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Friday, 1 March 2013

Don't let it kill you

I heard a snippet of news on the car radio yesterday afternoon, they were talking about smoking in cars being a kind of child abuse. Anna Soubrey, junior minister for public health, is calling for smoking to be banned in cars where children are present. 
I remember travelling in my aunts car when I was young, she was a smoker, as was most of the family. My mum and dad both smoked, my brother and sister, both took the habit up. My grandma smoked, in fact I think most people that I came into contact with smoked. For some reason, I was born a non smoker, thank goodness, but it's amazing that I haven't died of lung cancer by now, being exposed to all that passive smoking. 
My dad died at the age of 46, dropped dead in a shop. Thirty a day full strength Capstans, and  ten pints of beer a night helped him along. My mum died far too early at 64, herself a smoker for may years, and overweight. My sister has given up thank goodness, but the beer and fags got my brother. He died eighteen months ago of stomach cancer.
I used to go into people's houses where the air was thick with tobacco smoke, and I hated it. Relatives came to our house and lit up while mum made a pot of tea, they all sat around filling theirs and my lungs with copious amounts of cough inducing smoke. Gasping for breath, I had to escape outdoors. Then I started going to the 76 Club in the High Street, a long narrow cave with a low ceiling, a bit like the famous Cavern Club. Couldn't see anything in the dimly lit room, and being poisoned as well. I used to come home reeking of stale tobacco, and hurriedly removed my clothes minutes after I had returned home. The next morning the vile smell still lingered in my hair.
I even dated boys who smoked, I must have been mad. I tried to feel sexy when they kissed me, but all the time I was feeling sick. It really was like kissing an old smelly ash tray. Not that I ever have. Then, I can't believe I am saying this, when I was 21 I lived with a smoker for a short period of time. The things you do for love, eh! I must have been bonkers. Turning my face away from his to get away from the fag breath, and just occasionally pretending it didn't matter, and hoped he wouldn't take long with his love making. That relationship was doomed from the start. And smoking used to be advertised as being sexy! Not in my book it isn't.
Thank goodness smoking has been banned in public places now. They have all moved outside, huddled round the door, shivering and stomping their feet to keep warm. As you can guess, I am very much anti smoking. This in not a rant, a witch hunt against smokers, people make their own decisions about their lives. Apart from all the anti social implications of the dreaded weed, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would want to jeopardise their health by inhaling tobacco smoke. It just seems a no brainer to me. Maybe that's because I've never even tried it. I know someone who had a health scare last year, he was lucky and survived. He was told to give up smoking. He did for a while, a very short while. He is back smoking again. Why oh why do people have so little regard for their body that they are willing to compromise their health, and opt to take the risk of dying earlier than they need. I will never understand.
Yes, I think smoking should be banned anywhere near children, in cars, even in private homes. It's not fair to poison children in this way. They aren't all as lucky as me to be born a non smoker, many will follow their parents example. I've found a bit of info for you, if you are interested.
Take a look at this lady, she made me cry. 

Now read this.

I am reading a lot of good things about Allen Carr.

If you smoke, please try very hard to give up.
Toodle pip.


  1. You are absolutely right in everything you say on this topic.
    I read that nicotine is as addictive as heroin. It is true that it is so hard to quit so the best thing is never to start.
    Both my sisters died in their 60s from smoking related diseases, they may have had another 20 years of good life if they had nt smoked.
    The government should tax cigarettes out of existence.
    Thank god you can go into a restaurant or coffee shop with having to deal with second hand smoke (which has been linked to breast cancer too)

  2. Hi Ilona
    I like you have never been a smoker. I remember trying one in my teens and not liking it and have never touched one since.
    My parents and brother on the other hand all smoked and when I was younger and living at home, the smoke used to be so thick in the room that they used to open the doors to let the smoke out. My mum used to do her housework with a ciggy dangling out of her mouth only stopping to flick the ash off.
    Sounds funny but like your relatives they all suffered as a result. My Dad had a massive heart attack in his 50's and my Mum died of lung problems, my Brother has also had a heart attack.
    We took it as normal back then but I often wonder how I survived.
    Anything that helps stop children smoking is a good thing, passive or actually smoking.
    Thanks for your help on the comments thingy.

