• DAY 8 Perry – Bermondsey to Barcelona

    Listening to: Rolling Stones – Satisfaction

    Emotion: Sleepy

    Today I’m up at the crack of dawn as I’m flying out to Barcelona.

    While waiting for a connecting train at East Croydon Station, I make use of the time to have my first cigarette of the day. I’m wearing my iPod and Mick Jagger sings in my ear ‘He can’t be a man ‘cos he doesn’t smoke the same cigarettes as me’. Ironic or a coincidence?

    Lambert & butler cigarette Pack InsertToday I’ll be mostly smoking Lambert & Butler. There is a card inside the packet explaining the pack has enhanced pack design for the UK’s #1 cigarette. What am I supposed to do? Write a letter to my MP? Run naked down the platform singing a chorus of hallajuhas or masturbate like a monkey?

    I decide to light up (only after considering the masturbation option for a minute or so) and it tastes like shit! (No change there then)

    I was in a club in Barcelona about a year ago and the whole night was sponsored by an unfamiliar brand to me called NY Blue. Four beautiful models greeted the customers at the door and offered them a pack of cigarettes. The venue was decked out in the brands colours, blue and white. Podium dancers, again in sexy outfits of the brands colours danced on podiums as only podium dancers can. An area was set aside to dress up in brand colours, silly hats, glasses and feather bowers to pose with a model in front of a backdrop and there were also scratch card giveaways. It will certainly be interesting to see what twelve months has made to the world of marketing cigarettes in Spain.

    I meet the crew in central Barcelona and hit a number of bars. Some bars are smoke free but most allow smoking and display a sign at the entrance that depicts a cigarette in a green circle.

    Later in the night I’m outside a bar somewhere in the Gothic quarter and I’m somewhat worse for wear. The fact that I didn’t remember any of this story until I saw it on video is by the by. I’m outside and I’m sharing a cigarette with a friendly girl. The media have coined a term for this kind of behaviour ‘Smirting’. It sounds inoffensive enough to me but in my day it was called something completely different and I didn’t need a cigarette as a prop to back me up. And as I remember I was some what successful at it too, but I digress. So there we are outside a bar and I’m being instructed into the art of blowing smoke rings. This is not a good look for me and taking the instructions literally from my teacher I end up making a noise like a seal performing for fish. I never manage to blow a smoke ring and I head back to my hotel alone. I’m not a cool smoker. It’s not cool to smoke. I’m a fool to smoke.

    Perry - Smoke Swap Spain

    Perry at Circuit de Catalunya – Spain 2007

    SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10

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  • Allen Carr was a life long smoker and now famous ex-smoking author of Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking. Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking has been translated into over 25 languages and sold well over 6 million copies. This makes it the authority book on quitting smoking.

    The common theme throughout Allen Carr’s book is the removal of fear. The Easyway is so successful because Allen understands the psychological dependence smokers have with cigarettes, the book will set you free to become a happy non-smoker.

    Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking has celebrity endorsements by Sir Richard Branson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Carole Caplin, Emma Freud, Gianlucca Vialli and Ellen DeGeneres.

    Click her for more information about Allen Carr’s Clinics

    Click her to get your Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking book or DVD


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    • Memorial Tournament Recap This week in golf featured the Memorial Tournament, presented by Morgan Stanley and hosted by...
    • getAbstract getAbstract is the world's largest online library of more than 5,000 business book summaries. It...

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  • NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

     The truth the agencies in the last blog don’t want you to know about.

    Cigarettes are a highly refined nicotine delivery system that last year alone generated £8,000 million for the government’s coffers.

    Today, with greater restrictions imposed on marketing and the sales of cigarettes and the immanent ban on smoking in confined spaces, more and more people are looking at giving up the weed.

    Although many of the 4000 ingredients found in the burning of cigarettes are carcinogenic, Nicotine is highly addictive and as dangerous as heroin.

     So if you want to stop smoking what are the alternatives?

    Will power or cold turkey – on your own dealing with the addiction, breaking the habit, the cravings and the physicality of what to do with your hands. This method is attributed to have a success rate of 1%. (That’s someone who is a non-smoker one year after giving up)

    Nicotine Replacement Therapy – patches, gum, nasal spray, microtab, lozenge and inhalators.

    If you approach a doctor, pharmacist of healthcare professional expressing support to give up smoking you are offered one of the above listed forms of NRT.

