• What the Viewers of Smoke Swap had to say…

    Smoke Smoke or Super Smoke Me as Current TV renamed it has now aired (It is still shown from time to time on Current.TV)

    Posted below are a few comments and messages we received from viewers. We would like to thank you all for your messages of support.

    We are still smoke free ex-smokers!!

    There have been a lot of changes within the tobacco industry over the course of the Smoke Swap experiment and the life of this blog. And at the same time nothing has changed, the tobacco companies still agressively market their cancer sticks with beautiful promotional girls in shops and, clubs and bars in in the face of overwhelming evidence about the death and destruction they cause and public opinion.

    There has been a ban from smoking in public areas for over two years now. There was a lot of noise at the time that it wouldn’t work and a lot of BS  flying around about defying the law to the end.

    How silly and draconian that all seems now. How did we let them get away of polluting our air for so long?

    This blog is now at an end but I will leave it up for anyone who drops by or finds it by accident and want to find out about anything from the history of the cigarette, to the harm tobocco causes farmers, their families and communities to the escalating death rate in Asia as the tobacco companies shift their focus to the new money.

    I’ll also revisit the site every once and a while to reply to your comments or post a blog. Otherwise I will post some resources here for anyone who needs a litle help and support trying to kick cigarettes and to ultimately stop smoking.

    If you are trying to stop smoking I’m sure you can find lots of useful information here, thing you probably haven’t heard anywhere before, certainly not coined in some of the phrases I’ve used.

    I’m not a professional writer, never made a penny out of this blog. It’s been a labour of love and a way to purge my soul from working in the tobacco industry.

    My you live a clean and healthy life without cigarettes.

    All the best,

    Stop Smoking Inside Man.

    Date: 04 Jul 2007

    Hey well done for giving up the cancer sticks I have been fighting cigarettes for years as a personal trainer and have also seen how hard it is to give up so if you managed it in 14 days then you are a legend.
    The video should have shown a bit more of your journey of giving up because it couldn’t have been that easy.

    And give your mate Perry a pat on the back he is a legend there is no way you could get me as a non-smoker to try smoking for a week it would kill me I have the lungs of a baby.

    Anyway that’s my rant over I hope your well looking good as always. London’s good but bet your missing me harassing you at margarita’s every Sunday. lol

    I haven’t been there for ages actually as I am not in Sutton anymore

    Take care. Damaine x

     

    Superking Me is ace!

    Good work fella!

    Paul Hodson – Virgin Media

     

    Great work Perry- glad the smoking didn’t become a habit for you- they say do anything for 21 days (positive or negative) and it becomes a habit- consciously or unconsciously- so glad you stopped soon. – Justin Ellis -  Actor (LA)

     

    I have been meaning to email you for the last couple of days. Listen, I saw
    your film documentary about smoking on T.V. ( it was shown in ‘Current TV’
    Channel ) last weekend. It was on at around 12:30am – and yes, you do look
    good on camera LOL! Well done dude, I thought that the camera zoom on your
    vommit was classic !!! urghhhhhh! LOL!

    Sionara baby! Surianne x Singer/Songwriter

     

    Hello Katie

    In regards to your recent experiment, I have a few critical comments to make, however your video was very good.

    I’ve been smoking since 22 (stupid but that’s what I do best) now I’m 25 and can honestly say with the smoking ban heavily inflicted in Jersey, it’s made no such difference at all. It’s actually worse because the smells you are picking up in clubs & clubs isn’t too pleasant I.E. BO, sick (some cases) farting…SHOCKING BEHAVIOUR and bad, bad, bad aftershave.

    So the ban came in on January 2nd over here so I decided to give up… I was sound didn’t have one for a month but realised why am I giving up? as I enjoy it… in the time I was playing football I was shit when I wasn’t smoking, didn’t even feel any fitter… started smoking again and I actually picked up my game.

    So my theory is… it’s all mind games…yes it’s bad for you but think how many times you go to work and get the tube? taking the tube to work every day for year is probably 10 times worse than smoking 15-20 a day for about 5 years… That’s what I think.

    SMOKING IS BIG, CLEVER AND VERY, VERY COOL!!!

