Friday, April 01, 2011


I'm 50 and have been smoking since I was 15.

I love smoking. I love thinking that my body cannot regain full consciousness until I've had several cigarettes and a coffee in the morning. I love cigarettes with coffee. I love cigarettes with whisky, wine... or any other alcohol. I love gathering with other smokers to chat and gossip when everyone else is stupidly working at their desk. I particularly love it when ex-smokers at work are having such a stressful day that they ask me for a smoke. I love that a lot.

I hate smoke. The smell of it disgusts me. I hate ashtrays, nasty smelly ugly things. I hate walking into my house and having to open all the doors and windows to get rid of the smell. I hate that all the white painted walls in my house are now a streaky, unattractive buff colour. I hate that there is so much tax added to cigarettes that it's almost unaffordable. Almost. I hate that I keep having to redefine what I consider to be "affordable". I hate feeling anxious when I'm down to my last few and having to decide what I can go without in order to get another packet. I hate that I can no longer smoke where I like - in pubs, restaurants, workplaces and, here in Australia, apparently, soon, in pretty much any public area at all even if it's outdoors. I really hate people who complain about smoking too. A lot.

I had a heart attack at 45. I'm still smoking 5 years later. Although this sounds like a stupid thing to do I am perfectly capable of justifying this with the argument: It took 30 years of smoking to block one artery, that artery has been unblocked now with a stent, my other arteries have all been checked and are fine. If it takes another 30 years to block another artery I'll be 75 and that doesn't matter because, being a smoker, I'll be dead from cancer before I get to 75 anyway.

See? Makes perfect sense.