Used Ink…..(Say It Quickly!)

Written by Grant Richards on. Posted in Blog


I was so incensed this morning, when not only did one person blow smoke in my face when they were casually having that desperate last toke before they enter their office, but whilst at a cash machine, the bloke behind was smoking those small cigars (cigarillos?) and I copped a huge waft of stink for the second time in quick succession. This made me fling up a Stalkbook rant, where a few people shared my view on it being an intrusion of ‘personal space’, which subsequently got me to write this blog entry.

It will come as no surprise from the introductory paragraph that I hate smoking. I don’t HATE many things, as I feel it’s such a harsh word, but I reserve it for smoking. Ask my old dear, I’m constantly on at her about trying to give up, as it’s such a wretched habit and the bottom line is, I don’t want to see her health deteriorate because of it. Thankfully, right now she’s fine and I hope she can one day kick the habit. But it is that isn’t it? A habit, an addiction. I have my addictions of course. If eBay were able to send me some stats on how many times I log in to look at trainers or goalie gloves, you’d see that one of my addictions is just as costly as a smoking habit!!

Why do I dislike smoking quite so much? I’m not 100% sure, but one of the main factors is that it stinks, and as you know, I’m the ‘Nicest Smelling DJ In The Game’ and can’t be having any of that Death Breath, yellow teeth and stinky fingers flex on my goodself!! I know plenty of my mates, and obviously my family smoke, and if you read this, I can hardly apologise for the truth that smoking brings to YOUR life. So don’t hold it against me for calling it out #SorryNotSorry

How come YOU smoke? Nah seriously, I’m interested. What makes that person reach for the B&H the second they leave the train station each morning? Is it something psychological? Because it’s not like it can scientifically relieve you of the stress of the rat race but I guess YOU feel there is something comforting sucking on that tar stick? Obviously being a non-smoker this bit intrigues me a little, so don’t be shy. Speak up at the back.

Now maybe some of you are thinking ‘I bet you’ve smoked before in your life, as everyone has’. Well I can tell you for a fact, I’ve NEVER had a whole cigarette in my life. When I was really young and just as curious as I am as an adult, I asked my Mum about her fags and she actually gave me a puff on one. It’ll be no surprise that I choked my guts up. Not necessarily the best example of parenting, but it done the job. I’m actually very grateful of that funny little moment in Mother/Son time. It put me off smoking, right there and then. Of course I had a teenage dalliance, through peer pressure, when fags were passed around the back of school, but knocked that on the head pretty sharpish.

I probably sound a bit self-righteous going off on this rant? Well I just wonder to myself, why would you want to knowingly and slowly kill yourself and smell like an ash tray for the pleasure, whilst spending a fair whack for the privilege? Thankfully a tide is turning. It’s no longer cool to smoke and it’s been a long time since I’ve come back from DJing in a club with my clothes stinking of fags. The smoking ban in public places has been implemented across most of Europe (although it’s not enforced in other countries anywhere near as much as it is here in the UK) and its even been adopted in Dubai and they love a good chuff over there. What I have seen a lot more recently in clubs, is the E-cigarette. Isn’t this the way forward for you lot that need your fix? Surely it’s the best of both worlds for the smoking crew? No stench, you get your fix and it even looks like you have a fag, I mean, it even has that little puff of smoke.

If I look into my crystal ball, I think that in the future smoking will fade out gradually (I also predict Kelly Brook will get dumped by Danny Cappuccino and will then date another rugby player). In doing so, governments will lose out on the tax. What they’ll then do is legalise certain drugs and pick up the tax slack that way. Portugal has had a radical stance on the legalisation of drugs (up to a certain amount) for over 10 years. So what says other European countries won’t follow suit? One thing’s for sure, that if the arse does fall out of the tobacco market – HERES HOPING!! – those greedy MPs will be clawing that lost moolah another way. FACT!

Quite a weird blog reading that back. Started off enraged at the ignorance of people that think it’s OK to get you on a passive smoking flex and then ended on a semi-political tip. My mind is a funny old place sometimes, it really is!!

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Comments (8)

  • Grant Smith


    Wierd since being a smoker from the age of 12 I agree, Habbit or addiction im guessing a bit of both. But I will say that when the lil school kiddies go pass my work I make sure the staff have hid their fags and do not blow smoke until the kids have gone, as for waiting in line there is personal space and try to blow smoke away from Q.


