Addiction: There is no spoon.

Went to the lab today, and realised when part way there I had forgotten both my tobacco and Electrofag. I didn’t go back for them.

Well, I was only likely to be out for six or seven hours. I’ve lasted longer than that without smoking, on trains and at airports where flights were delayed.

Guess what? I didn’t collapse into a gibbering heap, I didn’t trek the mile and a half to the nearest shop, I wasn’t constantly distracted and funnily enough, didn’t think about smoking at all. When I came home I had a smoke – after I’d made a cup of tea to go with it. No, I wasn’t scrabbling through the door for a ‘fix’. I had a nice cup of tea, a smoke, and came over all Zen but without the motorcycle maintenance part.

Smoking is an addiction, we are told. I’m not addicted. I don’t climb the walls at airports when told that the flight is delayed by hours. I just buy a magazine and find a seat. On train journeys, where it’s impossible to smoke even when you have changes of train because the platforms are smokeless too, I don’t take bites out of other passengers or ask if I can chew their nails because I’ve finished mine. I don’t use patches or gum because they are vile and pointless. I don’t count the seconds until the next smoking-permitted zone. I just don’t think about it.

I used to. I used to deliberately seek out trains with smoking carriages and grab a seat in there. I used to take the opportunity to smoke on the platform when changing trains. That was when I believed I was addicted. Now I know I’m not, smoking is a hobby I enjoy but if I don’t have time or can’t indulge, I simply don’t. It’s not a problem.

I refuse to give it up. I enjoy it. Risks? Sure, but there are risks in everything. I like whisky, there are risks in that. I love espresso, which probably explains those periodic sleep problems. I like fizzy pop and that could kill me even faster than smoking or alcohol, apparently. Minimum pricing and warnings on soft drinks, here we come.

Every day I work with deadly bacteria I know about, mixed in with faecal material which might contain dangerous bacteria I don’t know about. Don’t worry about me taking the long-term smoking risk. I have stuff in the lab that could kill me in a week. Tell me I risk being ill in a decade or more and I’ll laugh at you. I risk being ill tomorrow, when I start the Campylobacter and Salmonella comparison experiment in chicken shit.

Who tells smokers they are addicted and can’t stop any time they please? Anti-smokers. ASH. The makers of patches and gum. The NHS. Most have a vested interest in making sure you stop as directed by them, so they make a profit. Every ex-smoker I know has simply stopped. Just like that. They decided they weren’t enjoying it any more and stopped doing it. I only know two who tried to stop with patches, not because they wanted to but because of medical pressure to do so, and both of them are back on the tobacco now. Both believe themselves addicted. They are not.

Is it possible? Can people be convinced of something that’s just not true, to the point where they will have real physical effects in response? Oh, all the time. Currently, many people believe they are food intolerant. I can think of one who scrutinises every packet of everything for the word ‘lactose’ – but he drinks milk. With no ill effect. Yet if he eats something and subsequently finds there was lactose in it, he’ll get physically sick. If he doesn’t know there was lactose in it (yes, I tested him. I’m evil that way, and have a source of food grade lactose too) he is fine. I still haven’t told him about the milk.

Keep telling people they are addicted to something and they will believe it. They will show withdrawal symptoms when they are deprived of it. Smoking, computer games, anything. If they realise that the addiction is false and it’s just a bunch of folk trying to make money out of addiction-breaking drugs (now there’s an oxymoron) then they can stop and start as they please. There are certainly addictive substances out there that don’t follow this rule, such as antidepressants, but I’ll bet there aren’t many.

But then, if they don’t believe they are addicted, they’re not paying for the drugs to fix it.

If nicotine is addictive, as we are told, then patches and gum reinforce the addiction rather than cure it. You don’t lose an addiction by taking the same substance in a different way. They are not meant to cure it, of course. They are simply there to reinforce the idea that smokers are addicted and cannot live without nicotine for more than a few minutes.