    I must add furthermore that smoking isn’t for CHAVS missy. Don’t you just miss when you are having a stunning meal and you are so full at the end… so you pick up a cigarette and it tastes so nice! BEST EVER isn’t it?

    Do you miss it, do you? You do don’t you?

    Hahahaha

    Only joking well done if you give up for good. Impressed after 10 years and it’s easy for you.

    With kindest regards, take care. Chris

     

    Hey there Katie, I know am not a “real friend” but seen your bulletin on me page, an checked it out, also checked the Superking video, it’s very well produced, proud of yah, hope you’re keeping it up, well done. Levi x

     

    Date: 10 Jul 2007, 12:33 

    Katie

    WHAT is going on…. I’ve decided to stop smoking as of tomorrow I’m gutted its an end of a beautiful relationship with Mrs. Silk Cut Red, just been to my first pre-season training session. 6 mile run in boiling heat followed by 1 hour and half hours of beach work (doggies… sprints and a game) I’m really hoofed… Can’t breath and I’ve fallen out of love with the nicotine, I never thought it would happen not after my rant to you the other day (however have four left so decided to honor them by forcing myself to smoke them.

    I usually fall out with Charlie… sometimes we fall out big time but lately we’ve been getting on but Mrs. Silk Cut Red we were a match made in heaven.. not any more no… GONE!

    BLAMING YOU hahaha

    Is it easy to give up… are you using anything?

    This is going to be hard isn’t it?

    Oh well… at least I will be able to breath again. No day, right night I feel like I’m on my death bed, was going to make a chilli con carnie tonight… fuck that I’ll probably set my kitchen on fire.

    Anyway…. wish I never seen your anti smoking video now :(

    Hope you are still going strong.  Chris

     

    Date: 10 Jul 2007, 11:30 

    Hi Katie

    Just watched the video. So were you using anything to help you quit (patches etc) or was it totally a cold turkey thing?

    I would have been interested to see you take the test Perry did to see if having quit smoking, if and how quickly your CM level dropped. Mike

     

    “Wow I love it! It’s a cool idea and well executed!! Definitely deserves a green light. But I must admit, it still makes me want to go out and have a smoke… Anon

     

    “Hi there, thought this was a really good video … Showing how much smoking does make you feel like crap yipee. By the way Katie looks gorgeous and loved the belly part in the mirror was very funny. x” Anon

     

    “G/L – Nice to see someone trying to quit on will power alone, good job. I quit more than 10yrs ago when I discovered I was going to be a mom. I may have had the right to pollute my body, but not my babies temporary apartment. I quit cold turkey too.” Anon

     

    Hi katie.

    I watched the video that you asked your friends to watch and I voted for it as well hope it gets shown on telly soon.

    It was really interesting and well made. I thought you were a natural presenter it’ll not be long ‘til you get your big break on TV.

    Also I’m glad you have given up smoking and hope you keep it up good luck. My mum gave up smoking last year, she was a smoker for 30 odd yrs. She found it tough but she managed it. She put on a little bit of weight but not 2 much, its probably ‘cos she started eating lots of sweets whenever she felt the craving for a ciggie. I think as long as you stick to eating sugar free sweets and maybe have some fruit when you feel a craving for a cig.

    My mam also took up painting as a hobby, which helped her a lot as it took her mind of the craving. So maybe you could take up a new hobby, like hangliding or rock climbing just kiddin’. Lol, maybe a less dangerous hobby.

    Hope this is of some help cya later, take care. Eric x


    Super Smoke Me is a film brilliant I loved it and I felt for you dude. I wouldn’t of done it. Have you tried to hand it to channel 4 to see if they’ll show it? I think it has a great chance to make it onto TV especially at the moment. Linton Ried

     

    Wow I love it! It’s a cool idea and well executed!! Definitely deserves a greenlight. But I must admit, it still makes me want to go out and have a smoke…  Jensen

    Hi there, I have recently decided to quit smoking and I found this pod very interesting.  
    nice production.  Shane Chapman

    Really liked this. A few of the freeze-frame bits were a bit long, but that’s nothing major and it clearly wasn’t an issue for Current as it’s on air! Really good production, and a real eye-opener. Adam Hunt

    As a recovering nicotine addict myself. I found this pod very interesting. Well put together and engaging. K Drew

    Interesting and well made. Should make people think twice about starting smoking. Dippy

    Great work documenting this issue. Your subjects made this piece extremely engaging. I also liked your titles and sepia tones on some of the footage. Hopemn

    This is a very original concept, which was greatly executed. Congrats for taking it to TV so quickly, and for putting yourself through this experiment.

