If you can find the Inside Man, you can find the will and the way to stop smoking for now and forever.
Here is the Youtube Search Story video for the Inside Man.
DAY 12 Perry – Barcelona to Bermondsey
Listening to: Amaury Perez – Andes Lo Que Andes
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’.
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.
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
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DAY 11 Perry – Barcelona
Listening to: U2 – Crumbs from your Table
I’m now into day 11 of smoke Swap or as I now like to think of it as 3 days to go until I stop smoking. Just three days from now, (not that I’m counting down the days… but I am) and I’ll be a non-smoker or an ex-smoker.
I’m in with the in crowd. The whole team have now excepted me as a smoker and models and crew alike offer me cigarettes as they would anyone else they know who smokes.
I refuse to offer anyone a cigarette, not because I’m tight but because of my own moral justification and code. I simply don’t want to encourage anyone to smoke. If anyone asks for a smoke however, I do oblige.
One of the models today informs me she has just finished six years studying to be a doctor and is now about to start her first year as a general practitioner in Barcelona Hospital. She says she should be setting a good example as we share a cigarette but… The thing is, when we are young we think we are invincible. We blank out or refuse to acknowledge the consequences of our actions. Even doctors, with all their knowledge and first hand experience of the pain and suffering cigarettes cause to smokers and their families aren’t amune. The cigarette marketing propaganda that has been going on for decades warps our logical though processes.
The Editors – Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors
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DAY 10 Perry – Barcelona
Listening to: The Clash – Lost in the Supermarket
I have my first cigarette of the day while driving to the Circuit de Catalunia. It’s the first time I’ve smoked at the wheel of a moving car and it’s a left hand drive model, the car not the cigarette. No point in doing things by half.
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My lefts hand slides into the cargo pocket of my shorts and I’m rummaging around until I locate the new pack of ten Dunhill Reds. I pull them out and glance at the truck coming up on my left.
I steady the wheel and remove the cellophane wrapper from the pack and take out a cigarette. Once I’ve stuck the cigarette in my face I can navigate the pack back into my shorts pocket which is easier than taking it out. I shift up a gear and push the cars lighter in. After approximately thirty seconds it notifies me with a reassuring clicking sound that it is hot and ready for action. I feel for the lighter, locate it and present it to the end of my cigarette. I suck deeply but almost instantly notice I’ve got the cigarette in my mouth the wrong way round. I check my mirrors, more out of embarrassment that I may have been seen lighting the wrong end of a cigarette than locating the next passing vehicle. I spin it around and inhale. I return the lighter to it’s home in the centre console, take the cigarette from my mouth and return both hands to the wheel.
A couple more drags on and I’m feeling light headed. Not a good way to feel when I’m driving on the wrong side of the road for an Englishman at 120 KMH.
The whole process only took a minute or so but I definitely wasn’t concentrating on the road one hundred percent with both hands on the wheel.
My first cigarette behind the wheel is on a motorway. I wouldn’t like to guess what it would have been like if I was driving through a city centre, passed a school or urban conurbation.
There are no statistics for accidents caused by smoking while driving but I can testify that while going through the process of finding the pack, lighting up and then smoking the cigarette I wasn’t focused on driving with due care and attention. Far from it.
SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10
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Day 9. Katie
Oh dear, the money I am supposed to be saving on ciggies, I am rapidly spending on parking fines! The non smoking recluse I am has made me turn to late night biscuit sessions, consequently I then sleep in and forget to move my car and receive a £50 fine! NIGHTMARE.
I think the effects of quitting are showing a bit where the cigarettes have been so damaging on my body the results are gross. I’m coughing, have a running nose, dry skin and terrible spots, not forgetting the dreadful weight gain, but I guess I’m starting to realise just how bad smoking is for me, all that crap coming out in its own wicked ways and when I reflect I suppose it’s quite bad at 23 to be out of breath when running up the escalator! I think that is going to be my new goal to be able to climb the escalator with out my chest locking like a chastity belt. I’ve often told myself ‘it’s not the fags, no self respecting Londoner can climb those mammoth escalators without a slight wheeze’.