The whole idea is that smokers will fail to quit with these things and will try again and again. ASH depends on the number of smokers staying constant which is why they keep smoking in the news, even though advertising is banned and shops can’t even display the new plain grey packs. The Pharmers then milk the herd for cash with patches and gum that won’t work while ASH keep the guilt trip going by saying that if you don’t switch to the NRT, you’re a baby killer. As long as you believe you’re addicted, there’s no way out.

Electrofag threatened to mess up this nice little earner. That’s why they want it stopped.

The truth is, if you smoke, you’re not really addicted. You have been conditioned to believe that so you’ll buy into the ‘quit smoking’ money machine. You’ll buy patches for the airport departures lounge and you’ll feel relaxed because you think the nicotine is essential to your life. It’s not. You can get exactly the same effect with a Band-aid if you believe it has nicotine in it.

Breaking the conditioning can be hard, depending on how you see it. If you’re a deep-rooted cynic like me, who takes nothing at face value and assumes anyone who stands to profit from what they say is lying by default, you’ve probably already done it. The more trusting your personality, the deeper that conditioning goes. If you’re naturally trusting, believe people are intrinsically good and wouldn’t lie to you about life and death matters, it’ll be very hard to break out of the pretend addiction you’ve been conned into. It can be done. Just keep trying.

I am quite sure some Righteous, or one of those they have conned, will be along shortly to insist that we are in fact all raving addicts. Ignore them, their job is to reinforce the conditioning. Most of them don’t even realise that. They’ve been conditioned too.

Righteous are good at such techniques. They once convinced most of the world that any woman living alone with a cat and a parsley plant was in league with Satan, and went around charging people to have them killed. They have convinced almost everyone that the surge in lung cancer observed in 1950s London was entirely due to smoking, even though smoking had been around for several hundred years by then. They have convinced most of the world that paying money will have a beneficial effect on the environment. I mean, come on. If you take a flight somewhere, you burn fuel. Paying more for the flight does not burn less fuel. Yet the preferred method for combating climate change is to demand money. The planes will fly anyway, but with fewer passengers because it’s priced out of more and more people’s range. Net effect of that on the burning fuel… trivial. The weight of you and your luggage is as nothing to the weight of the plane.

It is in the interests of ASH, the Pharmers and the NHS to convince smokers they are addicted. Nobody wants to be considered an addict. It’s nobody’s career of choice. So we have different types of smokers. Some know they’re not addicted and will smoke for the pleasure of it, but only when they have the time to enjoy it properly. We used to spend such time in pubs, but no longer. I would not allow smoking in my lab even if it were possible to do so. Putting anything in your mouth in that place risks something rather more immediate than anything attributed to smoking. No hand-to-mouth actions in there – no eating, no drinking, no smoking and no nosepicking. I wash my hands before I go to the bathroom. When I stop for a break and a coffee, there’s a little communal room to have it in but nobody uses it. We all take our coffee outside and have a smoke with it. That’s relaxation time.

I don’t have to go outside every five minutes to smoke. As today, I don’t have to go out at all. If the opportunity for a five-minute break arises, I’ll have a smoke. if I’m too busy, I won’t. If it’s raining, I’ll get Electrofag out. Sometimes I don’t bother, just have a quick espresso and get back to work.

Those who feel cravings are the ones who think they are addicted. Well I smoke the same stuff and if I’m not addicted, neither are they. The difference is that they believe they are. So strongly are they convinced that they will suffer real physical effects if they try to stop. And they will try to stop because they are convinced it’s an addiction, but that same conviction will mean they will fail, time and again. They will keep trying the patches and the gum which contain the substance they think they are addicted to, therefore they are never actually free of it and so will remain convinced of their addiction permanently.

And so they will hand money to the Pharmers for a very long time.

