• I can stop smoking anytime I want!

    I like smoking!

    Smoking is cool!

    Smoking makes me feel like a man!

    If I stop smoking I’ll gain weight!

    Smoking is part of my lifestyle!

    Smoking is no more harmful than crossing the road!

    I’m not addicted to cigarette smoke!

    This is the last time I’m ever going to smoke!

    I only smoke joints they’re not as bad as cigarettes!

    I only smoke when I’m stressed!

    I’ll stop smoking when they get to £4, £5 a pack!

    I only smoke because my friends do!

    Smoking a cigarette gives me confidence!

    I could give up smoking anytime I want!

    I’ll smoke until I’m thirty then I’ll stop!

    I’ve always had this cough, it’s nothing to do with smoking!

    I’ll stop smoking when I have a baby!

    I’ll stop smoking before it kills me!

    I’ll stop smoking before it kills me!

    I’ll stop smoking…

    Don’t Fool Yourself… Stop Smoking before it Stops You.

    Happy April 1st.

    Stop Smoking Now Store


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  • DAY 12 Perry – Barcelona to Bermondsey

    Listening to: Amaury Perez – Andes Lo Que Andes

    Emotion: Excited

    I’m heading back to Barcelona airport, a fifteen Km drive from my hotel. I open a pack of Consulate Menthol cigarettes and my colleague riding shotgun beside me tells me that these are really bad for me. Mind you, it doesn’t stop her from smoking one of mine though.

    Last night or should I say the early hours of the morning, while returning to our hotel she confided to me she was quitting smoking as she had developed a bad cough and smoked too many cigarettes that night. But that’s what I found with a lot of smokers, they are always just about to quit. As the Spanish say ‘manana, manana, manana’. That or they’ve quit many times before. As Mark Twain once quipped ‘It’s easy to quit smoking. I’ve done it dozens of times before’.

    menthol cigarettes stop me smoking

    I don’t want to sound pious but where is their back bone, the will power or the strength of character in these people? Are there that many people so insecure and weak who can’t stand by their own convictions?

    Reading that back now, I that it sounds harsh but really the easy option is just to carry on and blame everyone and everything around them for their problems. If change is going to come it has to come from within. That can be a scary place to look for some people. It’s easier to loose yourself in drugs, shopping and celebrity bullshit than start a journey of the self. But I believe the journey is worth starting. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your self to stop smoking! Not your kids, not your partner or your boss. You owe it to yourself to stop smoking. You are a beautiful person.

    Rant over – The menthol cigarettes taste minty fresh, like toothpaste and are more pleasant than the other brands I’ve been smoking. The mint flavour comes from an application of menthol essence in the form of a spray to the silver foil in the pack of cigarettes not buy adding sprigs of mint leaf to the tobacco as many people believe. This odour seeps into the cigarette, adding a few more chemicals to the already heady mix.

    stop smoking Japanese Menthol cigarettes

    I know of people who started smoking menthol cigarettes when they were children because firstly they are very smooth to smoke and secondly they thought their breaths would smell of Polos. Of course their breath didn’t smell of Polos and their parents busted them for smoking. The truth is because they are easier to take the smoke down, they are more harmful than ‘normal’ cigarettes.

    I remember being told at Philip Morris that sales of Marlboro Menthol would rise during the winter months as some people were under the illusion these cigarettes were healthy cigarettes! Hello – there is No such thing as a healthy cigarette!

    I’m sure many children start smoking Menthol, the alcho-pop of cigarettes as their first cigarettes. Perhaps the tobacco companies could also manufacture chocolate, strawberry, vanilla or even Mc.Chicken Nugget flavoured cigarettes to get the kids hooked early. Sounds far fetched? I wish it was as this has already been done.

    Now I’m really finding it easy to smoke ten cigarettes a day. It’s quite frightening how easy it is in from my first experiences to twelve days down the line.

    I’ve got two days left now in this experiment and it would be easy to carry on smoking as the worst of the side effects are over but I know this would lead me down the road to addiction and I don’t won’t to be dependent on these little things that kill. I could even smoke more than ten a day now, I’ve hit the groove, I’m thinking like a smoker. But ten is more than enough for me, thank you very much.

    I must admit, I like the social aspect of this anti-social action. Hanging about, having a chat, a cup of tea and a cigarette is fun but the reality is I can do all that without cigarettes in my life.

    SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10

    One Thousand Americans Stop Smoking every Day – By Dying!

    Read more here…

    Why is it Hard To Stop Smoking?

    Stop Smoking to Prevent a Stroke

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  • Katie Piper – Smoke Swap Day 11

    It has dawned on me, just how much time I have wasted everyday of my life when I smoked. Instead of spending my days and nights puffing away on cigarettes I could have done just about anything else. Promote myself and my career, got fitter, learnt a new skill, spent the money travelling or see more of my friends and family. Instead I’ve been procrastinating and shortening my life expectancy.

    Stop Smoking in Erawan National Park

    The Smoke Swap experiment has already changed my life for the better. I’m in a more positive place and looking forward to getting on with my life as a non smoker.

    I look at people addicted to smoking in a whole new light. Smoking is dumb and chavy. If I can stop smoking anyone man woman or child can. Sometimes it takes a big life changing event to make you realise how stupid it really is. Sometimes it is just allowing your self the time to question your actions and habits and then make a decision. Then, if you want to change them, have the convictions to follow them through to the end.