    These products are manufactured by large pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline & Pharmacia and are advertised as twice as effective as will power alone. Wait a minute, willpower alone is 1% successful so NRT is 2% successful or 98% unsuccessful. So why do medical professionals, NHS Smoking Helpline, Quit, British Heart Foundation and ASH promote them above all else and are there any other alternatives?

    Well all of these institutions and charitable bodies rely on either the government or the pharmaceutical industry for a sauce of revenue. I’m sure the people who work for any of these bodies are good people with good intensions but I can’t help thinking there is a serious conflict of interest here. This results in the people who need the real help in kicking the smoking habit swap cigarettes for patches.

    A common argument is that the government needs revenue from smokers or the economy would be screwed, but by swapping cigarettes for NRT this revenue stream continues to flow. So who has reverted back to smoking? Are you on a continuous cycle of smoking, NRT, smoking? So you tell me who’s getting screwed?

    Hypnotherapy – Men’s Health recently reported a success rate of 80% of stopping smoking with hypnosis and New Scientist wrote hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking, according to the largest ever scientific comparison of ways of breaking the smoking habit, willpower, it turns out, counts for very little.

    Why are alternative treatments like hypnotherapy and acupuncture not offered to people who wish to stop smoking when they appear to be the best method to stop? Is it because there isn’t a consistent revenue stream flowing back to the government coffers?

    More information about how to quit smoking. at Men’s Health.

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  • Sunday 13 May 10.03pm Perry

    Listening to – Bush – Come Down

    Emotions – Reflective

    Days until smoke down – 8

    ‘Dates change, seasons change, people don’t change’ (Jack in 16 Blocks). Just finished watching the DVD and of course Jack (Bruce Willis) changes but you knew that anyway.

    As I got online today the following article appeared on my AOL home page. Signs are everywhere.

    Smoking: Busting the Myths.

    We all know that smoking is bad for you – but sometimes it’s easier to believe the various half-truths and myths that surround smoking than to accept that it’s time to give up.

    Here we debunk some of those myths once and for all. Bring on the nicotine patches!

    Smoking makes you sexy httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Ti2nExlUk

    In fact, male smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to suffer impotence. Around 120,000 men in their thirties and forties are impotent in the UK as a result of smoking.

    The habit will also make your skin wrinkled and can leave you looking 10 to 20 years older than you really are, according to the Government’s Chief Medical Officer.

    Smoking calms you down

    It actually makes you more anxious – because when you aren’t having a cigarette, you end up suffering nicotine withdrawal symptoms, which make you crave another. Rather than being pleasurable in itself, it’s a way of easing your withdrawal – a bit like hair of the dog, really.

    Your health barely suffers if you smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day

    Sadly not true. Research shows that if you smoke one to four cigarettes a day, you’re three times more likely than a non-smoker to die from lung cancer or heart disease.

    What’s more, there is some evidence that the number of years you smoke affects your cancer risk more than the amount you smoke each day.

    Smoking ‘low-tar’ brands will protect my health

    Low-tar cigarettes are just as harmful as regular brands, because people inhale them much more deeply to satisfy their nicotine cravings. Nor are you safe if you avoid inhaling, because you’ll still be at risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and food pipe (oesophagus), which can be very disfiguring.

    My gran smoked 80 a day and died in her sleep at 94, so it can’t be that bad…

    We all have different genes and surroundings, which make some people more vulnerable to the damage done by smoking. But smoking dramatically increases your chance of dying early and getting cancer, heart disease or another smoking-related illness.

    Smoking helps you keep your weight down

    This is true, in that the habit reduces your appetite and makes your body waste energy. But you can avoid weight gain if you start to take more exercise (easier when you don’t smoke) and/or cut your intake of alcohol and high-calorie foods.

    There’s no point in stopping now – the damage is done

    In fact, your body starts to recover within minutes of you quitting. Within three days, breathing will be easier and you’ll have more energy; and within a few weeks, exercise will be less of a struggle.

    After ten years, your risk of lung cancer is about half that of a smoker, while your risk of a heart attack is the same as non-smokers’.

    The only thing that can help you give up for good is willpower

    Yes, willpower is vital, but there’s strong evidence that using nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches can roughly double your chances of success, because they take the edge off the cravings you will feel in your first few days.

    You can get NRT on prescription from your GP and there are also prescription drugs that your GP can give you to dramatically boost your chances of success.