I think the denial is starting to fade and the realisation is quite scary, I’m killing myself in my twenties. How awful is that? But not only that I’m finding it incredibly hard to stop contributing to my own slow and extremely painful death! So I say a big ‘thank you’ to those conscious less tobacco companies that shamelessly promote this hit, shoving it down our throats, telling us it’s hip, cool, even necessary, roll on July the 1st I say!Related Posts
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Day 8 Kate
Good Lord, I have to write, I’m officially having the worst withdrawal since the experiment started. Its 4.30am and I cant sleep, I need a fag so bad. I just polished off a can of ravioli and a bottle of coke, ahhhhhhh. What’s happening to me? Ravioli at 4am! I m turning into a blob!
I never realised how much smoking suppresses your appetite until I stopped smoking. Oh speaking of which, theirs a can of Tom and Jerry pasta shapes with my name on it in the cupboard! Right on my 2nd bowl of food now and I feel fat, I’m miserable without my ciggies!
I’m suffering from insomnia so still up, its 5.30am and I’m on Myspace talking to someone who lives in Transylvania, how random, but this is what it’s driving me to. I wish id never started smoking it’s taken over my life and ruined me!
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Day 4 – KatePiper
I find myself staring at people smoking cigarettes, I can’t help myself. I want to take a drag of a cigarette and inhale the succulent smoke deep down into my lungs. It’s really hard when all around me everyone is smoking, especially after a glass of wine or two or a meal.
Sleeping is proving to be a problem for me. I feel bloated and wake up in the middle of the night gasping for a cigarette. I’m supposed to be saving money but I’m spending more now then ever. Not on cigarettes but biscuits and snacks.
I pop down to the shops late at night and stock up on loads of biscuits, chocolate and crisps and by the morning they’ve all gone.
I may well be going to live forever by stopping smoking but I’m going to be one big bloater if I do! Tell me it’s going to get better! I’ll have to start going down the gym, at least I won’t be out of breath walking up the stairs before I get there.
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Today started of well. I’ve come up with a strategy to ensure I get my ten a day in. After every meal and every break I’ll have a cigarette. That should take me above half way. The other three or four cigarettes I can smoke at the end of the day to reward myself. If I’m going to complete this experiment successfully I will have to start thinking like a smoker and plan my waking hours around smoking. Of course if I was a smoker I would do this without thinking as it would be habitual.
I had breakfast early and had a cigarette immediately afterwards. I head back to my room and brush my teeth, pick up my bag and head to the garage to take the car out. On the short walk from the hotel to the garage I spark up my second cigarette of the day. I love the smell of four thousand burning carcinogenic substances in the morning. Not!
I get on site and some of the crew notice I’ve started smoking. I explain what and why I’m doing it. Some of them look at me with the look of ‘You stupid southern fuckin’ idiot’ on their faces (I inform them that I was actually born in the Midlands) while others are more than happy to offer me a cigarette, coach me on cool ways to smoke, teach me tricks with a lighter or tell me anecdotes about the three strike rule.
The Three Strike Rule
The three strike rule first appeared during the war. I’m not sure which war but I would assume it was World War I. Soldiers would congregate together and share tall tales about girls, nylons and chocolate. It’s blackout and a nazi sniper could be almost anywhere. A soldier pulls out a pack of ‘Luckies’ he won of an American GI in a game of cards and offers them around his comrades in arms. Soldier #1 strikes a light and because he’s British a polite offers soldier #2 a light first. The sniper sees the flicker of a flame and takes aim. Soldier #1 offers soldier #3 a light. The sniper steadies the shot and slowly sqeezes the trigger. Soldier #1 then lights his own cigarette and promptly hits the dirt as the sniper offloads a round in to his forehead. Back then no-one knew cigarettes could kill, but they were learning fast, hence the three strike rule.
Cigarettes kill more people than all the world wars combined. One person every five minutes dies from a smoking related disease.
