READER REPORT:

How I kicked the smoking habit

KEITH ELEFTHERIOU
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2013

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My stand on smoking bans

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I have smoked on and off for nearly 30 years, but it wasn't until I joined the Royal New Zealand Navy and had the prospect of duty free cigarettes (and alcohol) within easy reach that I really become addicted.

I have never been one of these 'packet a day' people, although there were always times, notably Saturdays after playing rugby, drink in hand, when I could (with help of my bludger mates) polish off a packet. Despite the remorse the following day, it would happen with alarming regularity.

I love smoking. As much a habit as a source of relaxation, my own real kick of substance that could hype me or calm me, and rising costs and blanket bans never made any dent into my want to have one. The earthquakes and my subsequent bouts of depression had me ramp up how much I was smoking, despite my wife's pleas to give it up, not to mention how it affected my insurance policy premiums.

It was my desire to play another one or two seasons of rugby that made me look at giving it up, but the underlying thing was, well, I didn't want to.

I went to the Aerosmith concert in Dunedin and a lady in front of me lit up. I, even as a smoker, was disgusted. I cannot handle other people's smoke, and don't smoke inside any house or car, but as it turns out, this was one of those electronic cigarettes.

Now I had a way out.

Months on I still enjoy smoking an e-smoke. Truth be known, I don't crave it anywhere near as much and now can enjoy the ability of smoking inside, at venues where bans are in place, and at will. In fact I enjoy the sideways looks from other people, yet funnily enough have only ever had one person challenge me only to laugh it off when he realised.

Others, on a positive note, have asked how to get them, so maybe we could see a real shift in habit if people are prepared to stump up the upfront cost.

I feel the effects, no longer do I hack my lungs up in the morning, I now can play a full game of rugby with relative ease (although unfortunately the change has not made me any fitter) and as a bonus, I have calculated that I am now financially way better off than if still puffing those smokes.

A consideration that works for one and all.


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