    It’s better to cut down gradually than to stop suddenly

    The problem with cutting down is that you may never actually quit altogether. However, recent research shows that people who can’t face going cold turkey can give up by gradually cutting back on fags while starting to use nicotine replacement therapy to fill some of their nicotine gap – then, eventually, coming off NRT.

    The NHS is too poor to help me quitcigarette1

    In fact, the NHS runs free stop smoking groups all over the country – and you can join one by getting a referral from your GP.

    For expert advice on quitting, call Quitline 0800 00 22 00, or the NHS Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 0169.

    Other good sources of support and information are the British Heart Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health.

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  • Amongst Brazilian tobacco farmers, suicide rates are seven times higher then the average suicide rate reported for the rest of the country. These deaths coincide with the seeding and harvesting of tobacco plants. Many of the suicides were suffering from acute neurological imbalances. Organophosphate pesticides can result in psychological depression. Tobacco farmers use this pestercide. Any connection?

    The Brazilian Ministry of Health made changes to the pesticide labelling. The new labels for highly dangerous chemicals now resemble those of less toxic products. These changes took place after the agrochemical industry applied pressure on the government. However, most farmers are illiterate and protective clothing and storage facilities are expensive. Chemicals are often stored in a house or dwelling exposing children, pregnant women and the elderly to pesticide poisoning.

    The tobacco industry have investigated and patented many technologies that reduce substances in cigarette smoke that cause cancer, heart disease and emphysema. These include ‘Eclipse’, ‘Premier’ – FDA regulated devise could be used to smoke crack, and ‘Accord’ – a specially constructed cigarette and lighter. Most of these devices have been withdrawn or never implemented.

    Using advanced biotechnology, tobacco crops have now been engineered and grown to contain higher levels of nicotine. These crops fit the legal definition of a drug. In 1968 Dr David Owen tried to introduce nicotine to the Medicines Act (Pharmaceutical regulations) and proposed that tobacco as such a substance the act should control cigarettes. However the plans were dropped after ministerial reshuffles within the UK government.

    This consequently sees cigarettes being exempt from regulations that apply to pharmaceutical nicotine products. There by, tobacco products have a nicotine maintenance monopoly for nicotine addiction.

    Death Rates

    The death rate to cigarette related diseases in the UK is 120,000 p.a. That is a town the size of Norwich or Chester. In the past 40 years over 5 million people have died from smoking related diseases. That is 12 times more than in World War II.

    Smoking related deaths are 6 times higher in the UK than road accidents, murder/manslaughter, poisoning, suicide, overdoses and HIV put together.

    To put it into context, cocaine is an illegal class ‘A’ drug and is attributed to 140 deaths in the UK per year. Meanwhile the use of mobile telephones while driving was made illegal in the UK in 2004, 20 deaths in the last 5 years are linked to this practise. You have to ask yourself why can anyone from sixteen year old legally buy cigarettes?

    China now has the largest death rate from smoking of any country overtaking the USA. A third of all men will die if current habits persist.

     1 million smoking related deaths in China in 2000

    2 million smoking related deaths in China forecast by 2025

    3 million smoking related deaths in China forecast by 2050 (8000 per day)

    Cigarette consumption in China has risen from 100 billion cigarettes in the early 50’s to over 1,800 billion today.

    Find more information about smoking in China here.

     

     Worldwide deaths from smoking –

    4 million in 2000 – 50/50 between developed and developing countries.

    10 million by 2030 – 70% in developing countries.

     

    As litigation and laws surrounding the tobacco industry tighten up in USA and the EU the tobacco industry are shifting production and sales to the new markets of Russia, Poland, Cuba, Mexico, Egypt, India, South America and South Africa. There are little or no laws governing the sale of tobacco in these countries. Pressure on these governments to legislate against tobacco consumption now could save millions of deaths in the future.

    If worldwide consumption of cigarettes decreased by half by 2020 25 million premature deaths in the first quarter of the century and 150 million in the second quarter of the century would be avoided.

    People who stop smoking live longer, contribute to society for longer, experience improved health, lower the demand on the NHS, reduce the cost to employers in days lost to smoking related illnesses, have more money to spend and create more jobs.

    Cigarettes are exempt from most forms of consumer protection because products were already in the market before consumer laws were developed. The extent of harm to consumers by cigarettes cannot reach safety standard requirements as imposed on other products.

