Beth on smoking

Nineteen authors* were asked to write on the subject of addiction, obsession and compulsion. All proceeds from the sale of the resulting publication Nineteen Raptures will go to the charity RAPt (The Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust, registered charity No 1001701) who offer drug and alcohol treatment services to prisoners in UK jails.


I haven’t given up… I’m planning. I’ll wait till I’ve ovulated. If I’m not pregnant… My period is due today. I’m probably… I’ll ovulate… probably within a few days. They reckon it’s better to quit between ovulation and your next period – the luteal phase. Better for kicking any addiction.

I’ve been trying to quit since I started. I was 12. I was immediately trapped, completely caught. But I do believe there is a way… a leap of consciousness, not as high falutin’ as it sounds. I’ve done the books, done seminars, watched videos. I’ve been reading the Allen Carr book all my life. I only do three or four cigs a day. That’s all my body can handle. Except sometimes a couple more can slip in. Smoking is romantic, like a collusion – rolling a cigarette is like rolling into a belief system. It’s about grief. When I quit, I cry – for dead people, and loss. I cry for weeks. Once that passes I feel amazing. Then I feel on top of it, and start again. I like smoking on my own the best. I don’t get up and smoke, but I’d go there if I could. I have picked up butts – when I was young, when I was looking for 20p pieces. Actually, 20p pieces didn’t exist then.

I like American Spirit rolling tobacco – I love it. Golden Virginia is too oily. Old Holborn – no. My granddad used to smoke Old Holborn, in his pipe. When he died I found old crusty tobacco at the bottom of his pipe. I smoked it. I started when my dad died. He was a chain smoker – someone said I smoke to be close to him. I love the smell of smoke on your skin and wine on your breath. The smell of smoke on my fingers. You kiss me goodnight… the shadows…

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