As World No Tobacco Day fast approaches, it got me thinking about just how tough saying ‘No’ to tobacco truly is...

Surely every smoker in the land must have tried and failed at some point or other. I’m not ashamed to admit that I had given it my best shot more than once and, until I was introduced to my now beloved vapouriser, had failed each and every time.

My longest was 6 months, having thrown out the cigarettes one winter with a sense that this time I really was going to succeed. But it was always summer that got me – summer, sitting outside in short sleeves, the smell of freshly-mown grass, the feel of the sun on my back, enjoying a cold glass of crisp white wine with my friends – and damn, I couldn’t get that cigarette lit fast enough!

And once I’d caved that first time, I’d know that it was only a matter of time before I was back to being a full-time smoker, with all the health issues, guilt (that look of disappointment from my mum!) and fear that it entails.

What I find anti-smoking campaigns sometimes fail to provide is a real level of understanding of what it means to a smoker to give up that favourite cigarette. What would ever replace that social summer afternoon cigarette for me? I feared that nothing would and there would always be a sense of longing at those times.

Other people have different ‘hardest cigarettes’ to give up, I know. Some say it’s the first one of the day, some the cigarette with their morning cup of coffee, others that first cigarette after a really fine meal.

Fortunately for me, I’ve discovered that vaping is the one thing that can replace that ‘hardest cigarette’.

Now, even if someone is sitting at the beer garden table and puffing away right next to me, I feel no sense of loss or longing.

I simply smile, take out my vapouriser and enjoy a taste of one of my favourite tobacco or fruit flavour vapes.

What was your ‘hardest cigarette’? And are you now totally free, or are you still working on it?

World No Tobacco Day is Saturday 31st May. Find more information here: www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2014/en/