Posted by: madkentdragon | August 12, 2010

Don’t smoke – by a smoker!

I am sitting here looking at a blank page, knowing I ought to write something about smoking – from a smoker’s perspective, but it is very hard to do so – and I envy those who have quit. Not that I haven’t tried, I really have tried hard to give up.

I’ve gone cold turkey – lasted all of six hours, I’ve tried the chewing gum – but, as with the lozenges, all that did was make me feel sick. So I went on the patches, they nearly worked – I went for days without a cigarette until one day I had a row with my manager – an obnoxious man who resented me for a) being in post a lot longer than him; b) being older than him and c)he hated the part of the organisation I worked for. So I came home burst into tears and lit up a cigarette and boy, did that feel good! I live by myself so apart from a large purple dragon I had no-one to pour it out to!

Well that’s my excuse anyway!

When I started smoking there were no health warning, we even collected vouchers from them (a bit like green shield stamps) and the cot blankets lasted most of the babies! Cigarettes were cheap – 20 “No6” were 3shillings & sixpence (about 17.5p) and most people smoked and we all got addicted. But no-one realised. There were even some shops who would sell 5 cigarettes and a piece of “strike” (5 matches and a bit of the side of a match box) especially on Thursday and Friday mornings – most people got paid weekly in cash on those days!

Suddenly scientists woke up to the fact that smoking did damage your lungs – the dreaded “C” word was mentioned, but it was OK you wouldn’t get it – or so most of us thought as we took another hit on our accepted drug of choice. We all thought that if it was going to kill us it would have done so by now – but it is killing me now. Slowly but surely my lungs are clogging up, not with cancer but with an illness that most people haven’t heard about.

I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, in 1990 it was the 6th leading cause of death, you suffer from constant bronchitic type symptoms, shortening of breath and you contract pneumonia and other nasty illnesses frequently. Often you cannot walk up hills without pausing for breath and using a ventolin inhaler and GPs do not look on it sympathetically, neither do hospitals – they will treat you but you may be sent home earlier than for standard non-smokers pneumonia. And believe me, the shortness of breath when you get an infection is frightening, very frightening. You cannot lay down because you would choke, so you sit up and gasp and because you cannot get the oxygen you need you become dizzy and can pass out.

So although smoking seems cool, this progressive disease which slowly but surely destroys your lungs is not and it certainly does not attract the sympathy of cancer because this is self inflicted and you can only blame yourself for it.

So take it from a smoker who is slowly killing herself – DON’T DO IT.



  1. 13/08/2010 My stop date.

  2. Thanks Pat, that’s the wake up call I needed my quit date is 20/08/2010. Wish us luck?!

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