Staying Off The Ciggies

A couple of years back I decided to give up the cigarettes for a totally smoke-free lifestyle. As many ex-smokers will know this is not the easiest of tasks! I was plagued with withdrawal symptoms including dreams of being chased down a hill by large cigarette shouting, "You know you want me don't you!"

Having said this I have some great smoking memories. I think the height of my smoking career was at university. During exams revision in the university library, I would nip out at regular intervals for a ‘quick smoke’. I would usually be met by other fellow smokers outside the building where we would discuss about how we should get back in and do more revising.

Smoking culture can be quite a big deal at work too. In one of my previous jobs I remember how people would congregrate in the designated smoking area with a fag and acan of Redbull discussing the usual office politics. It was at this point that I began questioning whether I wanted to be a part of this or not.

However, giving up smoking is always fraught with difficulties. There is always at least one annoying smoker friend who tries to test your resolve by waving a packet of Marlboro Lights in your face. The new laws on smoking in the UK have certainly helped me though. It was too often the case that after a couple of drinks my anti-smoking resolve was weakened.

Another point is that in the UK it is becoming more and more expensive to smoke. In fact I think that the UK is probably the most expensive place in the world to have the habit. A packet of 20 cigarettes now costs a £5.67 compared £3.88 in 2000 and it just keeps rising. This current price is almost twice what the same packet would cost in Italy.

As a result of this many people opt for making their own cigarettes with rolling tobacco. I tried this for a while when I was smoking but have to admit I was not the best 'roller' around. Call me lazy but part of the smoking experience is to have your cigarettes ready made. When you are desperate for a smoke you don't necessarily want to be faffing around with rolling paper and filters.

Having given up now, I suppose can now reminisce with other ex-smokers about the glory days of waking up in the morning with a mouth like an ashtray. Ermm maybe not, but I will always be reminded everytime I manage to catch a whiff of cigarette smoke. I certainly understand how Chandler from Friends felt in this clip!

Anyway if you are trying to give up smoking or are an ex-smoker - I feel you brothers and sisters! Only those who have been there understand! :-)