Tag Archives: cigarettes

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 60. On Addictions.

Each of us, I think, has something we can’t live without, despite it being detrimental to our health and way of life. For some it could be alcohol, cigarettes, fatty food, salt or prescription/non-prescription drugs. Most of us are aware that such addictions can kill us.

But what about those addictions that are not fatal? If you could, would you be able to give up using the Internet, drinking coffee, buying too many books, eating too much chocolate, or possessing an unrealistic view of mankind and all its stupidity?

But enough about me. What should YOU live without?

Tell me.


The Wednesday Whack-Job

Our country goes up in smoke. (Picture courtesy of the Evening Herald.)

It is said that Emperor Nero was too busy practicing on his violin to notice that Rome was burning around him. It could be myth and legend, it doesn’t matter either way.

Last weekend the Dublin GAA Football team played host to Cork in the All-Ireland Senior Football semi-final. Despite playing a good game, the Dubs were beaten by a point and missed their chance to play in their first final since 1995. Shit happens. They’ll get another chance next year.

As befitting to such a major sporting occasion, our Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., attended as a guest of honour. Croke Park is a magnificent stadium, and it’s only right that it should be designated a smoke-free zone. (It doesn’t stop the fans on Hill 16 from puffing away on their John Player Blue, though.)

A box of cancer sticks. Filthy habit, really.

I have to be honest and say that though I knew that BIFFO (Big Ignorant Fecker From Offaly) enjoys a pint or ten, I didn’t know he was a smoker until a member of the public spotted our beloved leader puffing away in a prohibited zone, and promptly notified the relevant authorities. No, not the gardai, but Joe Duffy’s Liveline radio show on RTE.

I’ll write more about Mr. Duffy and his show at a later stage. But for now, I wish to add my sympathies to our much-maligned head of government. Let me put it this way, Cowen is about as popular as a fart in a spacesuit. So much so, in fact, that his fellow countrymen are willing to shop his little indiscretions to the media. Almost all of us who smoke have at some point sneaked a quick drag in places where we shouldn’t. It’s part and parcel of “owning” an unsociable habit. To some, it’s part of the fun.

Oh Brian, how low have you fallen in the esteem of your voters that we’re not willing to let trivial events like that slide? Not low enough, it seems. It seems ironic that in a week where Cowen was celebrated by the international community as being a leader with courage, his own community would prefer he was hung, drawn and quartered.

We’d have an election tomorrow – but the Opposition are no great shakes, either. Don’t get me started on Enda Kenny…

Zen and The Art of Cigarette Smoking

…or not, as the case may be.

I’ve been taking Champix since last Tuesday and something strange is happening to me: I’m not enjoying my cigarettes as much as I used to.

Champix is a non-nicotine medicine which is designed to help smokers quit the dreaded weed. It works by suppressing nerves that are stimulated by the nicotine from tobacco products. It’s also an anti-depressant that has some severe side-effects for a small proportion of its users (though not this one so far, thankfully). I can smoke for the first two weeks while taking these pills, then it is suggested that I stop completely. If I have the will to stop – and I believe I do – and I follow the correct procedure and dosing instructions, I have a better than fifty-fifty chance of finally quitting.

Champix also fucking expensive. A month’s supply of little blue and white pills costs €150, a price not to be sniffed at. But when I figure out that I probably spend that and more on cigarettes, it’s a price worth paying. Let’s face it, people, I’d like to live as long as I possibly can and if a pill is going to help with this ambition, then I’m ready to follow my doctor’s advice. There’s a first time for everything.

Reading through the leaflet, I came upon this rather interesting side-effect. The manufacturers state that some users of Champix may find themselves acting more assertive than normal. What this means for me is I could find myself in situations where I might ‘voice’ my concerns and complaints more aggressively. This might not be ideal as I’m not the most patient of people, especially at bus stops and shop queues. The next person who decides to pay for a pint of milk with their Visa card may be in for an earful from yours truly, if they’re not careful.

I can’t wait.

Grumble II: The Sequel

Beware the rise of torpitude.

No, hold on – that’s not right. I’m getting a red line underneath torpitude. I don’t think that word exists. Let me try again.

Beware the rise of torpidity. (Yay! That one works.)

I’m no hypochondriac, let’s get that out of the way. Okay, I can moan and whine with the best of them, but usually I get over myself and get on with the job at hand. But that hasn’t been the case recently. I’ve been torpid (not torpedoed – that’s a different action altogether) and out of sorts. So I did what normal people do when they’re feeling this way: I made an appointment to see Dr. Kelly next Tuesday at the Fairview Health Centre.

I’m not overly concerned about my immediate health; but there is history of diabetes, cancer and heart disease in my family. On the plus side, I have my own hair, most of my own teeth and, to my knowledge, all of my ‘bits’ are working to satisfactory levels.

It’s been well over two years since I last sat in a doctor’s surgery, but I know damn well what to expect. I know what my problems are. I smoke two packs a day, I don’t eat well enough or often enough, and I don’t get adequate rest. It’s going to cost me 50euro for Doc Kelly to tell me to quit the fags, eat little but often – not forgetting to include five-a-day fruit and veg portions – and to go to bed early once in a bloody while. No doubt I’ll be told to indulge in aerobic activity, even if it’s too cold at the moment to make love by the sea, and to drastically cut down on my caffeine habit. But if that’s what it takes to get my mojo back, I’ll do what is necessary.

Otherwise I’ll end up like these guys.

Or worse – this guy.

Poor Shane.