Norman O

I started smoking at about 13 years old, not properly though – just drag into the mouth and puff out again, a ‚mate‘ told me it was not worth me smoking if I only did that and that I should ‚take it down‘ – some f*cking mate he was…. I was hooked in no time. Used to buy ciggies in singles in those days or get them off my mates. I still remember buying my first pack of 20, took em into school and the school ’swot‘ grassed me up to the teacher and he grabbed them from me and broke each one in front of me……. Then, a year or so later, my Mum found my ’stash‘ in my wardrobe while I was at school. I came home to the interrogation from her, and then my Dad slapped a 10 pack of Kensitas in front of me and told me to open them and smoke one – I did, then he told me to smoke another, and another, and another…… with the pack all gone, and only about an hour had passed – he asked me if I still wanted to smoke – out of sheer bloodymindedness I said yes, and he shrugged his shoulders and told me to go and buy him some to replace the ones I had of his. My Mum was livid, but my Dad was the boss and that was that.

Years and years went by, 20 a day pretty much. Then I found myself out of work and on roll-ups, total mess I made of them at first but then I mastered it. As the years went by I smoked a mix of tailor-mades and rollies – until I was in my late 30’s and decided to give up. Six months I lasted and in that time I put on over 3 stone (my substitute was sweets and cakes) – so, I decided – look nice on the inside or nice on the outside, like a fool I chose the latter and hit the fags again. The weight dropped off in about a year and I was back to 20 a day.

When I was in my early 40’s my ex-gf who was asthmatic and also suffered from pleurisy was told to give up smoking – so we both got a course of patches. They did not work, and we both found ourselves smoking while using them. I stopped trying to give up.

When I met my now wife, we spoke about my smoking and the fact that she wanted me to give up, but she was not going to pressure me to do so – I decided not to try, saying that I will give up when a doctor tells me to give up immediately or I will die – yes, I know it should not have needed something like that.

Last year, my best mate had a heart attack, and was taken into hospital – he is 3 years younger than me. That set my mind thinking, but yet again I carried on smoking. It appeared nothing would stop me……

Through my work, I have to travel a lot around the country, so we are given the use of a lease car should we need one for work. The current car I have costs me an amount that I can afford without it meaning any belt-tightening, but that car is due to go back soon – and the car I decided to have next costs just over a £100 per month more. I looked at our finances and decided that, rather than it effect our lifestyle, I would give up smoking – yes, just like that. But even I knew that I could not do it cold…. I already had an eGo device for those moments when smoking was not allowed (crafty puff on the ego stick in the train toilets) – but I knew that wold not suffice. So I spoke to my mate that had the heart attack and asked him what he was using and could he take me to get one. My next trip to Birmingham, I ended up in Grey Haze and 15 mins later I walked out with an iStick Mini and a Genitank Mini. I had four cigarettes left and decided I would buy no more……

…. the rest is history, apart from one puff of a ciggy (and it tasted foul) I have not smoked since. I now vape using some great kit (the iStick Mini was traded long ago) brought by me following some great advice from the many great folk on POTV. I have spent more money on vape gear than I would have spent on smoking, but I feel great – I am so proud of myself, and my wife is proud of me too…….

oh sh*t, sorry guys – I could not stop typing…….

Norman O – 51 – ex-smoker…..