Gransnet forums

Genealogy/memories

Smoking. Did you? And when did you stop?

(52 Posts)
mrsmopp Mon 22-Apr-13 23:44:24

I started smoking when I started work, it seemed the natural thing to do to fit in. You were unusual if you didn't smoke. Both my parents smoked plus all my aunts and uncles. Cinemas, buses, offices, pubs all reeked of smoke. I could buy 20 cadets for 2/10d less than 15p! It was heavily advertised and glamourised with film stars all lighting up in the films. Elsie Tanner was puffing away on Coronation St.
I gave up in the mid 1970s when they went up to 50p a pack which was too much. I remember Woodbines, Senior Service, Capstan, Bensons, and Embassy which had coupons you saved up to get a gift from the catalogue.
We've seen a few changes, haven't we?

Sel Tue 23-Apr-13 00:17:05

Bensons? Weren't those the posh ones in gold packs? I smoked like a trooper and enjoyed it immensely. I gave up when pregnant then restarted immediately afterwards, several times. I still have nicotine lozenges feeding my addiction but haven't actually smoked for 23 years. I now have a DIL who smokes - I keep telling her I don't mind her smoking in the house but she never does. None of my children smoke and I'm pleased about that. As you say mrsmopp, everyone did it then. I had forgotten about the Embassy catalogue and the coupons smile

harrigran Tue 23-Apr-13 00:33:07

Yes I smoked. Started when I was sixteen and did so for thirteen years until I couldn't bear to burn 50p every day. DH and I gave up together and bought a piano with what we saved.

numberplease Tue 23-Apr-13 00:46:04

No, never did, never wanted to, but hubby did, from being about 11 till about 10 years ago, aged about 59, when he had a mini stroke, and the doctor managed what I couldn`t all those years, put the fear of God in him, and he stopped, just like that. He was on 60 a day, wouldn`t go anywhere without at least 3 packs in the glove compartment, and panicked summat rotten if he couldn`t find his lighter! The whole house stank, and everything had a brown coating on it, it`s much nicer now.

Notso Tue 23-Apr-13 06:38:19

Following the 1971 budget several of my firiends gave up smoking and very quickly put on weight. I stupidly thought that if I started to smoke I would lose weight, so I started smoking aged 24.

Fast forward to Christmas Day 5 years ago and I finally stopped for good. I'm still fat. grin

I know I wont ever smoke another cigarette, but I still miss it.

absent Tue 23-Apr-13 06:46:23

I smoked heavily for many years from teenage onwards, although not when pregnant or breastfeeding. I gave up from time to time – sometimes for quite prolonged periods – and then took up the habit again. I finally decided I didn't want to be the bad granny. My ex doesn't smoke, although he used to, and Mr absent gave up when he had a mild stroke about five years ago. I thought my son-in-law's parents were both non-smokers but it turns out that his mum does still smoke. However, I set a date – 1 December 2011 – for giving up. There was one very big lapse when I was visiting some friends in the following January and everybody else was smoking, so I did too. (I felt foul the next day.) I haven't smoked since, I don't miss it and dislike the smell of cigarette smoke around me.

Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 07:08:29

I tried one cigarette when I was 15 - I thought it looked romantic on films when the hero lit the heroine's cigarette. I nearly choked and I have never had another.
My father died of emphysema, and my older sister and my brother both died in their mid 60's of smoking related diseases. My remaining sister does not smoke.
Films and TV no longer show people smoking, even in situations where they clearly would be, such as outside the pubs in soaps. Now, we just need them to stop showing people drinking alcohol constantly, as if it were a normal thing to do. (How do workers in a knicker factory afford to buy rounds?)
I think long term smoking not only damages your health, but also ages your face. Many smokers have 'Dorothy bag' lines round their mouth and their skin tone is not good.
I believe most doctors in the UK no longer smoke, but it is sad to see nurses puffing away outside hospitals.

feetlebaum Tue 23-Apr-13 08:06:35

Yes, 'everybody' smoked decades ago. And, aged seven, I was aided and abetted by a frequent visitor, a friend of my mother - and mother of Barry Took - who would slip cigarettes to me... so I started the habit early. Fast forward to 1976 - my wife of the time asked if I would see a hypnotherapist, and I grumpily said I would go if she made the appointment - I should probably add that by this time I was smoking between forty and sixty Gauloises Disque Bleue a day - I used to joke about having a monthly fall of soot.

I visited this man, a retired Army officer and spent one hour listening to him talk quietly - no more than that. And I have not touched a cigarette from that day to this! No cravings, no withdrawal symptoms at all - I remember I got into a non-smoker on the Underground and I was amazed at how clean it was in there.

Thirty-one years later, my earlier excesses led to a lung cancer - and half my left lung was removed. It seems I got away with it - that was six years ago, and I am still here...

Greatnan Tue 23-Apr-13 08:13:53

Well done, feetle, for beating this horribly addictive drug. I hope you continue to stay in good health.
I suppose if you told most smokers they had an addiction problem, they would be offended.

ninathenana Tue 23-Apr-13 08:26:45

I never bought cigarettes but I did blag the occasional one in my teens when with friends. DH smoked when we met but neither of us has had a cigarette for about 30 yrs.
DD was part of a no smoking initiative at secondary school they performed little sketches for other schools on the dangers of smoking. Didn't stop her when she was old enough angry She gave up during both pregnancies but immediately started again.