Someone I worked with once surprised me by buying a pack of 20 in the pub and smoking the lot that night. Back then we could smoke in the common room as well as the pub, and I’d never seen this guy smoke. Next day, in the common room, I offered him a cigarette. He declined. Turns out that he liked a smoke when he was out for a boozy session, but at no other time. Liked a smoke? The bugger was chainsmoking that night and was totally non-smoking the next morning. It took a long time for it to dawn on me what that meant. He wasn’t addicted and he knew it. He could smoke like a chimney when he felt like it and not smoke for weeks in between.

Once I realised that, my own conditioning just snapped. Since then I have been to day-long meetings with clients who still don’t know I smoke. Taking the train from Aberdeen to London no longer holds any terrors for me. I didn’t need to get a seat in the smoking carriage. If it was quiet, fine, but if it was busy I’d sit somewhere else. The loss of the smoking carriage didn’t hurt, but it enraged me because of the loss of the option. Banning smoking on platforms didn’t hurt, but the sheer pettiness and downright stupidity of it rankled.

Banning smoking in pubs, where I went for relaxation with a drink and a smoke, hurt. The destruction of my favourite combination of vices was a huge blow. Not because of the deprivation of smoking – I can still go outside (for now) – but because I went there to relax, not play some kind of bloody musical chairs game with the drink inside and the smoke outside. It’s like having tea and coffee in the village hall, but the coffee is on one side of the room and you can’t take biscuits there, while the biscuits are on the other side of the room and you can’t take the coffee over there. If you nonsmokers want to get an idea of what the smoking ban feels like, set up a coffee and biscuits session like that.

If you can break the conditioning, you will find smoking much more enjoyable. You will no longer feel that it’s something you have to do. Instead, it’s something you want to do. When you don’t want to, you’ll have no problem forgetting all about it. If you aren’t enjoying it any more, you can just stop. Just like that. No patches, no gum, no nothing. If you decide to start again one day, you can do so in the knowledge that any time you get fed up, you can just stop again, just like that.

I read Allan Carr’s book on stopping, a long time ago. He nearly had it, but not quite. His method could help those who wanted to stop without any drugs at all and with no withdrawal symptoms. He still thought of it as an addiction but a very mild one, easily broken.

It’s not an addiction at all. It’s a psychosomatic effect brought on by continuously hearing ‘You are an addict and you cannot stop without buying this stuff from us’. It’s Righteous conditioning. Very profitable Righteous conditioning.

Think of that ‘Matrix’ scene with the bald kid and the bendy spoon. To paraphrase – Don’t try to break the addiction. That would be impossible. Only try to realise the truth. There is no addiction. It’s all just a massive con.

I will continue to smoke as long as I enjoy it. If the day comes when I don’t, I will stop. Just like that. I will continue to smoke Electrofag as long as it amuses me and as long as it infuriates the Righteous, and it does both of those things very well indeed.

You can tell me I’m addicted if you wish. It won’t work now. I can’t be reconditioned now that I know…

…there is no spoon.

27 thoughts on “Addiction: There is no spoon.

  1. agree entirelylast time I quit (for 3 years) it was because I'd been to Ibiza and caned 60 a day… got back off holiday and stopped completely, never batted an eyelid…A couple of years ago I decided that I missed it, and actually remembered what I enjoyed about it – I started again and I can have anything from zero to thirty a day without any difference, other than the cost… Never smoke at work or in the car; only when I can enjoy it without annoying Righteous sneering.I had one outside the hotel I'm staying in tonight – on my way back to my room, someone in the lift muttered something about cancer under their breath. They actually believe that the faint whiff they got from my jacket was killing them … Let them believe – hopefully psychosomatic symptoms will ensue…


  2. Mrs P goes through periods of smoking followed by 6 months where she doesn't feel like it at all. According to the pharma backed pressure groups, though, it's apparently as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Yes, it's an old link, but I read the same assertion on a US site yesterday. Lies pervade anti-smokers' brains more than any smoke can infect any building.S'funny that I've never been bothered with 11 hour flights to LA and back, complete with check in times, delays and processing the other end.Yet still ASH will talk of evil big tobacco while pallying up with life-wrecking big pharma. Still, as front liners in their battle for control of the nicotine market, I suppose they will shill for whomever gives them money.