  • Chris Hulme


    As an ex smoker I agree with the addiction label, I enjoyed a smoke and a pint, weird to comprehend but I did. Out here in Australia they have certain public areas that your not allowed to smoke, like around the high street shops, which is the way forward. I see smoking like religion, everyone has the right to do enjoy it if they want to waste their life, just don’t bring it all up in my grill!


  • Phil Scott


    Having smoked for the best part of 20 years it felt natural to “have a fag”. Morning (wallking to the station and work), 11sies, after lunch, afternoon, walking home and with a pint was a must. For many years this was my mindset and never really noticed all the side effects or opinions of non smokers, family and friends. Having tried on many occasions to kick the habit and failing I signed up for a 6 week NHS course in February. To cut a long story short, using NRT I’m now nearly 3 months into the rest of my life as a non smoker. I can now smell properly which is quite weird and others smoking near me winds me up. The final frontier for me to clear is the what I call the “I just want something” syndrome. Having now come off the NRT I get times when I get a strong need for something, it normally ends up being food which doesn’t help avoiding growing into a huge heffer(thankfully the gym/cycling is keeping on top of that). A doctor once said to me, consider smoking as the meanest heavy weight boxer in the world, every time you have a fag he punches you to knock some more hours off your life, with nicotine he is strong and powerful. Without nicotine he will want to punch you but can’t, you miss that punched feeling but over time he will weaken until he eventually collapses on the floor, KO. Be warned though, it will be a long time if ever before he dies, if at all. If you ever so much as look at another person smoking, passive smoke or consider it, his eyes will open and his strength could return quickly and be ready to come back with a vengeance. My heavy weight is thankfully out for the count and I intend it to stay that way..


  • Ben Z


    As you allude to early on in your blog post it was peer pressure that got me smoking at the tender age of 14 and I carried that on until about the age of 25. I guess I was on a steady 20 a day through this period and this spell of smoking was clearly an addiction.

    Around this time in my life I found club culture and a whole load of new excesses opened up and smoking for stimulus (which it never gave) seemed so pointless and I gave up, it was very easy to give up too. I took my final cigarette out of the packet knowing it would be my last smoke ever…………

    That was until one wonderful day in Ibiza when on the way from our apartment to Bora Bora (and being ever so slightly “happy”) I saw what seemed like that guitar scene from Wayne’s World. In one of the Tabac windows there was an advert for “Ice cold” cigarettes. Sure enough inside there was a fridge containing menthol cigarettes being sold in a iced gel pack and that was me back on the ciggies.

    This time round I was a social smoker, if you can call it that. I only ever smoked when I was out and had a beer in my hand. I very rarely smoked during the day and probably smoked about 20 ciggies a week usually all crammed into the weekends so this time round my addiction had turned into a habit (“a bad bad habit baby” as Lisa Millet would say…………had to get a music reference in somewhere)

    Towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year I started smoking a lot more heavily due to stress and I could notice a very sharp decrease in my health and even my mood which made me want to stop again but I didn’t I was clearly slipping back into addiction then something else happened that would change my view on smoking and it’s consequences altogether because my 9 year old step-daughter was diagnosed with the big “C”.

    Of course it was not smoking related in her case and she is all clear and perfectly fine now so it’s a very happy ending but I was so scared, even now I have a tear in my eye thinking about it. I cannot imagine having my missus and children having to go through that if I got ill, so again I gave up and I will never smoke again. Stopping smoking won’t mean I never get a terminal illness but if it gives me one more minute with my family then it’s worth it.

    I find everything about smoking now completely repellent and it makes me very sad when I see people gasping for a cigarette but that’s because I see it from my own personal point of view, I don’t think smokers genuinely go out of their way to make others uncomfortable but I will try to avoid being around smokers if possible whether that be actually in the act of smoking or just smelling of smoke.


    • Grant Richards


      That’s really quite a poignant story Ben. Cheers for sharing it & taking the time to write it up.


  • Scott Sanders


    Can totally relate fella, quite possible my biggest peeve… I find I am holding my breath most of the way from the station to work due to this… Quite regularly see red (but don’t do anything about it) when greeted with a face full of smoke from some inconsiderate smoker… Think it’s time for the Non Smokers to unite and stand up for our right to fresh smoke free air!!

