Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Packing up

Allen Carr is dead. From lung cancer of all things.

His book is the only decent self-help book I've ever read. It's virtue is the way it's written - badly. You have to go through the frustrating process of reading him say something he's already said rather clumsily a few times to get to the end of the book.

This is an experience that visitors to this blog will probably have experienced a few times. By the time you've finished, his message has dripped into your soul.

It worked for me, anyway.

When I smoked, I detested sanctimonious ex-smokers, and his book makes the case that it is counterproductive to moan at smokers anyway. And that there's no point in trying to convince someone to stop smoking in the first place. And that patches and chewing gum are all a waste of time and money.

I stopped because I wanted to. I always seemed to have a cold, and the constant urge to light-up was just getting too inconvenient. When smokers ask me about packing up, I always say that you should only pack up if you really want to.

If you don't want to, you can't anyway. So why bother?


Ivan said...

I gave up just before my son was born. Didn't want to be all stinky with him. Easy.
Personally, I think the disgrace is that an industry is allowed to exist to addict millions of new people each year. Let's make cigarettes a class 3 drug and prescribe existing smokers for their lifetime.
Take cigarettes out of the shops, take the brands off them. Contract with the NHS for supply.
Sure, there would be kids who would regard this as a challenge, new addicts would be minimal.
And, while we're about it, we could do the same for heroin.
BTW, I note that the Afganistani heroin production is worth about $3bn a year. So why don't we just buy the whole fucking lot and burn it? Cost a lot less than identity cards and be a lot more cost effective across the western world. How dumb are we?
(Ooh, I think I'll just go have a little lie down now)

jams o donnell said...

Been off the cigs for nearly five years now. 22 years of smoking while an asthmatic was pretty bloody stupid.

Even though I still think that each and every cigarette comes down from heaven borne upon the wings of angels, the one thing that is guaranteed to remind me why I gave up is to actually smell one of the bloody things.