    Image if you will if you just invented a cigarette and took it onto the popular television show ‘Dragon Den’ How would you present it to the Dragons and what sort of reaction would you think you would get? Watch Dragons Den – Duncan Bannatyne in this Quit video.

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELtfKpYCGB8

    Although there have been moves to restrict advertising cigarette brands, introducing health warnings and lowering tar rates in cigarettes, nicotine regulations serve the tobacco industry over public health. Tobacco companies make voluntary concessions rather than legislate. This gives an air of perceived respectability to the industry, although agreements are difficult to monitor, controls are easily evaded and there are no penalties for violations. Health warnings also work in favor of manufacturers in litigation defense cases.

    Tobacco companies make a big noise of how most of their litigation cases are overthrown at appeal. The tobacco companies are at a distinct advantage over individuals, companies or evens States, because of their huge cash reserves they can tie the courts up for decades.

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  • Sunday13 May 2007 Perry

    Listening to: Matteo Scumaci – Good Hands

    Emotion – Positively charged

    Days until smoke down – 7

    Cycled down to Lewisham first thing this morning and hit the gym. I know it’s vanity on my part but I want to get my fitness levels up as high as possible if my health is going to be under the microscope for all to see. I ran 6 miles with relative ease and had an awesome leg workout with weights before cycling back in the rain.

    I really don’t know how smoking is going to impact on my training or my health but one thing is for sure, it’s not going to make it any easier. It’s going to be a great/horrible experience. I’ve been lectured to and had the riot act read at me about doing this. I’ve been asked ‘Would you inject heroin?’ by doctors ‘Because nicotine is worse than that’. Of course I wouldn’t. I know I’m taking a huge risk of becoming a cigarette addict but I’m strong willed and have a great support mechanism of friends, family and colleagues to help in the aftermath of this experiment. I will not let nicotine corrupt my belief mechanism. I’m going to smoke for two weeks and then I’m not smoking anymore. I’ve talked to my good friend Lee Bannister who also happens to be a hypnotherapist. The idea is that I see him before and after the experiment for hypnotherapy. I think it will be a good safety net to set in place. Although I’m feeling strong about it now, I am jumping into the unknown somewhat. I’ve started to have feelings of apprehension just thinking about sparking up. I’ll be so relieved when it’s all over. Got my sights set on running the London Marathon 2008. There I’ve said it! It’s in black and white. No going back now. Run forest run.

    The headline in the London paper last Thursday reads ‘BLAIR QUITS’ apparently it doesn’t refer to a smoking habit but he is stepping down from the position of President of the United States of Britain Plc. I hope that clears up any confusion caused.

    My friend Polly sent me a film called Scene Smoking – Cigarette, Cinema and the Myth of Cool. That’s what I’m watching tonight!

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  • So here I am, Saturday night and I’m still working at my PC. I met Katie last night and discussed Smoke Swap in Cargo. Ok, my friends Scrimshire were headliners but I can’t think of a more apt place than a smoky venue to discuss a tobacco related film. Cargo isn’t unlike any other bar in the amount of passive smoke circulating around the venue. I left about 3am stinking of the pungent odour and my cloths on my bedroom floor aren’t going to clean themselves today.

    I went to a preview screening of Taking Liberties at Amnesty International this week. An amazing film on so many levels made me laugh and genuinely scared me. The horror of this is it is real life and the laws the government have been eroding or passing in the last decade are truly shocking. If there is one thing that the government has got right and that is smoking ban in public places. No-one in their right mind can’t say this is a bad thing. Bring on the ban.

    Words of support… 

    Looking forward to meeting up Monday. Be careful with the fags though…. I’ve been trying to quit for fifteen years. It’s not fun.
    Neil Boorman – Author of Bonfire of the Brands 11/05/07

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt289JNcvsY

    I can’t believe you’ll start smoking!!!!!!! Now don’t you freaking start bumming fags of me, a’right!?!?!?

    Davide Scaleghe – Producer Current TV 11/05/07

    Cheers bredwin. I hope you die of lung cancer. X

    Sam Cox 12/05/07

    Right, I’m of to watch The Insider starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe based on the true story about Jeffery Wigand who blew the whistle on big tobacco in the USA. Just remember, it only takes one individual to change the world. I think there is a message in there for our Prime Minister! 

    Jeffery Wigand the Insider

    Jeffery Wigand

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wwJp8VDGzE

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