    I agree with Chris where public areas should also be smoke free… Just because there is open air around and above, it still impacts those that choose not to pollute their body with the cancer sticks…

    Also, why does it seem that those that can least afford the cost of smoking are the ones that smoke the most?!? At around £8 for 20, it is not a cheap habit and surely that saving alone is worth trying to break the habit – nearly £3k a year for a 20 a day habit!! Think of the things that could be done with that!! Although its easy to say as someone that has never had to deal with the addiction.

    Great article in the Metro the other day with the stats about smokers –


  • Chrissy Jay


    I’m with you all the way on this subject, even though many would call me a hypocrite as I HAVE smoked in the past – however, I think that fact actually enforces my argument against smoking. I grew up with a mum and dad who’d sit and smoke their sodding faces off in the evening, I remember that cloud of smoke drifting around the living room (maybe that’s why I love smoke machines these days – it re-creates the look!).

    I’m guessing that’s why when all my mates at the age of 12 started smoking, I refused to join them. However, I did give in around the age of 16 but what first smoked was more the herbal type if you know what I mean! Well, that lead to me smoking B&H when I was in the pub at the age of 18 onwards for a couple of years – just the social smoking though, never without a drink at any other time. What put me off smoking completely was one night at a house party, I was drinking and smoking (how cliché), but at one point I could smell and taste fags like I was eating them……this went on for about 1 bottle of beer…..yep, got to the bottom of the bottle and found 3 fag buts in my drink and yep, I threw up! Since then, that association between the two permanently put me off.

    The point of this story is (and this is not just through experience but through study – not only of smoking but psychology as a whole) that the brain is ‘trained’ to behave in a certain way. Yes there is physical addiction, but the body on depends on drugs/substances for a certain period until they’re out the system (nicotine and associated grimness around 1 month to leave your system). From then on, it’s the brain that holds onto the triggers/desires/urges. If you do start smoking you CAN give up if you really want to but you must WANT to give up and have an association in your head of why it’s wrong for you. That might be because you have convinced yourself that you will stink after just one puff, or like me, that you’ll throw up after smoking or any other real reason that puts you off, without any reason for why you should ‘keep’ smoking – such as “I’ll miss the fag breaks talking to the boss”, “I won’t look cool anymore” etc etc.

    There is a psychological factor in all day to day life and peoples behavior (that’s another subject) and if you ask most smokers why they smoke, most will say something like “because I love it”, “it’s my only vice”, “it gets me out of the office for half an hour a day” etc etc….. We all know the biggest reason people start smoking is peer pressure – whether people were ribbed for not smoking when they were 11 years old, or started just to look cool. My dad refuses to give up as he loves it (he says) and my mum still has her 3 a day as it’s her ‘naughty’ pleasure (say no more!). A friend of mine who smoked 40 a day and loved it immensely had an operation and the anesthetic made her violently sick. The doctor (prompted by her mum) twisted the truth and told her that it was her smoking that made her so ill. After that op she hasn’t smoked since and that was over 10 years ago.

    We LOVE music, I couldn’t give it up could you?. Would I go insane if I didn’t have it? But does my body NEED it?

    I could go on all day about this but that’s enough!

    As for the political side of things, B.A.T. have a LOT to answer for and even though smoking is less cool, with their power I don’t think it’ll disappear any time soon unfortunately.


  • Luke B


    That’s an interesting little read!
    I like to think that I am a considerate smoker. When you could still smoke in restaurants, I would not light up if anyone on any of the surrounding tables was still eating. If people are in my car, I will always ask them if they mind me smoking. When outside, I’ll always be careful to stand down wind of anyone that I’m talking to.
    The main reason for this? Funnily enough, I can’t stand the smell of other people’s smoke (yeah, weird I know). Can’t explain why, but that’s just how it is.
    As for the reasons why I smoke? Probably the age old peer pressure that got me into it, coupled with the fact that it’s psychologically easier to carry on smoking than to try to give it up (a weak answer, I know). Yes, I have given up in the past for periods varying between a couple of weeks and about 10 months, but there is a massive physical and mental dependency on it – bear in mind the minuscule amounts of nicotine in cigarettes (we’re talking milligrams) and how easy it is to get addicted to them, compared to how many grams of Class A drugs you need to consume in order to get addicted…
    The strangest thing I find, is that lately the more I drink on a night out, the less I want a cigarette – go figure?
    The long and the short of it, is that I currently kind of want to give up, and have done for a while now, but I know in my heart of hearts that it won’t work until I REALLY want to give up. It honestly makes me wish that I’d never started, but in the meantime I do still actually enjoy it….


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