A collegue came up to me backstage ‘I noticed you’re smoking, so can I blag a cigarette of you?’ ‘Yeah no problem’ I say offering him a B&H. ‘Oh, you’re alright, I’ll ask someone else for one’ he said‘ They taste like shit!’ Now I’m no connesier but they all taste like shit to me! A smokers’ sense of taste is seriously eroded because of their habit but it is comical how they debate the taste of one cigarette over another. Of course they are fooling themselves. And so started a debate about the various merits of one cigarette brand over another. It amazes me how passionate people can be about their cigarettes. How emotionally connected they are to their cigarettes. They identify themselves and others by the brand they smoke. An attack on their brand of cigarette is a personal attack on themselves or their Mothers such is the close relationship fostered between man and cigarette. Marlboro is the second biggest brand in the world (Pampers is the biggest apparently, not Coca-Cola as everyone presumes). So with over seventy years of advertising, brand positioning and marketing behind it most of the messages you take from that little box of twenty have been conveyed to you so many times you don’t even question them.
The Nazis had a very effective propaganda campaign in the 1930 and 40’s – take a simple message and repeat it many times. Eventually you don’t question it, you take it as gospel. This is exactly the same when it comes to building a brand such Marlboro Lights. I always say question everything. Nothing happens by accident and if there is money to be made prepare to ask many questions.
Cigarettes are broken down into two categories:
1) Virginia tobacco cigarettes
2) Blended tobacco cigarettes
If most cigarettes fall in to the two categories, why do smokers champion one brand over another? Well that’s down to marketing. I remember when I was at Philip Morris being told that Marlboro Lights sold more at the weekends than in the week. The reason behind this statement? People who would normally smoke a brand at of cheaper cost price and perception and would buy a packet of Marlboro Lights on a Friday night before heading out on the town. Along with their designer clothes, their mobile phone, lighter and their last fashion accessory a packet of cigarettes.
Of course we at Philip Morris spent a great deal of time and money positioning our brand in all the best and most aspirational bars, club, and parties in every city. The kind of clubs ordinary people can’t get passed the red rope. We sponsored exclusive and glamorous sports such as F1 were the average man in the street can’t afford a ticket. And sold the product exclusively at all the music festivals were all the great and the good of the rock n roll world would be. The people living the life we could only dream about.
So by buying a packet of Marlboro Lights at the weekend and putting them on the table with my bottle of over priced Czeck beer I’m saying to my friends and peers ‘Hey look at me! I belong to this elite club, I’m sophisticated, I’m cultured, I’m a modern man of the world. I’m in Monte Carlo and rubbing shoulders with Kate Moss and I can afford to buy this brand so look out ladies here I come!
The reality is I’m in a chain bar in Lincoln, my shirt is a fake designer label knock-off from the market, no-one has called me on my mobile all night and I’m topping my trendy bottle of beer up from a hip flask because I can’t afford to spend £6.00 on a pint of lager. I know this but the perception to others is different. Well until I get pissed and drop a kebab down the front of my shirt while walking home zig-zag style down the street it is.
SMOKES TODAY – 10 out of 10
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31/5/07 Katie Piper – Day 2
Ahhhhh! The worst day of my life! I couldn’t sleep all night as was dying for a cancer stick, so I slept in and didn’t move my car from the meter and got a £80 fine! All this quitting smoking saves money blah, blah, blah!, would of been cheaper to buy ten fags and a lighter and slept well, woke up and moved my smokey motor!
Anyway, enough of this bitching! I went to the gym today thought I felt fitter, but no way can that be possible after 2 days. I’m just trying to find the pros in this experiment but yet to find any at all!
Oh my, only day two, I nearly broke tonight when I went to a Thai restaurant and sat in the smoking section and had a whole bottle a wine, ex smokers hell! I was so close to caving in so early on, I started to tell myself if I have a few puffs on someone else’s cigarette it won’t count because I’m not technically having a cigarette myself, it’s someone else’s. Yes I hear you cry, don’t worry I didn’t actually do it, Instead I had a crap night thinking about the joy of smoking all night!
I went to work at midnight and I was experiencing the worst case of depression since my budgie Colin died! Its unexplainable I feel really down, oh and a right chubster, I’m just hankering for when the happy lights and sparkle happen. Quitting smoking is supposed to be a breath of fresh air, well I say roll on the next few days cause all I see right now is a black hole!Related Posts
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