Charon MD is one of Charon’s brothers…. we are not close and his latest photograph (Left) did not help me when I tried to identify him when he rang the doorbell at my Staterooms in West London. However… I am pleased to see him and… this is what he has to say:
I am conscious (but only just… for other reasons) that many of you will be contemplating the question as to whether you should quit smoking tomorrow – when the ban on smoking comes into force at 6.00 am on Sunday 1st July.
As a lifelong smoker myself, I am equipped to give advice on this. I should make it clear that ‘lifelong’ may be an exaggeration… but given that my Mother smoked during the very act of conception (of course she didn’t….) it is not unreasonable for me to make this claim, even though I did not start inhaling directly, through smoking a cigarette, until I was 15. The fact that I happen to spend my time operating on people and dispensing prescriptions to malingerers is neither here nor there and, as my brother Charon the blawger advises… “nothing in what follows should be constituted as the giving of actionable advice, nor be relied on and, as you are not actually paying me a fee, you should consult your own doctor for specific advice about your own particular smoking problem.”
Smoking is one of the great pleasures in life – to those of us who enjoy living life on the edge. I am reminded of Wendy Liebman’s quote: “People always come up to me and say that my smoking is bothering them… Well, it’s killing me!”
But then of course we have a rather odd quote from Brooke Shields: “Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” This is the Paris Hilton school of thinking.
One wanders how the course of World war II would have gone if Churchill’s private cigar stock had been destroyed when Dunhill was bombed during WW II. This is what Churchill had to say: “My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”
And now, to the question of advice: The only truly effective way to stop smoking is to stop. You can spend money on hypnosis. You can buy patches, plastic cigarette holder style nicotine replacement inhalers, try Zyban (But see a Doctor first on this one) or you can lie to yourself and pretend that you have given up.
I hope my advice has been helpful. I leave you with this quote from Bill Hicks, an American comedian: “Here is my final point. About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography and smoking and everything else. What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, say, think, who I fuck, what I take into my body – as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet?”
I shall, together with Charon the blawger, be outside in God’s air… smoking with all the others, bagging all the outside seating in pub gardens and directing non-smokers to the spare seating and tables inside. In the winter I shall simply wear a smoking jacket and Homburg hat) … and, you never know… I may just meet someone interesting while I am out there, while my non-smoking friends sit inside watching our coats.
I shall, of course, be on the look out for smug non-smokers who start gloating. Smokers are law abiding. We shall, I am fairly sure, obey the ban… but we are still, I hope, militant enough to respond to gloating by non-smokers? It is somewhat ironic that smokers will now reclaim the great outdoors as their own :-)
Oh… and finally… let George Bernard Shaw have the last word: “If you eliminate smoking and gambling, you will be amazed to find that almost all an Englishman’s pleasures can be, and mostly are, shared by his dog”