I have thought about giving up smoking this afternoon. It’s not that I smoke. I haven’t done so for more than a decade. Thanks to the insurance firm of the employers of JTO I am having a half-day health check-up on Thursday at the Centre d’Examens de Sante. There is a questionnaire to complete before Thursday morning and one part of it asks if I smoke, or if not if I ever have and in which case how long is it since I stopped. In my case I do not smoke but did until the end of February 1998.
I had a weekend away and it had been a drink fueled weekend where I picked up a cold and felt so awful that I didn’t smoke all day and the next day I thought I would try to not smoke again, and just kept repeating this. At the time I had thought about stopping smoking because I had realised that out of my then thirty-five years of life I had smoked for twenty-one years. I had smoked for much more of my life than I had not smoked. And I wanted not to.
Most people connect drinking and smoking and if they stop smoking then they find having a drink difficult. For me it was the opposite. It was like being in mourning and I spent the first three months after stopping smoking eating and drinking everything I could, three course meals for lunch and evening meal and plenty to drink with it. I did smoke three times but each one was at a particular time and in response to events but it tasted awful and I didn’t have another one after. Now I can complete the form saying that I smoked for twenty-one years but have not done so for fourteen years.