I write this on the 13th day of my new cigarette-less life. Not a particularly good entry this, but necessary to get off my chest, like so much syrupy phlegm.
I can't remember starting smoking, I have no recollection of buying my first packet nor do I have tales of amusing bollockings from parents as I dangled out of my bedroom window late at night with a fag stuffed in my face. All I know is that I ended up averaging 25 a day for quite some time. That's about £6.50 a day spent on smoking. £6.50 multiplied by 365 adds up to quite a healthy wedge. And that's why I've stopped. If I had the disposable income I'd still do it, indeed if I lived in a cheaper part of London I'd still do it. I loved smoking. I liked the nostalgic Christmassy smell, I liked nursing a cigarette to balance out a pint in the other hand. I liked tapping into Bowie and Mercury chain smoking through interviews. Smoking made sense while working hard on a new recording. But I'd rather have an extra 2300 SHEETS by the end of the year and that feeling of testing myself and winning.
My brand was Silk Cut Silver - the weakest cigarette there is according to most I met in snowy beer gardens and on the pavement outside work. That's probably why I smoked so many - not because I needed two at a time for the equivalent hit of a 'normal' cigarette, but just that I got through them so quickly. I liked them. I'm not a connoisseur, but I just didn't like the taste of other ones. And smoking that brand was a conscious effort about 7 years ago to cut down ahead of stopping all together. The only other attempt I made to control my smoking which never quite got off the ground.
Annoyingly, after a drink, I still occasionally wake up with a little heartburn and a foul dry cidery mouth (both of which I had put down to smoking - though more than likely is due to the KFC Hot Rods box I polished off at 2am). I'd like to feel some physical benefits... starting to look younger would be nice. Or a postcard from my heart one morning saying 'NICE ONE MATE!'. I assume I will balloon now, as the hole left by quitting has left me hungry all the time. Which is bizarre as I don't think I've had a shit since stopping.
It's a good time to stop - It's too cold to stand outside a pub. I don't miss the night being young and getting down to the last one in a packet and gearing up for the trek to the shop (which would usually be shut). I don't miss the same people poncing fags constantly and then complaining how weak they are. I don't miss being made to feel I'm in the wrong when I mention that these people rarely buy their own and have the nerve to get funny when I ask to have one back on the occasion they do. I don't miss a box of 20 and a lighter spoiling the line of my coat, a symmetrical bump to the mobile phone on the other tit. Also, you know those people who only smoke socially? That can't light their own, and screw up their eyes to aim the lighter near the tip as they fail to suck in? Too many of them ruining it for us pros.
I miss smoking, but I guess I miss smoking inside a pub more. Come summer, I will have a rethink. I might make it my new years resolution to start smoking next year. Merry Christmas.