  3. What a wonderful post! Many thanks for this – I thought I was a mentalist or something! You see, I would never consider myself a smoker, but like your mate, I will happily hit the Old Ports with a vengeance once I'm halfway down my second Spitfire. I can go without ale or cigars for literally weeks on end (I work shifts), but when I go out for a sesh, it's game on. Addiction, my arse. It's something I choose to do to excess on the odd occasion when I'm off the leash and unaccountable. Thanks for reinforcing the fact that I'm not an evil closet nicotine-satanist.


  4. Speak for yourself, I am chemically addicted. If I've been in the cinema or something for a couple of hours I actually start to hallucinate as soon as the film (or meeting or whatever) is finished and can physically smell cigarette smoke even before I've left the building.But so what? I quite enjoy being chemically addicted and wouldn't want it any other way.


  5. Mark – whatever floats your boat. As long as you're enjoying yourself and getting some decent hallucinations, it's all good. But, young grasshopper, you are still seeing the spoon…


  6. I'm still seeing the spoon as well.But these days I regard acute withdrawal (last experienced some time ago on a train delayed for 7 hours by some selfish twat throwing herself under it) as grounds for a defence of diminished responsibility when someone really ticks me off. Give me a weapon and Lo, I shall use it.


  7. Your work requires mental discipline of you, Leg-Iron and you might've been attracted to such work because of it – or developed that way to accommodate it.Nevertheless, it is those who develop mental discipline that break out of the confines of addiction – a self-imposed prison. We are all caged and conditioned, to some degree, at some time, possibly without realising it. But most thinking people attain a degree of mental and emotional independence which allows them freedom from their panopticon. TV is addictive and has in its thrall a large majority of otherwise reasonable people, who don't consider themselves to have addictive personalities. But almost without exception, people who watch several hours of TV today and who believe the crap put out by the BBC can be sold virtually anything – even Gorgon's policies.The Righteous don't like such independence because it denies them 'ownership' of such minds.


  8. I'm not really convinced legiron. For something that you can take or leave you spend an awful lot of time talking and thinking about smoking. You wouldn't do the same with sliced bread or apples.I used to smoke in order to relax. Then I realised that this wasn't really the case. I was just taking myself back to the state where non smokers exist all the time. The craving for nicotine was stressing me and the cigarette took me back to a normal level again.


  9. The Righteous don't like independent thought because we have a nasty habit of visiting their pets and saying awkward things.Things like 'You know these people who say they represent you? Did you actually agree to that?'And 'Well, the science isn't really settled at all'That's why their regimes destroy education and eradicate academics.Thing is, none of their regimes ever work and they will never figure out why that is. I, for one, will never make the answer public.


  10. Ex smoker – sliced bread and apples are not banned anywhere. I like bread, I bought an organic baguette tonight in Tesco for 40p because it was marked down but I have not mentioned that because bread is not currently the subject of continuous control.I like apples too. Especially after some work I did on Salmonella. Commercially hush work. Let's just say I planted my own apple trees after that.I like bread. I like apples. I like smoking. Only one of those three enjoyable activities is under threat of being banned, even in my own home.So which would you imagine would currently be enraging me? Especially since, as I predicted, Electrofag is to be banned even though it's safer than gum.Your second paragraph is pure Allan Carr theory. If you wanted to stop and succeeded, good. Nobody should do anything they don't want to do. That does not mean you were addicted. It means you genuinely believed you were and that is not something I would ever hold against you.I've met these Righteous, not just their drones, face to face. I am not surprised that Icke bloke thought they were from another planet. They are very hard to fight. They smile and promise an easy life if you'll just do as you're told. It's like looking into the eyes of a snake and hearing 'Trust in me….'You may or may not be convinced. It doesn't matter. There is, for me, still no spoon, and never will be again.


