I gave up smoking a couple of months ago. Thanks. I’m pretty pleased with myself, as would you be if it took seven attempts. My lungs are thrilled, ditto my heart and my mum. I’m more pleased that the smell of fag ash now makes me recoil and then feel faintly, unexpectedly nauseous because it suggests I won’t start smoking again. But that’s more of a personal goal.
If this sounds like a puff piece for No Smoking Day, it isn’t. No, this is a shout out to someone else quite smoking recently – Robert Pattinson, star of Twilight, boyfriend of Kristen Stewart, owner of sometimes excellent hair. He had previously quit but resumed in August after it was revealed Kristen had cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders. Rob’s method was a little bit leftfield. In perhaps my favourite example of a celebrity friend mash-up ever, NBF Leonardo DiCaprio got Rob onto electronic cigarettes and so far, it’s proved fruitful. So high five Rob for stopping.
Personally, I’m not convinced by e-cigarettes. I once tried one. As experiences go, it was up there with eating a scorpion in terms of weirdness. I also tried acupuncture, chewed the gum, tried the patches, read Allen Carr’s book, even went to the AC clinic which was a long, dull, eye-opening experience full of good intentions and pragmatic advice but my seat was by an open window and during the hypnosis, I could only hear the road-works outside. I even weighed up the merits of Zyban, the prescription anti-smoking wonderdrug, but decided the logicality was too baffling – take a pill, increase your dosage, and then just…stop. The only way to stop, from experience, is by stopping. Cold turkey. The silent treatment. It’s a maverick move, granted, but it’s also the most effective one.
Smoking is tantamount to an abusive relationship. And every time you think you’re out, it sucks you back in, asking for forgiveness. And you believe it! Despite being well educated and observant and well-versed on the sanctity of your own life. So to those of you who don’t smoke, don’t start. Sorry if that sounds a little preachy but just don’t. It’s gross. It makes your skin sink, turn sallow and grey, turns your hair brittle and will probably at some point kill you if not contribute to your death.
Easier said than done I know. I started fairly innocently, because I wanted to talk to a boy. I mean that’s the reason everyone starts right? Said boy was cool and covered in piercings and wore eyeliner and smoked so I took it up so I could stand outside when he was outside and stain my fingers yellow at the same time. We hooked up, albeit briefly, but it didn’t last long. The smoking did, though. At one point I was even smoking before breakfast. I cut down to just after meals, but when I was drunk my fag count went into double figures. I stopped for a week, allowed my lungs to recover, and then had a row with my mum and started again. Eventually I quit by just stopping. I have a bad heart and it just seemed ludicrous. I didn’t want to die. And I’ve remained stopped. High five me.
So props, Rob, because it’s not easy and girls/boys aren’t worth it. And if this sounds like an anti-smoking manifesto, then you’re right, it is.
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