You never pay heed to the warnings when you are a kid.
‘Smoking kills’ lectures fall on deaf ears.
It’s part of being a teenager, and only years later, when you are barely out of bed before lighting up your first smoke of the day, when you have a cough that just won’t go and when your time revolves around hunting for lost lighters and rizla papers, that you take stock and realise all those old ‘misery guts’ were actually right.
But it’s not as easy to quit as it is to take up the habit.
Of course, there are now many aides to help you do battle with the weed – patches, sprays, gums, filters...and now Skycig electronic cigarettes.
They work by simulating the act of smoking tobacco.
Great, I thought.
When the pack came it looked a bit of a puzzle, but actually proved really easy to sort and set up.
The great thing about these substitutes is the flexibility – they can be charged through the mains, or through a USB port if you are out and about.
Once I was all charged up, I attached my chosen cartridge (I went for tobacco flavour to give myself the optimum chance of success, but could have had vanilla, cherry or various other flavours), and practically overnight, my 25 a day habit (for 15 years) nosedived to just 10 a day – and even fewer at the weekend.
That was five weeks back, and while I haven’t quite kicked the habit yet, I have kept at those low levels, and am working hard towards cutting that number some more.
Of course e-Skycig only works alongside a major dose of willpower, but it does provide a really supportive helping hand.
e-Skycig releases a small amount of vapour nicotine and helps keep me on the straight and narrow.
What it doesn’t give me is the 4000 other harmful components that go into cigarettes – formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia and arsenic among them.
The health benefits of taking on the weed and winning are obvious, but actually the Skycig has made my ears burn – once upon a time I would have spent my work breaks stood outside in smokers’ corner.
But because I can ‘smoke’ my e-cig in No Smoking areas, I am now privy to all the work gossip too!