It was suggested that I had an addictive personality, because I had been told by the GP – I was 62 – that if I didn’t stop, I wouldn’t see my 65th birthday.
I’m at a stage of my life where, last year I got a leg infection and I ended up with an abscess on my leg. I went to seek professional help and was referred to a top hospital in Bodrum where they didn’t blame smoking for the actual cause: what they actually said was that smoking was definitely stopping the abscess healing because there wasn’t enough oxygen to heal the area.
That really made me think.
The trigger for that now is the coronavirus. It fills your lungs up with what is the equivalent of glue: you can’t scrape it out, you can’t get it out, and once it’s there, it’s there, you know. Any of your friends that are really close to you, please tell them that it’s a horrible death.
And I thought, well to what end? Do I want to end up in hospital? As a smoker, there’s a darn good chance if I go into hospital, that if I end up in intensive care, I won’t come out. I’m 71. I think if I pack in smoking, get myself sorted out, I think I’ve got another good 10 years.
Now, another thing, which concerns you as you get older, is the amount of money it takes to bury you. Have people got the money put to one side or are you going to leave it to friends and neighbours? Family?
You know, I mean, if you’re spending just £50 a week on cigarettes, it’s £2500 a year, £2600 actually. In two years that’s £5200. Take the pressure off your family, you don’t need to go to Sun Life or Senior this that and the other. You can put the money aside, put it in a little pot. When I die, you can bury me, the money is there, accounted for. (…) stop smoking
Well I don’t want to go like that. I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be another person like my dad, sitting on an oxygen mask, gasping away for my breath. You know, with a cigarette in one hand and the oxygen mask in the other. You know, sitting in the chair unable to get out, unable to get up to my allotment because it takes too much energy to walk a few hundred yards up to my allotment.
Being too unwell to look at my potatoes etc. And that’s I how I will end my days if I don’t stop smoking and that’s a fact.
The other thing that makes me angry: my dad was an intelligent man, yet, could he not see that cigarettes were ruining his life? He gasped for his breath. I mean it …it’s like suicide, isn’t it?
I mean the point is you know that what you’re doing is going to cut your life short. I mean, man’s mortal coil is supposed to be three score and ten. So you do something, inhale something that’s going to fill your lungs with tar, it’s going to effect your circulation, it’s going to create all sorts of other problems. And we do this, it’s like euthanasia, as if you’re terminating your life early. I mean is that little stick in your hand, is that worth gasping for your breath? Is that worth dying early for? Is that worth, is that worth having your circulation rate, your fingers go cold? You wake up during the night, you’ve got cramps in your leg.
Have you not got the strength of character? Your brain is a marvellous thing.
Have you not got the strength of character up there to fight this? To say to it you’re not controlling me, you’re not controlling me, I’ll get rid of you, I’ll get rid of you out of my brain, you’re not having me, you’re not killing me early, you’re not going to do that to me, you’re not going to do that.