Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fag Hag

This is a sponsored post. Writing it gets me on a plane to Melbourne for Blogopolis.

I had my first cigarette when I was 14. I thought I was so cool, sitting alone at the bus stop before school, having half a puff of the mildest cigarette ever made and coughing my severely asthmatic lungs up to the point where my eyes watered. It doesn't get much cooler than that, right? How were the boys not falling over themselves to get to me?

Afraid my dirty little secret would be found out, I would shove an entire packet of mints in my mouth and douse myself with deodorant just as the bus pulled up. Instead of smelling like a stinky ashtray, I smelled like a stinky ashtray dipped in mint and berries. My apologies to the bus driver, who nearly choked one morning after a particularly thorough dousing.

I didn't really touch them again until I was 18, when I became a Friday night Fag Hag (smoking an entire packet on the one and only night a week that you smoke) and I only graduated to full blown smoker when I went through a bit of a crisis. Or rather, crises.

I ended up smoking an entire pack a day. 30 cigarettes, in 18 waking hours. Every. Single. Day.

Like many youngens, I wasn't concerned with the health effects. Which is really surprising since it was my constant whingeing and nagging insistence that got my grandmother to quit many years prior. Oh how the mighty did fall.

At the time I didn't really care about the cost either. When I look back at it now and see how much money I wasted (about $8000 over four years) I cringe. Do you know how many shoes, handbags and iThings that could buy???

Apparently there are many levels of addiction, and for some reason or another, nicotine and I were friends, but we weren't inseparable soulmates (I scored a 3 on the nicotine addiction test). So one day, I just decided to quit... though having a hunky new anti-smoking boyfriend may have had something to do with it. I still had a pack in the cupboard and I didn't touch them. Didn't want to touch them.

Apparently my Dad did it the exact same way. Kept a packet in his top pocket to prove to himself he could resist temptation. Freak.

I do find myself flirting with my old nicotine friend from time to time, normally when I'm having a few loud quiet ones with other smokers, but I'm lucky that for me, it doesn't mean being dragged back in to that expensive habit... just a stern reprimand from Map Guy (who was the hunky new boyfriend).

If you'd like to find out the benefits of quitting smoking, how much money you're wasting, and some tools to help you quit, visit Maybe I should too so I can kick the habit once and for all.


  1. So glad you stopped. I did too, just like that and there were no more ciggies. Occasionally think about them but rarely, too busy with my ass on fire chasing the kids! x

  2. I'm told that giving up ciggies is as hard as giving up any other drug. Which is hard. So well done you!

  3. I wish my husband read your blog. His father died in September and part of the his family's mourning ritual is to give up something for 100 days. He gave up smoking. Just like that. Then, when 100 days was up, he was back on it in a shot. Sigh.

  4. Wonderful post.
    I think it's great you've always had the option to, but you've just stopped. Like that. 
    I'm the partner of a smoker. I detest it. I hated it before we met, both my parents being heavy smokers the smell can be known to make me gag, and sometimes throw up. Although nowdays I just crinkle my nose. 
    I have asked him to stop, he knows I don't like it. It's such a waste of money we could use better. A selfish waste when you think our family budget is altered to afford his addiction that serves no good for anyone including him. 
    He says that he "wants to but it's just not that easy" and I pretty much have to drop it there, because who am I to tell him if it's easy or not? I'm not. 
    I have said to him before "If you really wanted to you would just stop. Simple. Yeah it might suck for a few days, but if you wanted to you'd make it work, you'd stick it out". He usually tells me right about there to STFU and get off my high horse so I don't go there often. I just hate that people know how bad it is for you but they still do it.

    I guess a bit like teen pregnancy (guilty!) where you think "it won't happen to me".

  5. I was always too much of a goody two-shoes to start so never have. Glad now as I've seen how hard quitting has been for family and friends. Or attempts to quit, in my husband's case. Good on you for making it happen!
    And enjoy Blogopolis!

  6. Whoops! Damn computer getting ahead of itself - that last comment was from me. Sorry!

  7. Ok, now feeling really stupid. Emma xx

  8. Oh that's so disappointing, Shelly. The first few days is always the hardest, if he got to 100, he had it well and truly kicked. Sigh indeed. 

  9. I don't think I could start up again, now that I've got someone looking up to me as a role model. If I'm honest, I will more than likely still have one every now and then... just not near the husband. 

  10. It came to the stage where there was something I didn't want to lose... a bit pathetic really isn't it, that I did it for a boy? :P Hehe. Quitting is quitting, doesn't matter what your motivation is I suppose!

  11. Having been a smoker I can definitely understand his reaction, but at the same time I don't condone it... I hated it when people said anything about my smoking. It's a different story though when the money is coming out of a household budget, rather than just your own pocket, and when there are kids around. 
    Ex-smokers are the WORST at getting on our high horses about this!!! 

  12. I never smoked, and I know I never will. When Mr Fussy goes out to a party I know he has reached his limit when I see him bum a smoke off someone. He looks so stupid (I can say that because I know he'll never read this - but I actually do tell him this to his face) trying to look all cool smoking. He can't even hold it properly (probably due to his alcohol content).
    I love how nowadays the girls pass someone smoking and let out a loud "yucky!" and I don't have to feel embarrassed. It is yucky. Good on you for quitting.

  13. Well done you for quitting!  And in an ironic round about way, just think if you never took up the habit then you'd never have something to have written to help you get to Blogopolis!


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