This time last week, I smoked what I hope was my final cigarette. In a year’s time I may be able to declare myself a non-smoker. In the meantime I will be able to walk past airport gates smugly observing the nicotine-addicted puffing their first or last breaths before the agony of the flight.
The distress of giving up has been soothed this week by the excellent company of my son Oliver with whom I have played a non-stop round of tennis, table-tennis, squash and golf. I reckoned if I was ever to get through the first week it would have to be in a pension-free environment.
There are of course losers to my not smoking, the Chancellor will be denied his thirty pounds a week in tax, Zurich Financial Services will have one less impaired life among its pensioners and Mr and Mrs Shah of Town Square Newsagents, Brentford will be seeing a lot less of me.
Thinking about it, my actions are fundamentally selfish and deeply anti-social. I am aware that the contempt I have been held in by non-smokers has afforded many sanctimonious clean-livers a ready source of self-congratulation. I have now joined the ranks of the prurient but will I ever be accepted?
Fortunately I have a locker full of secondary vices;- I drink far too much, ride my bicycle through red lights, am a stranger to prophylactics and pay homage to the King of Burgers on a weeklybasis.
There is hope for me – maybe I will be remembered as too good for my pension.
- Does Marijuana Cause Cancer? (psychologytoday.com)
- Fewer landlords renting homes to smokers (money.marksandspencer.com)
- The Vision of a pension plowman (henrytapper.com)
- Pay B.C. smokers to kick habit, groups say (cbc.ca)
- 10 Reasons to Quit Smoking: Cost, Smell, Wrinkles, and More (webmd.com)