we cannot do anymore. Sometimes it feels like we will soon all be so very healthy and quite boring.

    But I agree. Limiting access is a good thing. Few people can quit and I have been told it is worse to quit smoking than any other drug. I also hate the smell. It gives me headaches.

    And still, it looks good on those Noir-ish leading men…

  3. I like the sound of your grandmother Grainne: in fact, my old granny not only smoked a stub of a clay pipe but was also well into ‘snuff’. Although I never really liked snuff I can still see the ultimate pleasure on her face when she had a good old sniff……………………Mike..

  4. I like the humor and candid quality of your delivery, Mike. I have a naturally rebellious personality. Although i was a take it or leave it smoker for a great many years, i didn’t become a true smoker until pressure through laws and lobbying that i became a defiant smoker. I never did smoke much in public, so that even now there are plenty of people who are surprised to learn i smoke, but i really do enjoy a cigarette while i’m writing. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because if i didn’t smoke, i would pace, which drives everyone in the house crazy, or maybe it’s a left over from the romantic era when smoking was considered sophisticated. I’m glad young people are stepping away from smoking. There’s no denying it’s a bad habit. However, as a rebel, those who just leave me alone to be myself have a better chance of seeing me quit than those who put the pressure on to reform me. That’s just how i am. I prefer to feel i’m making my own choices and i become very stubborn when i feel the choices are being made for me.

  5. I hate telling people what to do but as you get older, you might possibly want to think about quitting smoking. Its not as hard as you might imagine. There are tons of tools out there!

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