Giving up smoking

Do you smoke?

The safety of e-cigarettes is unknown, people who smoke roll-ups appear to view themselves as a different kind of smoker – that’s just not the case and a packet of 20 straights are £10.40!

Gosh! That’s nearly 25% of my weekly food shop.

I tried smoking once and obviously did it wrong. I had the uncomfortable burning sensation in the back of my throat and nasal discomfort followed by an unusual mint aroma having purchased Consulates to reduce the risk of my parents knowing I had sinned and done something they had always told me I should never do.

I remember sitting in the back of the cinema with my packet of cigarettes and my friends trying to look cool, but I failed miserably. I was coughing and my eyes were watering, I haven’t tried smoking since.

For this article, I reached out to friends and family and asked them about their smoking habits.

I spoke to Maggie who is an ex-smoker. Maggie is a young 71 years old who has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions.

When did you start smoking and why?

I started smoking when I was 16 and smoked for approximately 30 years. I began smoking because most of my friends and parents smoked and my parents did it too. There were no big negative issues about smoking then. Film stars smoked and there were lots of adverts showing the pleasure that smoking gave.

When did you give up smoking and why?

Years went by and then people on tv, writers in magazines and the doctors started to tell us about the different illnesses you could get from smoking. I tried different methods to give up smoking including the nicotine patches, however, they didn’t work for me.

A friend recommended a book on how to give up smoking by Allen Carr.

It worked for me, I was so pleased.  

Did you feel healthier when you stopped smoking?

I can’t say that I felt physically better health-wise because I felt good when I smoked. Mentally I was more relaxed, I didn’t feel like I needed to have a cigarette to make me calmer. I also started to eat a better diet.

Did you try the nicotine gum and patches?

Yes but I really missed the smoking, I still felt deprived so the patches and gum didn’t work for me. However, once I finished reading Allen Carr’s book I didn’t feel deprived at all. I wish I had read the book sooner. Apparently, Allen Carr almost killed himself smoking nearly 60 cigarettes a day and almost lost his family too through his smoking.

Have any of your friends or family died from smoking?

I haven’t personally lost any family or friends due entirely through smoking. Although some that have passed away, cigarette smoking may have played a contributory factor towards their death. None died at an exceptionally young age though.

Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Yes,  if you are serious about giving up smoking, please read Allen Carr’s ‘Easy Way To Stop Smoking’.

It worked for me, it could for you. (1)

Thank you, Maggie, for your contribution to this article, it has been really useful and I hope those smokers that want to quit read Allen’s book.


And relax…

We all love the sensation of calm and relief and choose different channels to achieve that:

  • Exercise
  • Change in diet
  • More sleep
  • Talking things through
  • Sex
  • Physical contact
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Different interests
  • Smoking

Smoking is just a means of delivering nicotine into the body. It’s an addictive chemical much like caffeine and sugar. The chemicals can produce relaxed and fulfilled feelings in our bodies.

Cigarettes – roll-ups or straights?

What’s the difference between roll-ups and normal cigarettes?

I read an interesting article by the Independent, ‘Rollies vs Straights: Roll your own at least as hazardous as any other type of cigarette’

It claims that smokers of roll-ups are being ‘mis-sold’ tobacco products. Roll-ups have become popular in the UK in recent years because they are a lot cheaper than straights. Fiona Andrews, director of Smoke Free South West said,“People who smoke roll-ups appear to view themselves as a different kind of smoker – that’s just not the case,” she said, adding that many people had responded to surveys in the area explaining that their preference for rollies was based on an unfounded impression that they were “organic or natural”.

Read the full article here. (2)

There is a lot of information out there about giving up smoking.

These are some words of advice from the experts:

  • Find your reason to give up smoking. You need a strong personal reason to quit
  • Seek medical guidance if required
  • Educate yourself about smoking and the different ways that you can give up
  • Prepare yourself before you go cold turkey
  • There are lots of different types of help out there like hypnotherapy
  • Avoid stressful situations that may trigger a desire to have a cigarette
  • Avoid alcohol, especially to start with
  • Keep a clean house
  • Exercise to help relieve stress
  • Consider nicotine replacement therapy
  • Nicotine replacement therapy

Nicorette is the brand name of a number of products for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) that contain nicotine. (3)

Nicorette was the first nicotine replacement product on the market. The product range includes chewing gum, lozenges, patches of two kinds (transparent and non-transparent), oral spray (Nicorette QuickMist), inhalator, sublingual tablets (Nicorette Microtab) and nasal spray.

Electronic cigarettes

An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a handheld electronic device that replicates the feeling of smoking tobacco. It works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol, commonly called a “vapour”, that the user inhales. Using e-cigarettes is commonly referred to as vaping. Not all e-cigarettes contain nicotine.

The safety of electronic cigarettes is uncertain. There isn’t much information about their safety. Reviews on the safety of e-cigarettes have reached different conclusions, e-cigarettes cannot be considered harmless. (4&5)

Other alternative therapies to help giving up smoking are:

  • Homoeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnotism   

Let us know if you’ve tried any of these and your success.

Here are some Interesting facts about smoking in the UK:

  • It is illegal to smoke in a vehicle with anyone under the age of 18 in the UK (6)
  • There is a smoking ban in the UK making it illegal to smoke in all enclosed places (7)
  • It isn’t illegal to smoke (it is if a passenger is under 18), eat or drink  in a car unless the driver is driving without due care and attention (8)
  • Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 if they don’t stop people smoking in the workplace or up to £1,000 if they don’t display ‘no smoking’ signs (9)
  • In Scotland, there is a fixed penalty fine of £200, which can go up to £2,500 if the fine isn’t paid (10)
  • Smoking isn’t allowed in any work vehicle that more than one person uses, such as taxis, buses, vans, goods vehicles, company cars used by more than one employee (11)

Smokey memories…

Both of my granddads smoked. One smoked straights and the other smoke roll-ups.

It use to fascinate me to watch my grandad take the tobacco out of his old battered tobacco tin, lick his fingers and pull out the little thin slither of smoking paper. He would sprinkle the tobacco in, add a tip, roll it up, lick the edge and produce the perfect shape roll up.

He would then roll up a piece of paper for me and colour, in the end bright red so I could pretend I was smoking whilst I sat on his knee. I must have been so young. I remember putting his fluffy white hair in little bunches with my pretend cigarette hanging out the corner of my mouth!

My other grandad smoked straights, close to 60 a day!

I was amazed by his ashtray, it did what appeared like a magic trick. You put the finished cigarette butt in the ashtray, press a button and it would disappear, like magic!

I do know that he sadly died from smoking. Smoking nearly 60 cigarettes a day is extreme. He was diagnosed with blocked arteries and the doctors said he had gangrene in his legs and they potentially needed to amputate them. He had a heart attack before they were able to operate.

What happens in Austria, can stay in Austria…

I went to Vienna a few years ago and I was astonished at their attitude towards smoking.

It literally is role reversal out there and it appears, non-smokers are the minority.  A lot of the restaurants and bars divide their premises between smokers and non-smokers, the smokers get the larger area.  At the airport, there are smoking cubicles! They look like phone boxes and huddles of smokers squeeze in them and get their fix of nicotine.

It is bizarre to me but I confess that I am hooked on sugar and would be quite happy to stand in a cubicle anywhere and eat bars of chocolate!


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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **




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** The content on this site should not be used as medical advice, we are giving our readers information and insights. If you are concerned about your health or need medical advice please see your doctor. If you are struggling with any issues please talk to someone – don’t suffer in silence. **