    Life isn’t easy, it never is but I now believe there are no easy answers or solutions to be found when smoking a cigarette.

    Stop Smoking Opportunities

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    Stop Smoking by Reading

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  • Day 7 – Kate

    Not much to report today. I got up and wanted a cigarette, I went to a casting and wanted a cigarette to calm me down, I had lunch with Perry and wanted a cigarette and now I’m bored and want a cigarette.

    Stop Smoking/Start Smoking - Smoke Swap

    It’s been a week without cigarettes, the longest I’ve ever been without a cigarette for ten years. I should be happy but I feel bored and miserable without cigarettes since I stopped smoking. I though I was supposed to feel better without them. How long does it take to get this clean living high?

    I know I’m being silly and a moody bitch and I know it will get better but today is just so errh!

    The only consolation is that Perry, old Smokey Joe has been sick smoking but now is smoking all the time. Cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth when he’s on his mobile, what a pikey. I can’t get used to seeing him smoke. It just looks wrong and he’s off to Barcelona tomorrow. It’s not fair!

    Advice on Cigarette withdrawls symptoms

    Cigarette withdrawls

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  • Day 6 – Perry

    Florence to London

    Listening to: Heaven’s in Here – Tin Machine

    Help to Stop Smoking

    Last night we went in to the cemtre of the renaissance city of Florence and had a couple of drinks to unwind after finishing our job out here in Italy. The city is very beautiful and picturesque, the locals were friendly (don’t these Italians like to smoke) and the night balmy.

    stop smoking in FlorenceI left the bar near Duomo we were in a couple of times to smoke outside and met some cool people from Canada and the USA. We bonded over a cigarette and then went our separate ways.

    If there is one good thing about smoking it’s the opportunity it allows you to talk to strangers without any pressure. There seems to be an unmentioned bond amongst smokers, a little club even.

    Saying that, a non smoker could start a conversation with a stranger just as easily but there is no common link to get the conversation, however transient of fleeting started so easily. I guess a lot of young people start to smoke because of their lack of confidence and need a prop to help them engage with others. I’ve seen other who don’t smoke carry lighters to meet girls easier too.

    My interpreter tries to teach me to blow smoke rings but I end up doing some bizarre impression of a seal!

    Today I drove from Florence to Bologne airport along the major roads instead of the scenic route because of the time constraints we are under. After checking in I shared a couple of cigarettes with the interpreter and flew back to the Stanstead. She is intrigued by the Smoke Swap experiment and says she wished she never started smoking. I tell her it’s never too early to stop smoking. From the airport we caught a train back to Liverpool Street Station and finally a taxi back home.

    As with the outbound journey, there are very few opportunities to smoke but by the end of the day I’ve got my 10 in. In the space of a few days I’ve learned how to smoke at every opportunity. I’ve come a long way in a short space of time. The scariest thing is just how fast the body adapts. If you asked me after the first day if I would be smoking ten cigarettes a day within a week and would have said ‘no way’, but here I am.

    Smokes today 10 -10

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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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  • Monday 28 May 2007 8.45 AM Perry

    Listening to – The Doors – When the Music’s Over

    Emotion – Exhausted

    Days until smoke down – 3

    I’m sat on an almost deserted platform 4 of London Bridge Station waiting for a train to take me east. It’s a Bank Holiday and true to form it’s pissing it down with rain. For those of you unfortunate enough to be slaves to the wage, a Bank Holiday is something to look forward to even if it’s only to bitch about the stinking weather the next day at work.

    I freelance so it doesn’t have the same magic for me. It’s another day to put towards the rent. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Still I’d rather live my unstable life than know I’ve only got two weeks in the sun every year. I’m not mocking anyone who works 9 to 5. I’ve tried it and it’s not for me. It’s all horses for courses as they say.

    Anyway it’s cold, damp and grey and the platform is almost deserted. The metal seat freezes my arse and I turn up the collar of my winter jacket I thought I’d put away, well for the winter. I get a whiff of smoke as a fellow walks down the stairs fag hanging out his miserable mouth.

    I cast an eye over the stranger in the dark crombie coat. The scene reminds me of Bogart or a scene from an old French black and white movie, it’s all goune Noir darling! The dark, brooding man in a long dark coat is sucking on a guiloise in a grey station. Is he a spy or is Bridgit Bardot about to ask him for a light, a cigarette perched on full lips.

    My thoughts stray over the railway line and I notice an extraordinary amount of discarded cigarette butts between the tracks. There is the odd can of coke or paper coffee cup but as far as the eye can see in both directions cigarette butts litter the track. I find it astounding that people who would normally take their litter home or find somewhere to discard it never bat an eyelid when they toss their butts on the floor or out of car windows.

    I for see this problem reaching epidemic proportions in the near future when more people find themselves outside hav

    inge a fag. The entrance to every office will resemble a shooting gallery with all the addicts puffing away getting their fix and discarding their nicotine delivery system of choice.

    The biggest addicts will be noticeable by their littered domains, rather like dogs fouling their turf and marking out their territory.

    cigarette stubs

    I must make sure I don’t litter as I undertake the experiment and find a way to safely deposit my cigarette ends.

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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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  • 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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