MANY will remember the glitz and the glamour of cult show Mad Men, all viewed through the haze of cigarette smoke and long before the days of anti-tobacco campaigns.
Now these mad men and women are putting themselves in the spotlight as they try to kick the habit and show how it is still possible to pull off the look, without pulling on a cigarette.
The Evening News is getting to follow the drama of these characters struggle as the devoted gang look to kick the habit for good.
These quitters – some of whom smoked up to 60 cigarettes a day and have puffed away for decades – are sharing their highs and lows with readers to hopefully inspire others to quit.
We reported last week how record numbers of people are stopping with one person quitting every two hours in the Lothians, many with the help of stop smoking services, with hopefully three more to add to the total.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Ash Scotland, said it was the charity’s aim to make cigarettes “out of fashion”.
She said: “So much of the way tobacco is sold is on image just like perfume that you might buy because you’re favourite celebrity’s wearing it.
“Some people might think it’s going to make you look cool and confident. If we can get rid of some of these features, we will do a lot to stop people smoking. These volunteers clearly show it is a far better image to give up.”
Becoming gran is my catalyst for giving up
Pauline Hunter, 51, works as information analyst for Scottish Executive.
Habit: 15-20 a day
Date stopped: March 8, 2014
Reason for quitting: Is going to be a grandma.
Methods used: Smoking cessation groups, Champix medication.
I’ve been smoking since I was 15 so I really feel like I’m grieving for something. They have been a part of my life for such a long time, they’ve been through boyfriends with me and other turmoil so I really miss them. I tried before using patches but I gave it up quite quickly.
This time is different though as my 23-year-old daughter Stephanie is pregnant, so that is my catalyst. She’s given up the cigs so it’s only right that I do. I would hate to be responsible for her starting up again. My other children, Scarlett, 11 and Rory, ten, are at that age where they’re learning about it at school as well and asking why I’m doing something when it is dangerous and bad for me. Despite all of that, it is really hard and I do miss it. The craving has gone as the pills have seen to that but it is just getting out of the habit. I would go somewhere, have a coffee and a cigarette and I would think of it as my time and I enjoyed it. So I’m grieving for that and something that has been constant in my life for all this time is gone forever. I have mood swings and I’m angry and think why should I have to give up. It sounds silly but that is how I feel at the moment – but it’s only been six days.
My health has returned after kicking habit
Charles Sutherland, 52, unemployed, is from Leith
Habit: 60 a day
Date stopped: January 29, 2013.
Reason for quitting: Poor health
Methods used: Smoking cessation groups, nicotine patches and lozenges
I was just 11 when I started, it was just something to do at school and basically bravado. When I was 16 I was a horse and cart driver delivering milk, it was a man’s job and we were drinking and smoking. Over the years it got worse and I was smoking 60 a day. I tried stopping but I could not last a day, half a day or even an hour. What has really helped me is that I gave up drinking last year. The pangs I still get for smoking only last about a minute and I then move onto something. Occasionally I still feel like a cigarette and I miss the taste and enjoyment of having one. It’s any time you’re doing anything like waiting for a bus, getting off a bus, walking out of a building or even just having a conversation, I’d like to have a smoke. But since I’ve stopped, I find my senses of smell and taste are returning, my complexion is a lot better and I have more energy than I had before.
Wanting to quit for the sake of all my children
COLIN Hardie, 44, is an unemployed scaffolder.
Habit: 60 a day.
Date stopped: December 2, 2013.
Reason for quitting: Great-granddaughter, one, and great-nephew, nine months.
Methods used: Smoking cessation groups, nicotine patches and inhalator.
I took up smoking when I was 11 so I have been smoking for 33 years now. I was just a kid and my mates started smoking so I did to be in with the crowd. Over the years it’s turned into me smoking between 50 and 60 cigarettes a day, an ounce of tobacco. I would smoke any time I could. Whenever I was on a break from work, at home, all the time. I would even wake up a few times in the night to have a cigarette so it was really affecting my sleep. I wanted to quit for my young family members, if they were coming to the house, I would have to stop smoking hours before they arrived, open the windows and change my clothes. I have found the group sessions really helpful and great to support each other and share tips. My number one tip is that you have to be mentally ready. I’ve only had one relapse until now and that was drinking after a funeral and someone offered me a cigarette. Foolishly I took it but I felt bad for it the next day. Now I hate it when I’m around smokers so I must get on people’s nerves but the stink of it now gets on mine.
Getting that Mad look
THE Mad Men look is about polished glamour.
Enhancing your best assets and letting them shine. This look spans two decades giving you the best of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
For woman – the curvier you are the better you’ll look. Embrace your shape with shift dresses that cinch the waist. Pattern was king in this era, even in monochrome. Wallflowers need not apply – this is about being a show stopper.
The high street is awash with pieces that can help you emulate this bygone era making the hunt for Mad Men attire all the easier.
For the men – it is about being suited and booted. Crisp suits, shirts and ties are the only option. This was a time when gents paid just as much attention to their outfit as the ladies. To channel the dapper Don Draper go for a three piece suit. That killer combo will guarantee you’re king on the style front.