DAY 14 Perry – Bermondsey
Listening to: Stone Temple Pilots – Vasaline
I wake up early and have a cigarette in bed. It’s a pastime that contributes to 120 deaths and nearly 1300 injuries every year in the U.K. (Do you smoke after sex? Only if I’ve been doing it fast enough!)
Today is my last day as a smoker and if I’m totally honest and truthful I can’t wait to see the back of it.
I no longer smell cigarettes as I used to as I’m smoking all the time but every now and again I walk into a room of my flat and the stench hits me. The first thing I’m going to do tomorrow, my first day as an ex-smoker is to clean my home throughout and complete several loads of washing… oh the joy!
I’m sat outside the Tate collecting my thoughts and eating a spot of lunch. Of course I have a cigarette afterwards, my ninth of the day and it’s only 2.10pm.
I feel a bit guilty out here as there are hundreds of children around. I cup the cigarette in my hand. I don’t like smoking in front of children. I don’t want them thinking it’s cool to smoke because it’s not. I don’t need cigarettes to be cool. Cool is a state of mind and I’m ice cold baby!
Mind you, anyone who’s seen me smoking will testify I certainly don’t look cool when I’m indulging.
I meet Kate and head to Zakudia, a beautiful first floor bar on the South Bank. Dr Sunny Kaul and Dr. Ranak arrive shortly afterwards.
I chose this bar for several reasons to meet with the two doctors to discuss our last two weeks of Smoke Swap now it is reaching its’ end.
Firstly, it was one of the first bars I sold in the Marlboro cigarette bar display furniture.
Secondly, the impending smoking ban will be felt in bars more than any other public place – good or bad.
Thirdly, the manager, a gentleman by the name of Siseho is an ex-smoker
Forth and lastly when the ban comes into effect the manager is taking out the cigarette vending machine so not only will the venue be smoke free, you won’t be able to buy cigarettes in it.
I look at Kate as she tells the doctors her story of the events of the last two week. She has gone from a pro-smoker who didn’t care about the long term effects of her habit to someone who has been on a journey of self discovery, found an inner strength and confidence from breaking the addiction to cigarettes.
She can apply this new found confidence to other areas of her life and go forward a happy, healthy, beautiful and successful human being. In fact she has gone so far in two week she has started to sound like a anti-smoker telling us stories of other people she knows who smoke and she has been trying to tell them to give up.
I on the other hand have only had nine cigarettes today so I take a pack from my pocket and offer Kate one. She rightly refuses. I’m very proud of her. I apologise to Kate and the doctors present and light up. The smoke seems to gravitate cruelly towards Kate. I smoke my last cigarette. I don’t enjoy it. I know it’s my last. I will never smoke again.
Five minutes later and I’m once again a non-smoker. In fact now I’m an ex-smoker. I never thought I’d hear myself saying that. How am I going to explain this the next time I apply for insurance.
SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10
Old School Public Health Warning – Smoking in Bed (1978)
The dangers of Smoking in Bed
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