There’s a bit of a debate at the minute around smoking on hospital grounds which, again, like all debates usually approaches a problem from how to deal with the symptoms rather than the causes of the problem, in this case smoking.
I used to smoke, I stopped 14 years ago, in February 2000. I had tried all the usual methods, hypnosis, nicotine patches (which were worse than smoking), none of which worked. I wasn’t a heavy smoker, I could cut it down to 3 a day but I just couldn’t manage to stop them completely. Then I came across the Alan Carr book on smoking ‘The Little Book of Quitting’ ( I had tried the bigger book, the Easy Way to Stop Smoking but found it too much). I used to carry this little book around with me and read it while waiting for buses, appointments or just when I got 10 minutes to myself. This went on for several months and then one magical day I stopped. I had been out the night before and as all smokers know, when you drink you smoke like a train,(this was back in the day when I used to drink too. My mouth felt disgusting, as if it was carpeted, I looked at the packet of cigarettes, there were about 5 left in it, and I thought to myself, ‘ I am never going to put one of those disgusting things back in my mouth again’. I threw the packet in the bin and that was the end of that.
The amazing thing about this is that it was during one of the most stressful periods in my life. My marriage had ended (I had left the marital home in January) so I was homeless, jobless, broke, with 3 teenagers in tow and 4 year old! I didn’t put on any excess weight either, I even managed to lose about 10lbs of extra weight that I was carrying, not to mention the 150lbs of dead weight I dropped from leaving the marriage!!
So, if anyone is thinking about stopping smoking, I would recommend this little book. Now, the only thing you have to be aware of, is that someday you may have an emotional outpouring because smoking is another of those methods that people use to ‘suck’ down their emotions so you will find that you will be a bit more emotional for a while but this will settle down. Just remember, feelings are just feelings, and no one ever died from a feeling, if you just realise this and sit with it, it will pass. Just have a good cry! It’ll do wonders for you.
Now if any government was serious about stopping smoking, here’s a suggestion which would wipe out smoking within a generation or at the very least reduce it drastically.
The legal age to buy cigarettes is 16, starting from next year, raise the age to 17, and the year after to 18 and keep raising the age every year until it reaches 25, because most people start smoking as teenagers but if they can’t buy cigarettes until they are 25, there’s a very high probability that they will never start. Simple.
As usual, all comments are welcome.
I've never smoked but I found this an interesting read. I will say one thing, though; I don't think that the government are actually serious about stopping people from smoking. The NHS load might be easier to manage but imagine what they'd lose in taxes! Same with overcharging motorists. They don't want people to quit their "vices", they just want to make them feel guilty while taking their money.
As for kids, they start smoking from far younger than 16, so if they can acquire cigarettes that easily, raising the age isn't going to make the blindest bit of difference. A more effective method would be perhaps to appeal to their vanity by telling them that smoking is bad for the skin, etc. Pictures of lungs and whatnot won't work because that's too far down the road and we've no real feel for the gravity of any of that until it's too late because we can't see it happening.