do you smoke

do you smoke

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Binary & Tweed
detail please, pipe and tobacco varieties
Pipe is a Jumbo Ambra, Italian-made specifically for distribution at James Fox tobacconist, location Dublin kitty-corner from Trinity College.

Tobacco is Condor original ready rubbed, the meaning of which is unknown to me but the preference of which was dictated purely by price, at the moment.


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is not like other people
you can't get that warning graphic in England now but always thought it would make a good album cover


As I mentioned a couple of times in this thread (if memory serves me right) I smoke. I smoke a lot. I reckon that since my early 20s I've had this slightly tepid but ultimately indestructible relationship with the demon weed... which, to be clear, i am using as a name for tobacco rather than any other plant based or derived intoxicant which I suppose could reasonably be referred to as weed such as, er heroin I suppose or even, um, weed.

When I say tepid I want to get across the idea that it's something I do, really quite often, but that I do without any particular enthusiasm. It's not that I long desperately for the taste or that my mind constantly returns unbidden to my favourite safe and happy vision in which only my gleaming smile is contentedly visible as it penetrates the bank of comfortingly flavoured smoke coiled delicately and enticingly around my head, emanating partly from my mouth, and also of course from the stick itself, held somehow in such a way that anyone seeing it would have to say "that is a really cool way of holding that little stick".

Let me repeat, it's NOT like that. It's more like, when I'm DJ-ing there tends to be quite a lot of standing around waiting, and often I fill that time with smoking. I chat to people in the smoking area, I borrow a cig here, I light someone else's there, the whole process is useful as a kind of oil which lubricates a lot of the machinery of human interaction. Cigarettes thus have their uses beyond the obvious one as an extremely mild but irritatingly addictive intoxicant.

When I buy cigs for a night out I might finish them - in which case I will likely buy more - or I may not, either way, unless I finish the packet as the night finishes I will have some left over and so of course I smoke between gigs, and if I'm walking along smoking Tues afternoon and I finish a pack then I buy a new one.

So over the years I smoke when I'm drinking, when I'm DJ-ing, when I'm hanging out in bars etc. All smoking I do stems from that, any other smoking is left over from that or maybe from a pack I buy in advance knowing I will need it when I DJ tomorrow or whatever. And that has been my relationship to smoking, lacking any real passion it's a bit here and a bit there with the occasional spike on a long bender or perhaps on holiday to somewhere like Russia where they are so cheap or if I'm spending time with friends who smoke a lot. And of course the odd healthy period, a few weeks here or there without smoking for this reason or that. But I've never totally killed it and I've never really tried.

But fast forwarding a bit, to basically now, the emphasis has kinda changed in ways I'm not that keen on. Before I'd maybe check if I had any when I woke, and if so I'd have one with my breakfast coffee on the balcony, if not no biggie.

Now I wake up and I must have one, in fact I'll likely suck down two before I even drink the coffee. So to an observer there's little change, man sits on balcony in the late afternoon early evening and drinks a coffee accompanied by a cig... but I know that something is different about the way I do the whole thing....

To be continued...!


I decided to think about this a bit. A process I try to avoid when at all possible as when I get into it properly the results I emerge with are almost always unpleasant and the path which common sense/reasoning dictates I should follow is invariably - and I mean absolutely certainly - not only the most boring one, but even worse than that it is often also quite difficult and sometimes even demands the very things that I hate most of all - I'm talking here about things such as hard work or self-sacrifice or really any sort of denying myself from doing exactly what I want whenever I want it.

So I took stock I suppose and I understood that I was rinsing loads of money on a pointless high that I didn't really enjoy that much. I'd crossed the magical barrier of twenty a day which means of course that I was buying at least one packet per day. Maybe Liza had been right when she moaned that I was smoking too much - but I'd just ignored her cos she alway moans all the time about something anyway...

And I had to buy a few extra taking me well into the twenties because, well, I think I mentioned The Cigarinho Man who lives on the floor below me and constantly demands cigarettes. He listens at his door and jumps out whenever I go up or down the steps to my flat. If I drive through the town he'll step in front of the car and wave me down to demand a smoke. Nothing you might be doing dissuades him or even causes him to hesitate; you could be having a conversation or, I dunno once I was changing a tire, but you could be doing something potentially dangerous requiring your full concentration and he would still interrupt. Say there were two of us desperately straining every sinew to carry a new washing machine up the stairs to my flat, it would be really hard and we'd be really worried about dropping it, giving it everything, suddenly a tap on my shoulder and he'd in my face "any Cigarinho?".