    The production was well done overall, and the story had just the right pace to keep the viewer entertained throughout the entire piece. Pantazonia

    Well Done Katie, I’m Impressed… You were always a terrible smoker anyway, Lol. Nick

    It’s a very well documented video, I think it will be very useful for smokers an non smokers to watch. Well done Katie. Levi

    I think people should see this! GL Myself? Quit smoking 1 month ago. Smoker for 10 years. Will not start back. I can breath again. Within that 10 years, smoking gave me asthma and COPD! I am only 36 yo. Simplicity1971

    Another great production from you here. Very informative and well put together. I totally agree with the other comment by SIMPLICITY1971, that this piece should have gotten more attention by now. Pantazonia

    Hi Perry

    I particularly enjoyed The Smoking Man video which was journalistically-credible and puts forward a well-researched / informative argument about the environmental dangers/implications of people putting their (cigarette) butts out on the street… this documentary is the kind that would fit into the niche of Trevor Mc Donald’s news programmes.

    I also watched SuperKing me and I realise that you are trying to show the physical effects of smoking for 2 weeks. However, I think that the film needed to be longer to show the progression of the cigarettes effects in more depth… however well done on it given the time restraints.

    Siane xX

     

    Dear Perry,

    Wow wee you’ve been busy! I really liked the Smoking Man, what is happening
    with it? Lots of love, C
    PS You smoke a cigarette like a joint!  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  • Perry – Almost Two weeks later…

    All most two weeks later I fly into London City Airport from Schiphol Airport in Holland. The first billboard I see reads Welcome to Smoke Free England, today is a monumental day – the 1st July 2007, and the ban on smoking in all public places comes into effect. It is now illegal to smoke in bars, restaurants, taxis, offices in fact any public place.

    Also today a six minute cut of Smoke Swap re-titled Super Smoke Me is live on Current TV.It will also be shown on their website.You can view it here…

    I call Kate and we arrange to meet up in the West End of London to have a celebratory drink in the new smoke free environment. We are both now Ex-smokers!

    A few hours later we meet up but due to a number of factors out of our control, we can’t find a bar open to have a drink in – It’s almost 11pm on a Sunday, is it the recent terrorist attacks or is it because of the smoking ban?

    We head over to the East End. You can always get a drink there no matter what time of the day or night.

    We end up in a the 333 club and watch some people who are so defiant of the ban they pathetically hide away and smoke so as not to get caught by security. I feel sorry for them behaving in such a way. They’re not rebels, they’re not rock ‘n’ roll and they are certainly not cool. They look like silly little boys who are dependent, enslaved to an unfashionable and dieing habit.

    Read the whole of Smoke Swap from the begining. – Smoke Swap The Begining.

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  • DAY 14 Perry – Bermondsey

    Listening to: Stone Temple Pilots – Vasaline

    Emotion: Elated


    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!)

    smoking in bed

    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

    Smoking in Bed Deaths


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  • Smoke Swap DAY 1 – Perry – Shoreditch

    Listening to: – Hella Dare you to Smoke – Gorillaz v No Doubt – Party Ben

    Emotion – Drained

    ‘Ciao bella’ I kiss Katie goodbye and wonder off in the direction of the station to catch my train home.

    ‘Take care of yourself. I’m worried about you’ she says. I walk off into the crowds of obscurity. You’re worried about me! I’m worried about me!

    Rewind the clock five hours earlier and I meet Katie in a coffee shop in Old Street and head off for a spot of lunch. Thai if you want to know.

    After lunch I give Katie a crash course in camera operation and we talk about starting and stopping smoking. Today the mad idea turns to reality.

