Con: Having to stand outside in the winter, cold and shivering, huddled over a cigarette, just to smoke.
Heading a team of researchers at University College London, where he is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at Cancer Research UK’s Health Behaviour Research Centre, he has one aim: to find better ways of helping smokers who want to stop.“There is a lot of stuff out there: Allen Carr, Paul Mc Kenna, numerous websites,” says West.
“But what smokers don’t have is the real story of the best ways of stopping, from the billions of pounds worth of research that has actually been done.”Instead of suggesting just one sure-fire way to quit, West discusses the many things that can help someone forgo the fags: electronic cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy, professional support, and so on.
(“Excuse me, I’m just going to go have a cigarette.”) Con: Having to shell out $11 a pack, even when you’re broke.
Con: That one friend who’s in denial about the fact that they smoke, so they never buy their own pack, yet always ask for a cigarette whenever you take out yours, and of course you always give it to them, but secretly it annoys you.
Some smoke 60 a day, some 20 a day and some, like my sons, one or two, and not every day.
Professor Robert West, an expert on smoking at University College London, is updating a study of light smokers he made with his colleague Peter Hajek in 1995. Perhaps because of this, I’ve spent my life monitoring both my smoking and non-smoking friends, keeping a tally of which side seems to have better lives. It doesn’t matter what you were taught in school: Smoking cool.I wonder, if smoking weren’t detrimental to health, would I pick up a cigarette? If it wasn’t, no one would do it, especially not after seeing Debbie.I dutifully willed the universe to What was it about that little gamine Brit drenched in dirt that made her look so fierce to my impressionable adolescent eyes?Oh, the cigarette pressed between her long, lithe fingers, naturally. I went from being an unsure, insecure, teenage girl to a sophisticated, jaded, tough chick with a PAST within one lone puff of a cigarette.In fact, I was infatuated by all things pertaining to Kate Moss: her pale skin, her perfectly messed up hair, her effortlessly cool style — and most of all, the impressive “f*ck off” mystique she seemed to have mastered.