  3. Champix worked for me (well 2nd time round anyway) - I can highly recommend it. My poor Mum was still smoking 1 cigarette a day to the end...the more frightened you are of dying imminently, the more you seem to need the emotional crutch of the fag that is killing you. To be fair, by this point giving up wouldn't have helped her - it was far too late for that. I won't watch your videos if you don't mind as the subject is probably still too raw for me...but I hope that they help someone else to reach that decision - no-one else can make the choice for you. I loved smoking and the only thing that made me stop was the fear of dying in the same horrible way as Mum and having my boys have to watch. Hopes and hugs to current smokers out there with the fervent wish that you manage to stop before anything that dramatic happens in your own life.
    KKWF ^..^ xxx

  4. Hello Ilona from House fairy
    I totally agree that smoking is bad. My Oh and son do it. Really anti social.
    I remember am occasion last year when we were invited out for a meal.
    Every one(about 12 sat down at the table with a drink. Soon after orders were taken THEN 8 OUT OF THE 12 TROTTED OUTSIDE TO SMOKE. I was one of the 4 left to guard the drinks and bags :(
    I was not happy and made my views clear!
    After the lunch, it happened again! at least Oh stayed with me that time.

    There is smoke in our home too! Daughter and I comment... but the boys will not listen!
    I open the windows every day, even in winter for a wile.

  5. One in four illnesses due to cigarette's madness.
    I applaud everything you've said in this post. Here, in Ontario, smoking is banned in cars carrying is considered child abuse.
    Jane x

  6. I agree with everything you have said in this post Ilona. I smoked for years and even when I did I hated being a smoker. Never smoked indoors as hated the house smelling of it. I quit over a year now and so glad I did just wish I had done it sooner.
    The worse thing was I watched my darling husband who was a heavy smoker die from lung cancer 2 years ago and it was caused by smoking. By the time he was diagnosed he had a tumour the size of a grapefruit. I watched him waste away over 3 months and it was heartbreaking.
    Smoking when children are around is child abuse.
    Trish x

  7. Ruth here.
    I couldn't agree more Ilona. I've never even tried smoking but both my parents did- one died of stomach and lung cancer and the other died of COPD.
    A friend of mine has just watched her dad die horribly of lung cancer- but her and most of her family continue to smoke.
    I just don't get it. Good post.

  8. Hello there Debbie here. Good post - I am amazed that people do still smoke considering what we now know it does to us. My dad has Macular degeneration, blind in one eye and now going blind in the other. This, we are are sure, is down to years of heavy smoking. It's so hard to see him deteriating so quickly knowing that one he will be completely blind. Good luck to all who are trying to give up!

  9. I used to smoke also ...I quit 26 years ago. Nothing worse that an ex-smoker as I won't allow it in my home and if you do go outside to smoke better not leave any butts in my yard!I now notice it as I walk past people in their clothes and their childrens clothes. I used to work with a lady who had clothing and jewelry worth more than my home and wore a different new outfit to work everyday but smelled so badly of cigarette smoke that her $100 perfume made no difference. My brother died at age 37 from cancer due to smoking....what a waste.

  10. I was a smoker of about 25 a day throughout my teens and into adulthood (4 years), but had actually changed from cigarettes to a pipe by the age of 17. That was very contraversial in my time for a young female. By the age of 19 I managed to give up all use of nicotine and I`m glad I did. I now suffer from asthma, but manage that very well with the least of medication needed. I dread to think what my life would be like if I had continued to smoke. I might even be dead by now.
    My partner had smoked over 35 years heavily, and due to my asthma had finally quit 2 years ago to this day. His health has been ruined by his addiction and the result is that he now has to use inhalers just like me, but his medication is far higher in dosage than mine. The state of his lung capacity has been reduced to next to nothing. He gets out of breath through the slitest of exhaustion and knows that he will not live to a ripe old age. Any chest infections that go round he will catch and it makes his situation more unbearable. He lives on borrowed time due to his years of nicotine abuse. I regard myselflucky to have escaped this type of suffering, but know that I could have possibly provented my asthma if I had known in my youth what I know now. For around 8 years I pleaded with Rick to give up smoking as I then was already asthmatic whilst we were living together. I know first hand how nasty it is to inhale someone elses smoke. I`m glad he managed to give up eventually, but believe me, the damage he has done with years of smoking can not be reversed! There is no happily ever after for him.
    I think that the clip of that lady with the hole in her throat should be shown to school kids all across the country. I`m sure this would put them off from even trying to smoke one single cigarette.