    We meet the crew and head in the direction of a newsagent to buy cigarettes. As this is Smoke Swap and I don’t want to burn my own money I suggest to Kate that she has to hand over her money that she would spend on cigarettes over the next two weeks. We calculate it’s going to cost about forty UK Pounds Sterling and as we don’t carry that kind of cash on us we have to leg it to a cash machine.

    We head back to the newsagents and like two kids in a sweet shop we purchase 14 packs of ten cigarettes, one for each day. This is like some perverse pick ‘n’ mix.

    This little symbolic act costs Katie £43.00. As she usually buys a pack as she needs them she realises how much she wastes on this habit of hers.

    Armed with a couple of handfuls of cigarettes we head towards the studio were we are going to start/stop Smoke Swap for real – not long now.

    I’m feeling higher levels of anxiety, knowing soon I’ll have to light up. My bravado is slowly ebbing away.

    The cameras are rolling. I look across at Katie and she looks relaxed and at home where I feel like a complete fraud. I’m not comfortable in front of the cameras and feel naked and exposed. There is no-where to run and no-where to hide. Soon I’ll disappear into a puff of smoke. Oh shit, what have I gone and got myself into…

    We exchange stories about cigarettes in our lives up to this point.

    I can’t put it off any longer. I hear myself using a thousand words were one would suffice but it’s no good, I can’t put it off anymore. It’s time to loose my Virginia tobacco.

    Katie and I choose our branded drug of choice. It is easy really. Kate used to smoke them and I used to market them… Marlboro Lights (No mention of ‘Light’ on the pack since 2002, Kate notices this for the first time. In the industry we renamed them Marlboro Gold). She takes her last cigarette and places it between her lips. She presents the flame from the newly filled Zippo lighter to the cigarette and slowly inhales the smoke for the last time. She then reluctantly hands it over to me.

    I’m such a dork, I’m not even sure how to hold it but suck on it all the same. The smoke gets in my eye. I inhale and exhale. To my surprise it goes down relatively well but it’s not natural to me to take the smoke down and I really have to concentrate during the whole process.

    Smoke Swap Perry Stevens Katie Piper

    Katie PiperPerry Stevens

    I repeat the action again but this time I start to cough and my heart starts to race. On the third pull now and I’m feeling light headed and now my legs feel as though they could buckle. Thank f**k I’m sitting down.

    I’m talking bollocks, ten to the dozen with a heady mix of adrenalin, nicotine and fear.

    There it is, I’ve done it. I’ve smoked my first cigarette. It wasn’t behind the bike sheds. I didn’t have to buy a packet of mints to disguise my odious breath from my parents and I don’t have to do this again.

    Fifteen minutes later we are posing for still photographs so I light my second cigarette. I sit by the window nonchalantly flicking my ash out of the window.

    The reality of it all is I’m holding on for dear life as I don’t want to faint and fall out the third floor window to the ground below. We all know smoking kills but today isn’t a good day to die. This isn’t good. It isn’t good at all.

    I’m burning up. My face drains of colour then I break out into a sweat. I dare not move, my legs have turned to jelly and I’ve shut up talking. The dialogue now is all in my head. ‘Don’t be sick, don’t be sick’ I repeat over and over again internally. You don’t have to be in the medical profession to see I look what is commonly described as ‘F**ked!’

    What is this? I’m supposed to be free, a rebel without a cause, a real man. That’s what seventy years of marketing has sold me but here I am, sick and quite on a sofa feeling like a weak and worthless individual. I’m embarrassed and distressed. I sit quite still but for the party in my guts. This is one party I don’t want spilling out onto the streets of East London. I remain in the same position for over an hour occasionally taking small tastes of cold water.

    Smoke Swap Katie Piper Perry Stevens Current TV

    Smoke Swap is going to be tough. I’ve really underestimated what I was taking on. I know the body is very adaptable but I question myself why would I want to subject it to this misery every day. I must be f**king mad.

    So I find my way back home and to bed. I can’t face another cigarette today. I’m up at 3:30am to catch a plane to Italy. Hopefully the Tuscanny sun will shine on me and tomorrow will be a better day.

    >> Get Help and Advice to Quit Smoking Now! <<

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