Sixteen Cigarettes


My girlfriend and I are both smokers and I guess regular readers will know that I tend to rant a bit when smokers rights are reduced. We both like smoking and are not intending to stop at this time, however, we were recently discussing the possibility of cutting down a bit. We thought we should look at the cigarettes we smoke every day and perhaps cut out the ones that were more habitual than pleasurable.

I thought I’d give a summary of that thought process here as it also gives a snap-shot of a typical day in my life. I worked out that on an average work day I smoke 16 cigarettes…

1) My first cigarette of the day is with my breakfast coffee. I can’t remember when this habit began but by now I can’t imagine beginning the day any other way. On the rare occasion that I miss my breakfast coffee and cigarette; I am not a nice person to know for the rest of the day! When I’m working I’m usually staying in a hotel. I come down to breakfast about 6.30AM, have some fruit and muesli, perhaps a ham and cheese roll and then my coffee and cigarette. In some parts of Europe there are still places you can smoke inside, even at breakfast time. Otherwise I take my coffee and go and light up outside. Non smokers will never understand the sublime pleasure of that first cigarette of the day. Maybe it is just satisfying a chemical craving, but it does feel so good! Β Chances of cutting out the first cigarette of the day;-Zero!

2) The second cigarette is on the way to school about 7.15AM after rounding up my teaching team. It probably is mostly habitual, part of getting ready for work. Chances of cutting out my 2nd cigarette, 60%… Doable!

3) The third cigarette depends on the particular school timetable and the length of the breaks. If it is possible I go out for a smoke during the mid-morning break. It’s healthy because I have a little walk and get some air and I do find it relaxing. But it’s not always possible and I suppose I could go for some air without a nicotine kick as well. Chances of cutting out the third cigarette, 50%

4) The fourth cigarette is as soon as I get out of school about 2.30PM after six hours of teaching and solving the other teacher’s problems. It is probably the one I inhale most quickly and deeply. Chances of giving up 4th cigarette, very small, maybe 20%.

5,6, & 7) The fifth cigarette is usually with a coffee after lunch. This may be in the hotel or out in a cafe in the town somewhere. Cigarettes six and seven may follow with more coffee (or something stronger) while I am doing paperwork or marking. Chances of cutting out one of these, about one in three.

8) The eighth cigarette will be in or just outside the hotel at about 5PM, marking the transition from daytime to evening activities. Chances of quitting eighth cigarette about 50%.

9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15) I usually smoke six or seven cigarettes during the evening. Sometimes these will be before during and after the evening meal with my teaching team while organising the next days lessons, dealing with any problems and generally socialising. If the majority of the group are non smokers I might reduce these cigarettes by half. But if there are a majority of smokers in the group the number might go up a bit. Sometimes I have to dress up in my posh frock and go out and meet local teachers to do promotional work. In central Europe half of these are smokers and it breaks the ice to match them drink for drink and cigarette for cigarette; thus the number can vary according to the people involved. Chances of reducing the average number of cigarettes I smoke in the evening, about 50% but the amount I smoke during this period could also go up.

16) On an average day my last cigarette is just before bedtime at about 11PM. This is deeply inhaled and meditative. Chances of giving up cigarette number 16, nil.

So in theory on an average working day I could probably reduce the number of cigarettes I smoke down from 16 to about 10; if I really wanted to.

On weekends when I stay out later in the evenings I can add up to ten more cigarettes to my total. Also whenever I am staying with Sophie we tend to smoke more…

Still in principle I can see where I could cut down, the question is do I really want to?

17 responses to “Sixteen Cigarettes

  1. Dear, dear Cassie…I thought of you the other day….my sister had a huge party, and I went up for it (and other things). Anyway, I do not know for the life of me what gets into me at times….but there were people smoking outside, and hte next thing I was doing what I used to do years ago….I was smoking as well. About 7 of them in the end. I was ridiculously drunk….and my sister even came and took one away from me and threw it away, “What are you doing?” But a little later, I had replaced it….I even ended up with someone else’s cigarettes. And the strangest thing of all, I was having a lot of fun….then I thought of this post of yours…..

    • Most fun things are either unhealthy, illegal, immoral or they make you fat… At least ciggies only come into one of those categories! πŸ˜‰

      • writingthebody

        Funny I was thinking of you while I was smoking….and the funny part is I never was a smoker, except at those kinds of things…but it has been years since I did that…and for some reason, not only was I having a huge amount of fun being really silly, but I also enjoyed the cigarettes….

  2. And um, enjoy those cigarettes. Maybe like Rebecca, I should take it up as well, (lol – I never smoked actually, except for a laugh when I was drunk)….x

  3. Dear Cassie, they have just brought in fines for people smoking outside at taxi ranks….I mean this place is getting ridiculous. And they bombard us with horrible pictures of the insides of people’s lungs….it makes me sick. There is so much real cruelty and hardship in the world and they go after people smoking outside….

    • I agree. I could probably write a full page rant about that, but I think I probably already have done several times.

      • writingthebody

        Funny that….it is as if therer are those that agree and those that do not. I think there is no way to find a middle ground. I completely agree with you….no need for another rant. Plus I did one a while ago as well. In fact, a few years ago, I put a cd together of my favourite smoking songs….but when I tried to play it….my goodness…and when I said why and how I felt, it got worse….much worse. But well I still feel the same way. LIke vandalising the posters about lung tar, and I don’t know, complaining to someone….hugs to you, my dear!

      • writingthebody

        Or should I say, have a ciggie for me….

  4. You have to want to, nobody can make you. There are plenty of good reasons to want to, so you’ll have to your homework πŸ˜‰

  5. It might sound daft but I smoke on average one cigarette a day (I’ve only recently started smoking), sometimes none at all, sometimes 3. But I do enjoy it when I do. All pleasure no habit, at the moment at least!

    • That’s the best way to smoke. But you’ve only just started… Try to resist the ones that become habitual, easier said than done! πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m only smoking cigarillos now. Dannemann’s Moods. Try one, you end up smoking much less.

  7. Hi, Cassie! πŸ™‚ I’ve been a smoker, too, or am. Around 15 a day.
    Everyone at work was trying and liking the new generation E-cigs,
    so 8 days ago I went and got one. I’m down to 2 or 3 real cigs
    a day, but I hope to quit those completely within a couple weeks.

    I caught bronchitis the last 2 winters, and I had a CAT scan of
    my lungs this summer. No cancer, yeah! But emphysema, yes.
    At 55, I think it’s time. Think about it, girl. Money isn’t the issue,
    although you will save some. The new ones work way better,
    and they’re more consistent than the ones I tried 2 years ago.

    Best of luck to you and yours! Peace and hugz, Keith

    • Thanks Kieth. I have thought about moving on to E-cigs. I know they are getting better but I’m not yet convinced they are a substitute for the real thing. I think it will happen one day though.

  8. I started smoking when i worked evening shift at the hospital and my gf worked night shift, so we would meet between shifts. And since at hospital there was a designated area to smoke it became a social/gossip excuse amongst us sinners. And how can one go to an LGBT dance club and Not smoke? I hear in heaven you can only smoke on Cloud #9, but in hell you never need a lighter, lol.

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