I began smoking aged 14 and as i'm 43 now, and if my crude finger counting is correct, that makes it 29 years that i have been sucking goodness knows what chemicals into my body.
Like almost everyone who starts smoking at a young age, i only began because i thought it looked cool and there was an element of danger about it as we posted a younger kid to act as a look-out as we stood behind the school art block. Getting caught would mean a caning from the headmaster and a letter home but i managed to avoid that fate but those few puffs around the back with the cool kids led onto a 20 a day habit that has stuck with me since.
I have tried giving up a few times, even managed it for 7 weeks once with a stopping smoking group where i got given a 'I've Quit' mug which came in handy in the morning for my coffee and cigarette when i started up again.
I have used patches, throat spray, lozenges, chewing gum and almost every type of quitting aid there is but deep down inside i never wanted to quit because i enjoyed the cigarette breaks at work. A chance to get away for 10 minutes every few hours, a reason to stand outside on your own and have a few minutes peace. So i knew i wouldn't quit but it made me feel good that i was trying, however half-arsed and fruitless i knew it was.
Things seemed to have changed with the e-cigarette though and i see more and more people stood around puffing on the things with the brightly coloured LED light and blowing out plumes of smoke, or vapour.
I made a few enquires but everybody had different ones and some that were dismissed as rubbish were raved about by other people and i admit the disposable 10 motives one i tried from TESCO was great for about 10 puffs and then i may as well have been puffing on a lolly stick as much use it was but i am reliably informed the cheap, shop bought ones are all the same and i needed to buy a proper kit so much reviewing of websites and forums later and i have ordered one.
There are much better reasons for stopping and if you ask anyone they will state they are doing it for their health, the expense or the smell it leaves behind on clothes and it is the craving that keeps them smoking.
For me it is the fag-breaks that keep me hooked so e-cigarettes could be the key for me to carry on slipping away outside for 10 minutes every few hours and blow smoke about.
How cool they look i don't know yet and looking cool is important because if it wasn't, most smokers wouldn't have started in the first place if they are being honest.