  11. If it has not been said here before smoking is as addictive as heroin when you smoke over a certain ammount. I was lucky that I only smoked two or three cigs a day in my teens and gave it up fairly easily. My sister still smokes despite my pleading with her in tears. I think that smokers would rather die than go through the withdrawels.

  12. Dear Ilona, thank you for your heartfelt comments against smoking. I too was born into a smoking household and I smoked for decades. When finally I managed to quit, it was with prescription help. Nicotine is a VERY strong addictive chemical and most times it takes a lot more than good intentions to quit. Love, Elaine in Philly

  13. Dear Ilona

    Thank you so much for showing the smoking lady my Mam had the same surgery "laryngectomy" had her voice box removed due to throat cancer from smoking. As a family we watched for years the after effects of smoking in both my parents, truly heart braking and distressing for us all. Theres a lot more to a laryngectomy than you see in the video, every one who smokes should watch this video or better still visit a hospital ward its an experience they will never forget and Im sure would shock many into stopping smoking.
    My dad was also a smoker and had heart disease from it but even my Mams cancer diagnosis wasnt enough to stop him and he died aged 56 from a heart attack, my Mam died some years later from lung cancer.

    This is not meant to be a depressing "comment" I just wanted to say that theres more than the smoker in this story its also the people who love them. I miss my parents every day and wish my children could of known their grand parents. I cant help feeling a little angry at them for all of the missed years we could of had.

  14. In Canada, smoking has not been allowed in private cars, that have children passengers, for many years already. As well, all rented apartments are no smoking. No public places allow smoking. I have not smelled cigarette smoke for so many years. I am thankful for our laws regarding smoking. Myra

  15. I fully agree with everything that is being said on here. My sister in Law smoked and my hubby used to beg her to give up. She would say it is the only pleasure I get. On Christmas Eve of 2011 she died of a diseased heart and heart attack. Christmas will never be the same again for us all left behind so I hope people who are reading this and smoke will think of their families left.

    Sue R

  16. Excellent post Ilona. I absolutely hate smoking! Every morning I get off the bus and the people in front of me desparately fumble with their lighters until a cloud of smoke engulfs them, usually blowing back at me too! I want to tell them to bugger off!

    It's crazy how smoking is still legal really.

  17. Hello Ilona,

    Cheryl here. An amazing post. Thank you.I can relate as my parents both were smokers and I lost them too early. I too cried when I watched the Debi Austin - such a brave lady. Alan Carr is right on the money with his views
    In Australia cigarettes are now by law in plain packaging with graphic photos taken of brave people who are suffering because of smoking. This is a major public health issue here and we are putting up a fight against Big Tobacco.

  18. I agree with you. I lost my lovely MIL way too early to lung cancer. THankfully none of my sons are interested in the filthy habit. I love your walking posts, wish I could be with you IRL for them. Thank you.

