As a recovering nicotine addict, I am always surrounded by temptation to spark up. Smoking is the perfect accompaniment to almost every activity. For example; in the morning with your breakfast and a coffee, on the way to work, break-times, before lunch, after lunch, sitting in a park on a sunny day, rewarding yourself for a hard job done, and the major biggie – going for a few pints in your local pub and having smoky interludes. If you can conquer this ritual in a pub context where alcohol and nicotine go together like cream-cheese and chili-flakes, you are 90% there with giving up.
What is so Appealing about Smoking Then?
- The ‘Hamlet’ moments. The memory of the Hamlet advert where the man in a reflective but peaceful poise is lighting up a Hamlet cigar could have etched into the smokers’ subconscious. It symbolized a moment of calm in a sea of chaos, some time out from the rat-race
- The Smokey Interludes. Since smoking was banned in public venues in 2007, it has meant that we have had to nip outside to top up your nicotine levels. This may have been a repellent for many people, but I like to go outside. If you’re in a noisy pub, you can’t hear people chat too well. Going out for a fag gives us the perfect excuse to go outside, escape the awful Spandau Ballet song that’s on, take in some sunshine (stranger things have happened) and have a gossip with friends or like-minded, new-romantic depreciating smokers!
- A habit that you can’t put down. For many, smoking ISN’T as enjoyable as the anticipation of smoking. But it is almost an autonomous habit. Like biting your nails. That isn’t enjoyable. Not really. But to stop doing it will compromise your sanity initially!
Those of us that try/have tried to give up may start the day with firm intentions of ‘this being the first day of my non-smoking life.’ But the triggers hammer away at your resolve. For example, whiffs of someone else’s cigarette smoke, the sight of someone with a cigarette, regular rituals, and how empty they seem minus a fag.
There are many nicotine supplements on the market. Giving up smoking is almost as big a business as smoking used to be! There are the traditional patches, nicotine gum, lozenges, micro-tabs, and the newest thing to emerge, which is as close to the experience of smoking a cigarette is the electric cigarette!