Not being a smoker
, I feel I can be objective about addiction
Somewhere in his early to mid twenties, the heretofore Happy Smoker, who started smoking at school as a kid, will realise that perhaps, he is actually addicted to the little white tubes.
So, secretly at first, Happy Smoker tries to abstain... one lunchtime Mr Smoker decides to go for a week without smoking. Somewhere between afternoon tea and quitting time (of the same day), he decides that, to test himself properly, he really should start counting from the following Monday. He then lights up a fag to congratulate himself on his keen scientific mind.
Of course, Monday arrives and passes and Happy conveniently "forgets" his little experiment.
After many such private (abortive) attempts, Happy thinks that what is needed is a public statement of intent. "Without accountability," he reasons "where is the incentive?"
At a suitably dramatic point in a conversation with a group of friends at the pub, Happy Smoker draws out a clean, white cigarette from his packet and announces "This is the last cigarette I'll ever smoke". Happy then stares at the cigarette. Nothing has ever looked so beautiful to him. He then promptly draws a different cigarette and says "Of course, I'll need to finish the rest of the pack first".
His friends chuckle, and a few hours later, there is a brief pause in the conversation as Happy opens his cigarette packet to discover that there is only one cigarette - the Last Cigarette - left. His friends watch, but do not comment as he transfers the Last Cigarette to another, full pack of cigarettes, that he has surreptitiously procured.
A month, maybe even a few months later, Happy stares at the Last Cigarette, yet again the sole occupant of another box of cigarettes - by this stage the Last Cigarette is bent, brown and sad. He drops the pack on to a nearby surface, or even into a nearby bin, and strides quickly away.
"If I ever find the Last Cigarette," Happy Smoker vows as he enters a nearby tobacco shop, "I shall smoke it, and never smoke again."