  11. One may say that I am an addict because I smoke a lot – like, 50 per day. I thought that I was addicted until Manchester airport first introduced a ban in most places but not in the bars and certain cafes. Of course, I made a beeline for the bars and cafes, but when they completely banned smoking and imprisoned us, things changed. Be aware of the importance of the phrase 'imprisoned us' in this matter. On the first few occasions, after the ban became total in the airport, I was somewhat miffed, but I became used to it (this is because my wife and I go for a trip to Majorca four times a year). Now, when I enter the airport, I do not much think about smoking. I HAVE SIMPLY CHANGED MY HABITS. That is when I realised that, for me, smoking is not an addiction – it is just a habit.On the other hand, it IS a habit that I enjoy, in just the same way that I enjoy drinking tea. Until about 12 months ago, I was also 'addicted' to drinking coffee, for some reason or other. In the last 12 months or so, for some reason or other which I cannot identify, I have simply stopped drinking coffee at home. No deliberate decision, no reason; I just stopped. I think that this is how it works with people who sometimes smoke for a while and then stop for a while. If there is any decision making process involved at all, it is simply, as it was with me and coffee, "Erm…tea or coffee? I'll have a cup of tea". As simple as that. But one also notices that, after a while, one looks at the coffee jar without feeling any emotion. Neither a 'want' nor a 'not want' emotion.On the other hand, I could, AT ANY TIME, become 'addicted' to coffee again.Isn't there a phrase for this condition? Could it be 'human nature'? Sometimes we enjoy doing certain things a lot, and then, for no apparent reason, we just stop and do something else instead.The lesson is, and I wish that politicians could learn it, that human nature will take its course. The more that you introduce bans, the more, human nature being what it is, you encourage the activity that you wish to ban.I really, really cannot wait for the general election.But do we not observe that the political parties STILL do not get it, and I am not talking directly about the expenses scandal.It appears that the Labour Party have decided to introduce a 28 year old London wentch, who know nothing about Liverpool, as their candidate for the election in Wavertree, a safe Labour seat in Liverpool. The actor, Rick Tomlinson (the Royle family), is so insensed that has decided to stand against her. But what does he do? He stands as a representative of the Socialist Labour Party – Arthur Skargill's invention! If he stood purely as an independent, he might have a chance.Addiction. Habit. Human Nature.


  12. Electrofag question:I've just received a variety of juices and droppers and refillable cartridges for my Titan. But I can't see anywhere how much to put in each cartridge. One drop? Two drops? Or full to the brim?


  13. I did use patchs to stop before they were on prescription.While I had no nicotine cravings using them,it was the habit of reaching for the cigarette packet when ever I had a break that made me realise it was force of habit just as much as a nicotine fix with me. I've never had a craving since but recognise everyone's different so some may become addicted easier than others.


  14. leg iron.Is it just a coincidence then that smokers all rush to get the ciggies out after leaving the cinema, airport, football stadium etc ?This doesn't sound like a take it or leave it attitude. Why would manufacturers raise or lower the nicotine content and spend so much money at the design level if there was no point ?If apples were banned would you keep one in your pocket to consume as soon as you left an apple banned zone ? Or stand outside a pub on a freezing night munching away on your granny smith ?I regularly see patients with drips attached stand or sit in wheelchairs outside hospitals smoking. One patient had a leg removed due to smoking and another had lung cancer. Despite knowing the cigarette caused the leg loss and lung disease they dragged a drip about 600 yds to smoke a cigarette.Doesn't sound like a take it or leave it habit to me.


