...A summers tale; it concerns an attempt to stop smoking that abruptly
ended after only two weeks...
The decision was made, no more cigarettes. And so it went, for two weeks
not a cigarette was lit, not a puff inhaled.
It was summer and the time came to go away on holiday, as every body must.
This year it would be Amsterdam.
At that time, the most popular way to go from England to was to fly from Heathrow airport,
where the happy holiday makers duly arrived.
However, for those would be non-smokers at the sensitive two week spot,
airports have two major flaws - duty-free shops and flight delays
(that keep travellers trapped in the duty-free shops).
These two eventualities had not been anticipated.
First, the lure of cheap American cigarettes proved fatal.
For some crazy reason, the opportunity to buy a carton of Chesterfields at
half-price, was not to be missed.
At the time it seemed somehow improper or indecent to forego this travellers rite.
And then second,
pre-flight nerves made worse by the flight delay, began to onset. At the time it seemed
logical to smoke a cigarette to settle the nerves, and perhaps another and another.
By the time the flight had finished boarding, more than half a pack had
This was 1968, a time when inflight smoking was actively encouraged
and upon landing at Schipol the pack was examined and found to be empty...
what remained of the contents having been unconsciously chain-smoked during the 50 minute flight..
That did it, whatever will power there remained to stop smoking, evaporated on the spot,
the attempt was over. Getting rid of cigarettes would have to wait for another time.
The 'another time' was some 400,000 cigarettes (or 2,000 cartons), 26 years and
seven or eight serious attempts to stop, later.
Let it Pass.