IVE given up smoking for the entire length of time it took
to type this sentence. There. Now I've started again.
I will be stopping again soon, honest!
I have a letter
here from the Health Authority, which says I am highly motivated to quit.
haven't paraphrased that, by the way. The testimonial - if that's what it is -
is signed by my Smoking Cessation Adviser, I kid ye not.
have enrolled on a six-week course of treatment, which was proudly announced in
the new government's manifesto, along with giving four to six-year-olds a piece
of fruit every day. When I was their age I was five and we got a little bottle
of milk, whether we liked it or not. I sometimes wonder what they did with all
the spare milk afterwards.
Anyway, this "support programme"
lasts for six weeks and revolves around the use of Zyban, the anti-depressant
which the Mail on Sunday says is a killer drug as if smoking wasn't a killer habit
I have to show this document to my GP before he
will prescribe sixty of the tablets. The next bit is interesting because I take
a tablet a day for a week whilst smoking to my heart's content. On the eighth
day, I start on two tablets a day and throw away all the lovely ashtrays I have
stolen from around the world (including one of those lovely orangey-brown ones
from Bar Costa at Sta. Gertrudis which they obviously intend you to take because
they bear the phone number (Tel: 197021) (unless it's so you can telephone them
to report it lost and found).
In many ways that's going
to be the hardest part. There's another one here from Lapland and one in the shape
of a tamarind pod from the oh-so-upmarket Indian restaurant named after it in
Mayfair. I don't want to digress too far, you understand, as I've just stopped
smoking again, but did you know tamarind juice is a major constituent of HP sauce
seen on every self-respecting Briton's breakfast bar? Check it out.
to start again, it also says here: "The patient is aware that not everyone
can safely take Zyban".
I've tried the patches, made
in Ashton under Lyne, but though they stopped me craving for a fag they brought
me out in a rectangular rash. The nurse (sorry, Cessation Wotsit) suggested I
put them somewhere out of sight and actually someone else said why not try them
on your leg as though that would make the slightest bit of difference to something
that was obviously poisoning me.
Then there's the chewing
gum of which I don't really approve and neither would you if you saw the state
of the pavements in Ashton under Lyne.
Anyway, I'm going
to try the lot, starting in about an hour. I went to make the doctor's appointment
yesterday and pushed the letter over to the receptionist without checking. "I
believe I need to see the doctor about this," I said without realising I
had handed her a letter about a rent appeal.
sort of thing (among others) I used to do when I drank. Goodness knows what I'll
be like by this time next week., but I'll either let you know or you can read
about it in the Mail on Sunday.