Whenever I happen to purchase cigarettes from a newsagent in Santa Iria he materialises right there just as I'm opening them. This sounds like a joke, but I'm not joking when I say that I'm convinced that when he sees me walking on the street he tails me at a distance on the off-chance that i buy fags, at which point he reveals himself and insists that I hand one over.

As an aside I suppose that the game/war has developed rules in that, if he asks for one and the pack is safely hidden in my pocket, I can lie to his face and say I have none. However, if he sees the pack and knows I have cigarettes, then I may not refuse. The other day he pounced on me in the street with a wild inhuman cry of triumph as I pulled the second but last one out of the packet. Caught bang to rights I gave him my last one and he'd already lit and smoked half of it before it occurred to me that usual smoking etiquette means one does not have to give their last smoke to a random guy on the street. Similarly he has absolutely no shame in demanding a cigarette while he is already smoking one. It should go without saying that there is no tit for tat here, he has never ever given me one cigarette, but even given that I was surprised at the result when my lighter ran out and I for once needed him. Knocking politely on his door I asked him to kindly light the cigarette I hoped to smoke, surely noone could refuse that, especially someone who tried to get me to give him something ten times a day. Well, it just shows how wrong you can be, he told me to fuck off and slammed the door in my face.

The other thing he has a remarkable nose for is when I go to a bar. I kinda half-know a few people in town now and it's not at all uncommon for me to be pressed into joining someone at a table for a shot or two when I nip somewhere for something or other.

And it's uncanny really, say I'm on the way to the corner shop cos I'm out of catfood and it's the only place in town which is open now and sells it. On the way there I pass the Chatterbox bar, someone at one of the outside tables insists I join em for a whiskey so I sit with them, light a cig and place the packet on the table for ease of retrieval - and I suppose it is also saying "thank you for absolutely refusing to take no for an answer and forcing me to join you for that lethally strong spirit at 11am, by way of recompense feel free to help yourself from those cigs on the table which have now become the communal pack".

From that point - wherever you are in town, whatever time of day - you have less than two min before cigarinho man smells the pack and approaches the table and helps himself. It reminds me a bit of this programme I watched the other day with this woman on the run from well-connected mafiosi. She was warned that if she withdrew money from an ATM then the gangsters would be able to trace the withdrawal, find the location, and then get there in approximately four hours. So if she withdrew money she needed to get the fuck out of dodge before four hours could elapse. It's kinda similar here, if you light - or otherwise reveal that you have - a cigarette in public in Santa Iria de Azoia then you have two minutes before Cigarinho Man turns up demanding one.

The main difference is that on the telly we understand that there is a network of machines and that this info can be retrieved, of course the baddies should not be allowed access to the network but we understand that it can theoretically happen. But how does my bete noire do it? I've got two possible solutions, neither are entirely satisfactory but it's all I can think of...

1. Magic - evil cigarette magic. He's basically sold his soul to some kind of cigarette demon and in exchange he gained the power to always know who is smoking and where.

2. Extraordinary, superhuman senses including smell etc but possibly something extra too. The guy is so obsessed with cigarettes, he's spent so much time smoking then, looking for them, rolling them, just holding the packets and the cigs themselves caressing them lovingly, bathing in tobacco, rubbing their butts on his naked body, becoming one with tobacco melding his mind with it. Like some early hunter that basically became his prey, smearing himself with deer fat and rolling in excrement until he shared the herd's mind and could lead his group to the herd which they would slaughter respectfully, becoming one with them and thanking them for their sacrifice. Promising to use every part.

So I guess I'm saying that in the same way the Cigarinho Man has sort of become this perfectly developed mystical cigarette hunter who can tell who is smoking what and where whenever anyone lights up within a few miles. If I do so he approaches me cos I'm one of the only people who might give him a cigarette instead of telling him to fuck himself. What you reckon, sound plausible?

He will however in this situation where I am drinking and smoking with the locals, have to fight his way through the death stares of my drinking companions and anyone else who sees him. They all absolutely hate him and glare at him throughout the whole operation.

I don't know the origins of this, um, I almost want to say feud, it's certainly a group of people holding a strong enmity to this guy. Perhaps better to say he's an outcast. The only concrete criticism type thing I've got out of the by way of explanation is their belief - stated on more than one occasion - that he is secretly wealthy, but prefers to live in filth (I've seen inside his flat, this is a fair description) cadging cigs or simply smoking butts from the pavement rather than to dig into his vast hidden fortune. I personally think that if they really believe that then they are madder than he is. And even if it were true would that be a reason to hate him?