Ella46 Tue 23-Apr-13 09:16:09

I started smoking as a very stupid act of rebellion on my 50th birthday.
My first OH, a controlling bully, was very anti smoking, so four years after I left him, I thought it was liberating! How stupid!
I didn't smoke more than ten a day, but for ten years, and then I just stopped one day, shortly before my 60th.

annodomini Tue 23-Apr-13 09:33:34

In my last year at University, my friend and I thought we were very sophisticated and smoked Balkan Sobranie cigarettes - black with gold tips. We also smoked cheaper ones but I didn't get hooked because I don't think I ever inhaled properly. The day I received my final degree results I became a non-smoker without even thinking about it - I just didn't need them any more, though I never made a conscious decision. Ironically, my sister, who had been away on a student visit to Germany, brought me the gift of a lighter! No cigarette has ever passed my lips from that day to this.

Mishap Tue 23-Apr-13 10:35:18

I'm like greatnan - one experimental puff and decided it was not for me! I think it has paid dividends as I have quite good skin still, or so the children say.

No smokers in my family when I was small, so good role models from that point of view.

It is a pernicious addictive weed and I take my hat off to those of you who have managed to kick the habit - well done!

grannyactivist Tue 23-Apr-13 11:36:48

My parents smoked and I hated it. If we went on a bus we had to sit upstairs in a fug of cigarette smoke and I was invariably sick. Of my mother's eight children only two smoke. My mum, when she was in her late fifties, needed an operation and spent quite a long time in hospital. She survived the operation, but was told that she almost died from the anaesthetic as her lungs were in such bad condition. She stopped smoking then and didn't do so for many years. About fifteen years ago we (her children) realised that she was smoking in secret - and none of us has ever mentioned it to her. We figure that as she has family visiting every day she can only smoke a maximum of three cigarettes a day, whereas if she's 'outed' she may well start smoking in front of us and her consumption will increase. She's eighty four!! grin

BAnanas Tue 23-Apr-13 11:54:25

I remember being 18 or so sitting around with friends in cafes smoking Gauloises. We were of course posing and I hated to admit that they actually made me feel sick. This phase didn't last for too long and when I became less of a sheep I decided that smoking was most definitely not for me, I have never regretted that decision. My husband smoked 20 a day till his early 30s he clearly remembers getting his last packet of cigarettes New Years Eve, smoking one and then throwing the rest away and he has never smoked since, he is now vehemently anti. We have friends who come and stay with us from time to time, the husband is a really heavy smoker and has to frequently disappear outside for a fag then he comes back reeking of it. It killed his mother, his father is still alive in his 70s has heart problems now and apparently he smoked about 100 a day, I can't get my head round that the cost to both body and wallet doesn't bear thinking about. Every time we watch the sublime Mad Men it kind of brings it home how differently smoking was portrayed once.

LullyDully Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:01

I was never a real smoker, just a few ones for effect in early 20s. They tasted horrible. DH a non smoker but both sons started at 14 to my annoyance and are still struggling giving up in their 30s. DS2 in fact seems addicted to nicoteen chewing gum. dragon {just trying it out, it's totally irrelevant.}

Bez Tue 23-Apr-13 12:57:08

I tried it when I was about 19 and at college - I was never much good at it though 'cos i always managed to get smoke in my eyes and it made them run in a very unsophisticated way! So never bothered with it thank goodness.

Nelliemoser Tue 23-Apr-13 13:47:12

On and off between about 16 and 25yrs. Never really regularly. It was something to do with my hands while out. I gave up at 25 after getting a chest infection when I had a cold. I had never remembered having a chest infection before that.
I now can't abide even standing next to anyone who stinks of tobacco.

anno I don't think I really inhaled either which is probably why I was never really addicted.

My Dhs family of several siblings each side, all smoked and several of them died of smoking related illnesses. MIL was very badly wrinkled as a result. Hubby's younger brother smokes and with his lifestyle and family history is really pushing his luck.
My PGM apparently smoked heavily for years gave up in her late 80s and lived until she was 96. She did suffer from macular degeneration which smoking can affect in a big way.

whenim64 Tue 23-Apr-13 14:03:40

Same here nellie. I didn't inhale and smoked because my friends did. Gave up after I got married at 25, and hate the smell of tobacco now. I remember there was a hierarchy of smokers amongst my peers - those who smoked Park Drive or Woodbines, then No. 6, followed by Embassy, menthol and Benson and Hedges, then finally the Russian or French cigarettes, or roll-ups. anno they were the sophisticates who liked jazz and dressed like beatniks! And completely separately, dads who smoked Players, and grandads with their pipes. grin

hummingbird Tue 23-Apr-13 14:40:06

When I was growing up, it seemed that everyone around me smoked. I always hated it, and thankfully, never even tried it. I used to nag my mum and dad endlessly, but although they often tried to give up, it was too difficult for them. At the age of 59, my mum developed lung cancer, which killed her within five months. Dad had a heart attack and died at the age of 64. That slogan on the packet 'smoking kills' is only too true! Non of my siblings or my own children have ever smoked, thankfully.

noodles Tue 23-Apr-13 14:55:16

I enjoyed smoking and found it really difficult to give up. I tried countless times without success and I don't know why my last attempt (25+ years ago), worked, but it did.

My husband gave up before me, and my children don't smoke.

annodomini Tue 23-Apr-13 15:41:20

Nobody's admitting to being a smoker. Among all our vast membership - really?

absent Tue 23-Apr-13 15:44:17

Greatnan Smokers are often told that they have an addiction problem. They are not usually offended. They either don't believe you or they simply don't care.

Ana Tue 23-Apr-13 16:02:54

I think a lot of smokers realise that they're addicted. It's another excuse not to give up! grin

marigold1 Tue 23-Apr-13 16:08:52

Yes, I was a smoker, I started during my nurse training....SHAME, I considered myself to be a "social" smoker until it dawned on me I must have too many friends, lots of nurses and doctors smoked in the 70's, I cringe now admitting I did smoke, stopped when pregnant, then started again, how foolish, now I can't stand the smell of smoke, and glad I managed to give up the dreaded weed.