My mum was a smoker; she started when she was just 12 and a half coming home from school on the train, the older girls got my mum started, peer pressure has a lot to answer for. She carried on at a slow rate, until she started work and could afford to take her habit more seriously. Back then everyone was allowed to smoke in work, at your desk as if you would have a cup of tea next to your typewriter. So she would get through 20 at work and another 10 in between. The concept it alien to be as it’s been a long time since smoking in the workplace has been allowed.
My dad back then would rather have a pint than a cigarette so he never really started, he tried it (natural curiosity tends to get the better of you), even as a pipe and a cigar as was the fashion of the day but he never liked it so quit before he really started. Pretty much like me I tried one (or two) just to see what the fuss was about but I didn’t see the attraction (was never easily swayed by friends!) so didn’t bother continuing to smoke.
My mum stopped aged 29 as she had a scare, with pains in her left breast. It frightened her as her own mum (my nain) was in Christie’s Hospital undertaking cancer treatment (she had never smoked herself) and from that day fourth my mum did not smoke again. She first got rid of all temptation – smoked the last one and can even remember it being as she walked from the train station home. Being in a relationship with a non-smoker helped she said.
My husband started smoking because he liked the challenge of getting something he should not be having as he was under 16. In his day year 11 kids would sell to the younger kids 20p a cigarette, so they were easy to get hold of. Husband started at 13 then stopped at 16 (as he moved into dads, he was a smoker himself but didn’t want his son to be a smoker so put lots of pressure on him to quit) but at 21 he started again before giving up at 25 not long after meeting me. At his peak he was smoking 60 a day, literally chain-smoking in the evening whilst listening to music, so for him it was a hard habit to break.
My husband did not use anything to give up smoking, sheer willpower, we were starting a family and I was an asthmatic so that was your motivation. But I get its harder for some to give up than others, I have seen friends really struggle and battle valiantly with their habit but soon light up again.
Out of curiosity I asked my mum why my granddad smoked but she never asked him, but said it was most likely because it was wartime and everyone smoked! It was the in thing, more people smoked than didn’t smoke. If you didn’t smoke you were the odd one out. Hubbie’s granddad worked for a tobacco factory and his wages were paid half in money and half in cigarettes. It was a different way of life back then, these days it’s perfectly acceptable not to smoke. If you need help quitting and cannot manage on willpower alone, you can get plenty of advice online including alternatives like vaping click for more information.