  19. I think I smoked about 5 ciggies when I was a teenager because I thought that I looked 'cool'! Luckily I didn't get addicted and didn't enjoy it so I stopped. My son has been a smoker for a long time but managed to give up about 18 months ago! I'm so proud of him because his partner still smokes. Hopefully she'll give it away soon too. It's a filthy habit, I hate it.
    Judy xx

  20. Enjoyed your post. I am close to 50 and have never smoked. My oh and I moved in December last year, our neighbours across the street all smoke with the front door wide open, sometimes just the lady in her dressing gown sitting on the step, sometimes the man stands there smoking away, the adult children, sometimes its one big group of them smoking. Early in the morning late into the night, various times during the day. It can be pouring with rain, blowing a gale, snow does not stop them! Its so funny, the whole of this side of the street is aware of it and talks about them. We all wonder why they do not go to the back door, and smoke and look out into the garden instead. Ginny x

  21. I too grew up in a house full of smokers. Back then, no one knew how bad it was for you. I don't blame them for it because they were not aware of the ill effects it would have on their health. When I got married, my husband smoked and like others said, the smoke would drift through the rooms and everything smelled from it. After awhile, my husband quit smoking and we painted all the rooms and took down curtains, etc., etc. The house smelled fresh and clean and no more smoke drifting past us! My younger daughter had problems with asthma as a child but she seems to be ok now. No one smokes in our family now for years. It's sad when I see a young kid smoking because with all the knowledge we have now about it, you would think they would not want to endanger their health. Glad there is no smoking in restaurants and bars any more. I like being able to sit in a restaurant without smoke blowing on my food! Yay! The good old days - glad they're gone.

  22. I'm a non smoker, I've never smoked, but I'm going to buck the trend here and be very un PC and say I really don't have a problem with those who do. My Dad smoked, my mum didn't, my first husband smoked and so does my wonderful husband now. And I can honestly say,kissing him isn't a problem!!!! I do worry about the health implications but the fact is, he ENJOYS it, he doesn't want to give up and I would never ask him to do so. It's his choice. There are many things we do in life that are dangerous, smoking is just one of them... I know what I've said won't be very popular but I hate the way smokers are demonised these days. It's a personal choice, it's not in public places anymore, what someone does in their own home or car is up to them.

  23. I have just been visiting in hospital, seeing someone gasping for breath. Given what we know now, why anyone would take up smoking is beyond me.

  24. As ever I totally agree with you Ilona, thankfully I've never been a smoker and neither is Mr Twigs and my Mum and Dad never smoked. However every single relative, Aunts, Uncles, cousins who have smoked in the past it's always caught up with them. They have either died at a young age of smoking related illnesses or are still with us but very ill :( I hate it when we walk to school and you see lots of parents smoking around their children and babies or even pregnant smokers - it's awful
    Twiggy x

  25. It is against the law to smoke in cars with kids, here in ontario. Probably hard for police to enforce have to catch someone and no doubt not many get caught.

  26. What I've noticed now smoking is banned in public places is how sensitive my nose has become to tobacco. I can smell a smoker in the street at a hundred paces! x

  27. My parents smoke (well dad gave up a few year ago) and my brothers, I always promised my granddad I wouldn't. Not that I ever fancied doing it.
    I remember many times as a child being in the back of the car and both my parents lighting up I remember the nasty stinging in my nose not to mention the smell and feeling sick, but this never stopped our parents doing it - far too selfish.
    Don't get me started on people outside of shopping centres, people walking in front of me while smoking too. I know its their choice to smoke, but just because they smoke doesn't mean I want to too.

  28. Sharie here, I can't stand smoke either. Absolutely stinks. LOL and I can remember dating boys who smoked, I used to ask them to give up as it made their breath stink and made me feel sick. Yuck.
    I'm so glad its been banned, My dh (non smoker) worked in a nightclub for many years and was forced to breathe in the stench of other peoples cancer sticks all for a tiny wage.

  29. I am a smoker and have tried and failed any many times to give up. Done the patches, spray, hypnosis. I hate the smell on my clothes and in my hair.
    I just wanted to say, some of the comments on here are very sad and have made me decide, once again to give it another go today.
    Good post as usual. X

  30. I've never smoked and neither have any of my family. I sometimes think it would be good if I did smoke and then I could give it up and have a load of extra money! In fact speaking of money, it always amazes me that some of the poorest folk smoke. Is that why they have no money?

    It also amazes me to see hospital patients on drips smoking outside in their dressing gowns! One local hospital has banned smoking in the grounds as well as indoors, so you see them now by the side of the road.


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