  15. Ex smoker.Am I right in thinking that you would like to see everyone stop smoking? Whatever your motivation for that, whether it's a genuine concern for smokers' health, or whether it's 'I don't like it so you can't do it', doesn't matter. Your motivation is irrelevant. You would like to see all smoking stop, yes?The propaganda you are repeating is designed to achieve exactly the opposite.Those examples you cite, of people rushing from the cinema or dragging themselves from surgery into the smoking zone, are examples of people who believe they are addicted. They believe it because you keep telling them, and you cite those same examples every time you tell them, and they are convinced.So they will keep on smoking because they think they must. Because they think they are addicted, they believe they cannot stop and you're one of the voices reinforcing that belief.You are achieving exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve, and you're achieving exactly what ASH and the Pharmers want you to achieve. You are keeping people smoking. You are convincing them that they are addicted.Why would manufacturers raise or lower the nicotine content and spend so much money at the design level if there was no point ?The point there is profit. It's the only point, as far as any industry is concerned. Nicotine is water soluble. If they can remove it, sell low nicotine tobacco at the same price as standard, they can then sell the excess nicotine to the Pharmers for their patches.Just like low fat milk. Take out some fat, sell it at the same price or higher as a 'healthy' alternative, sell the excess milk fat to the pretend-butter industry. Those variations are all about profit.If apples were banned, would people sneak around trying to have a sly one? It could be arranged. It wouldn't even be hard to arrange.All you need do is convince them that apples are addictive. Detect a chemical, claim it is only found in apples and tell them they cannot give up the apples unless they buy your apple replacement therapy.Then recruit an army of anti-applers by convincing them of the dangers of secondary appling and shouting about the mess of apple cores all over the place. Apple eating could be denormalised in a matter of months.It's the same technique. Exactly the same. It's easy. And it works. Hardly anyone would notice it working. It's worked on you.


  16. leg ironNo I'm happy for people to smoke as much as they like. It's enjoyable and gives them pleasure. I enjoy drinking although I know I shouldn't drink so much. But it gives me pleasure. I know it's harmful to overindulge and would agree with anyone who told me because i have relatives who died through liver disease due to drinking too much.I just want people to stop saying that smoking isn't addictive or harmful. I've read through a lot of the documents from the court cases and it's obvious that tobacco companies knew that smoking is addictive and harmful. They raised or lowered the nicotine content depending on the market. New markets in Africa got a higher content. Established markets got lower nicotine content.Autopsies of smokers will show the lung in a very poor state with heavy tar and blackening. Taking samples from the lung will show that the damage is tobacco related.So enjoy your smoking but don't expect everyone to believe what you say about it's dangers or addictiveness.Oh and I'd be happy to have a seperate room in pubs for smokers. It would keep some of the better pubs open.


  17. Well, I don't dispute the risks. I know there is a risk to myself by inhaling what is, essentially, something it's totally unnatural to inhale. There are risks in many things I like doing. There is much less of a risk to anyone else, and none at all now that I can't do it indoors. I weigh the risk against the enjoyment. If I get a cold, I don't smoke. It's not enjoyable at that time because virus-ravaged airways are too sensitive.But the addiction I dispute. There are people who smoke tobacco-free herbal cigarettes. Some of them will also rush out of the cinema to smoke them. Most realise that those things contain nothing that's been accused of addiction, but still, some think they are addicted.If it was simple nicotine addiction, the patches and gum would work. They have a 99% relapse rate. They don't work.The nicotine content trick is brilliant marketing. Nasty, but brilliant. I smoke roll-ups so I have no idea of the content of each one. Some are quick two-puffers, some are big fat ones for when I have a DVD on and can take my time.But if you mark the packs with 'each one gets you 5 mg' and convince people they need that much, then when you change it to 'each one gets you 2.5 mg' they'll buy twice as many.The nicotine isn't harmful. It's the tars and the other stuff that can cause damage and that depends not on nicotine content but on how many you smoke. Doubling someone's intake of the harmful stuff on the basis that they 'need' a certain amount of the non-harmful stuff is just downright cynical marketing. I can set Electrofag anywhere from Capstan strength nicotine to zero. There is nothing harmful in it. If I use Capstan strength it makes me dizzy, but I won't even consider a smoke again for hours. I could set it to minimal nicotine and smoke it all day. It's just steam with nicotine in it.When you get people used to Capstan and switch them to Silk Cut, they'll chainsmoke. That gets a lot more of the leaf-smoke into them and that's what does the damage. In effect, it's better to smoke one Capstan a day than 20 Silk Cut. But there's more money in making people smoke more of the weaker ones than fewer of the strong ones.Nicotine has an effect on the brain. That is not in dispute. That's what we smokers like. What I dispute is that the effect is addictive. The addiction is a tobacco-industry marketing ploy, now used by the NRT industry and ASH in the same way.Marketers really are that inhuman.