Er, anyway, I did digress mildly there, but the point is, I took stock and realised I was smoking too much. Plus with the trip to UK the price would treble or something and become absolutely ruinous. And I know I would argue with Mum and Dad every time I lit one. One time in London met parents for the day, I remember having one and Mum was fighting with herself not to say something... which she managed, well done. To avoid arguments I held back as long as I could, but three or four hours later I had another and she snapped like a broken twig saying "Why are you smoking so much?". And there's gonna be no reconciling between me and someone who thinks smoking two cigarettes in four hours is a high frequency.

So, a couple of weeks back, I went "fuck this" and I stopped smoking. Now what I want is not to never ever smoke again at all ever... although I suppose I'm not totally opposed to that. But I want to be tepid again, lukewarm, smoking only in clubs... no smoking at breakfast, no last sneaky one in bed - which is pretty risky in fact - before sleep, no anything except the odd relaxing time-passer in clubs while DJ-ing etc

And so far been fine and pretty easy, since I said fuck that two weeks ago I haven't had a single one... and no cravings, or sleeping problems or headaches. No nothing really. No big test either of course. This weekend we DJ in Porto and will be tricky, perhaps I will smoke, but as long as it's just those evenings and clean again by Sunday evening then it's acceptable. The main thing is that, as far as i can tell, there are no adverse physical reactions I'm experiencing as a result of dropping the cig habit. Wish me luck anyway, will report back further for those who require more info, details etc etc


I think that one thing that helps maybe is the fact that I never have any cigs so I can always confidently reply in the negative to my neighbour whenever he asks. I dunno if that sounds mean but recently he has really started to get on my nerves, I feel he has become too aggressive in his demands just totally expecting me to give him one as though it's his right, not bothering to even pretend to ask politely or be grateful if I do give him one and not giving any respite on those occasions either, whereas before if I gave him a cig, he might at least not demand any more for the next few hours...

In general for me I think manners are quite important in this sort of situation. Reminds me of living in Hackney, especially after Osborne's austerity policy was introduced there were loads of homeless people (I remember @DannyL saying how in the 80s under Thatcher one could see the direct results of her policies as these people sleeping on the street suddenly started to appear, I thought of that in the 2010s as the pattern was repeated) and lots of people asking for money of course.

And for me, if I have some money and I can give then very often I will... but there were so many people sleeping rough in Hackney that I couldn't give change to everyone every day, noone could. But luckily, thing is you start to recognise people and you think, well I aint got any money now, but I'll come along this way tomorrow and the day after and so on, and chances are, at some point, I'll see this guy again and then I will be able to give him a couple of quid... oh, except he's just called me a cunt and threatened to stab my mother, suddenly I'm feeling a little less inclined to search you out and give you my money. I get it's frustrating but...


Well-known member
vapes entered my life this year. they're a reconfiguration of the human-nicotine relationship. its amazing how nicotine has made a successful last ditch grab for continuation in america, where it was comprehensively on its way out. the vapes are everywhere and the way they've escaped regulation for the time being reminds me of how free and easy it was to be a cigarette once upon a time. brightly coloured bits of plastic that taste of sugar, and feel nice in your hand and on your lips, and that you can use anywhere you like, in bed etc, on zoom calls, even in bars where you're not supposed to do it you can always see people taking sneaky puffs. lana del rey vaping on stage and vaping into the mic on her records. big rows of square packets in smoke shops which are on every couple of blocks. doesn't seem to have shown up in films or books yet but over here at least it feels of the moment, a new part of the texture of the day to day


Cat Malogen
They’re ubiquitous now

Nicotine patches in bright neon colour packaging wouldn’t quite cut the dose mustard, by comparison

A mate is one of the most hardcore smokers known, pack and a half a day, roll ups. If we’re out and there’s a lull in anything, his fingers are rolling a fag

If you’re looking to quit tobacco, vapes offer a way out but not some random cart with barbie pink bubblegum popcorn lung soaked in carrier agent, almost as bad for you as fags anyway


pass the sick bucket
They’re ubiquitous now

Nicotine patches in bright neon colour packaging wouldn’t quite cut the dose mustard, by comparison

A mate is one of the most hardcore smokers known, pack and a half a day, roll ups. If we’re out and there’s a lull in anything, his fingers are rolling a fag

If you’re looking to quit tobacco, vapes offer a way out but not some random cart with barbie pink bubblegum popcorn lung soaked in carrier agent, almost as bad for you as fags anyway

bit too much on the neo-disco supermodel gak train for me to quit smoking at the time. had no impact on me when it come out sadly. A valiant effort, nonetheless.