  18. Attention FrankWith e-cigarettes, If I wish to change the liquid flavour, I usually remove the "gauze like" material from the cartridge I have been using, run it under some warm water to clean it and then blow dry the gauze with a hair dryer. This only takes a minute and prepares the gauze to receive a new liquid flavour. You don't need to do this if you just intend to top up the liquid with the same flavour.In general, I use between 8 and 10 drops of liquid to fill the cartridge. I just drop the liquid into the top of the cartridge (on the gauze), pausing every couple of drops to allow for absorption. I continue this process until the gauze seems unable to absorb any more liquid and the liquid seems to pool on the top of the gauze. You won't do any harm overfilling or underfilling the cartridge, the e-cig will work either way. Overfilling the cartridge does often provide a particularly good amount of vapour for the first few puffs after filling up.Expat Canadian


  19. I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I still crave fag when i'm waiting for a train or a plane, I think because for most of my adult life i've been smoking when i've nothing much to do. It's a habit. I don't miss smoking when i'm on the train or plane because i've never been able to, It's when i'm waiting i want to smoke. I do use the gum though… do you know why? It gets me high, rather like a few double expressos! I still want a fag while i'm chewing it though.


  20. The addiction question is not a black and white issue. There exists large variations between individual cigarette smokers, just as there are many differences in other behavioural characteristics of all people. I started smoking cigarettes when I was eleven years old (I am now in my fifties). I have always been aware of the health risks associated with smoking yet this has never deterred me because the enjoyment and benefits of cigarette smoking have had a very positive impact on my brain chemistry which I value over and above the risk related elements. I gave up smoking for a year when I was twenty four years of age in order to buy a Triumph TR6 sports car which I could not otherwise afford. At that time, breaking the so called "addiction" was not too difficult after the first month of abstinence. However, I did start smoking again after a year had passed because I missed the pleasure and mood benefits. I am probably susceptible to minor feelings of depression and cigarette smoking completely eliminates this in my case. I am convinced that drinking alcohol provides similar benefits for others although not in my case. I can enjoy the odd glass of wine or pint of beer, otherwise alcohol plays no significant role in my life at all which is quite different from how it affected people at the opposite end of the spectrum like George Best and Paul (Gazzer) Gascoigne. Nowadays I continue to smoke around 15-20 cigarettes each day and I do suffer "hunger" pangs in circumstances where I cannot smoke. I find the current prohibitions make me very angry, particularly when I am prevented from smoking for an extended period of time such as happens in airports and on long haul plane flights. This anger is also partly fuelled by my recognition that SHS is not harmful to others (beyond some finding the smell unpleasant) and that the intolerant and opportunist criminal righteous classes are doing their best to screw me over on the back of falsehoods and in ways that go beyond reasonable civilised human behaviour.My experience with e-cigarettes has been mixed. In many ways I am not sure that nicotine is the important ingredient for me (although I would have to try using my favourite cigarette brand with the nicotine removed to be certain about this). The e-cigarette is a bit like eating bland food as it lacks the real cigarette's flavourful hit that gives pleasure in the same way as happens with eating tasty food. Maybe future generations of e-cigarette can rectify this shortcoming as the liquids improve and become more sophisticated in composition.Expat Canadian


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