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A ex-smoker writes

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,989
Location
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Having been without a cig for eight days, twenty three hours and fourteen minutes (but who's counting) I am looking forward to the possibility of an increase in wind capacity etc. All I've noticed so far is that playing really quietly is a bit easier as I'm much less likely to start coughing.

Have any other ex-smokers noticed any effect on their sax-playing?

By the way, I am not about to become the stereotypical self-righteous ex-smoker who opens windows at the merest whiff of a cig and makes flapping hand motions in front of my face or stick my nose inside my t-shirt. So far I have found one big disadvantage in giving up; the increase in sensitivity of the olfactory organ means that the full horror of how much our dog stinks has been realised.
 
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Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,458
Location
brighton by the sea
Mainly a vaguely listless feeling between sets and overactive interest in chewing gum. I've always felt slightly cheated that on the two long ciggie free periods over recent years (one being now) I've noticed remarkalby little difference in my sax playing capacity (and underwater swimming for that matter, speaking as an amphibious kind of fellow). Keep it up old chap- aside from the obvious health, blah blah blah- just think of the money saved!
 
OP
Bobby G

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,989
Location
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Yes, delboy.... mmmm, bacon sarnies... mmmmm

Jules, I must take issue with your signature, you do in fact only need one tool (as every other tool is merely a variation or refinement of the one) and that's a gurt big hammer.
 

Mikec

Member
Messages
201
Location
Buckinghamshire, UK
I've not noticed any health benefits from giving up smoking, and it's been several years now. I was never a heavy smoker, though. I realise, of course, that there are enormous health benefits from not smoking, it's just that they're not obvious to me. The financial benefits are obvious, though. I found the key thing in giving up was not buying them. If I didn't have any I managed perfectly well without.
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
I realise, of course, that there are enormous health benefits from not smoking, it's just that they're not obvious to me.
That's a good place to be. :)

By regularly measuring blood pressure, blood tests, scans et al one may see the benefits of all sorts of things.

OTOH needing such monitoring is unlikely to make anyone happy.
 

TonyMoroney

Member
Messages
94
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
I think it's called a Cornish Multi-Tool

mamos
Nope, it's a "scouse toolkit"...

Good luck the quitting, I stopped somking in about 1995 from about 60 a day to 0, cold turkey. Suffice to say I noticed a difference in lung capacity, your capacity will increase continually but will be most noticeable for the first 6 months or so.

Oh and the coughs, colds and other respiritory ailments will all decrease in frequency too, which for someone like me that used to get Bronchitis 3 or 4 times a year was the biggest win. It's been so long since I last got a chest infection I don't even remember the last one I had.

The very best of luck to you!!

T.
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
Messages
12,732
Location
McLean, Virginia
Have any other ex-smokers noticed any effect on their sax-playing?
I always found it very hard to get motivated to do breathing exercises (or any phys training when I used to smoke, it just seemed a bit pointless. After giving up (over 10 years ago) I found that although, like you, I didn't evangelise over it or make a big deal if someone lit up, I did find that I could do the breathing exercises with enthusiasm - this has improved my playing.

And not just sax playing. I also found that because of giving up I was able to go out with the person who is now Mrs Thomas, she did not like kissing someone who tasted like an ashtray.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,428
Location
Coulsdon, London/Surrey
Good on you Bob. I stopped smoking over 30 years ago but I'm not being self-righteous about it: I never really enjoyed it and I used to get terrible tonsilitis!

I've often wondered what the tar in ciggy smoke does to things like the pads in a sax or even to the oil on springs over time. My interest in radio communications means I often get to look at old radios, especially military ones, and you can tell if the users have smoked as the grease in the tuning controls and the like (when radios had moving parts!) is yellow and sometimes gritty with particulates.

The downside for music is that never again will we get those iconic pics like Dexter Gordon with the smoke swirling round.

Colin
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,624
Location
Betelgeuse
I really noticed the increase in sensitivity of my sense of smell when I gave up. I also really enjoyed not stinking of smoke. Other than that I didn't really notice much of a change in the sax playing. Very glad I gave up though - must be over 16 years now. You're almost through the hardest bit, stick with it. If a self-indulgent git like me can kick the habit, you can.

Good luck

Jon
 
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Bobby G

Bobby G

Senior Member
Messages
4,989
Location
Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Jadoube, do you mean my blood pressure will decrease now I haven't had a fag for a few days? It's already on the low side, proving what an all-round chilled and laid back character I am, should I start smoking a few a day just to make sure it doesn't go too low?:confused:

As they say, I am having good days and bad days, although generally on an upward curve of getting better - I may even leave off the nicotine patches sooner than the recommended eight weeks or whatever. I remember when my dad gave up in the 80's, he just used a lot of willpower (plus being told by doctors that he risked a second heart attack if he started again) as opposed to all these patches and things. One is almost tempted to think they are a money-spinner for the producers, analagous in a way to the producers of diet aids being the same companies that produce the stuff that makes you fat in the first place (not wishing to offend anyone's sensibilities or get too political of course).

Also, I think maybe I'm finding it not too hard is because although I was on about 30 rollups a day, most of my smoking was habit rather than actually gasping for a fag - if I was involved in a long job at work I could go without for hours and not need one any more than if it was only 20 minutes since the last one.

I have, today, noticed a little improvement overall in my breath control; I don't think I have appreciably more puff, but the tone and evenness seems to have improved a little.
 
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Pee Dee

Member
Messages
425
Location
Dorset
Having been without a cig for eight days, twenty three hours and fourteen minutes (but who's counting) I am looking forward to the possibility of an increase in wind capacity etc. All I've noticed so far is that playing really quietly is a bit easier as I'm much less likely to start coughing.
So far I have found one big disadvantage in giving up; the increase in sensitivity of the olfactory organ means that the full horror of how much our dog stinks has been realised.
Ah, but now you will be able to taste your food properly now, and all those nice kitchen smells. I think that's an advantage, depends on how good a cook your wife is I suppose:)))
I took the halfway route, and now smoke a pipe, so now the wife gets the cancer instead of me? Also I always have a pipe before playing, to get that nice smokey Stan Getz sound:mrcool
 

jadoube

Member
Messages
150
Location
Fleet, Hampshire
Jadoube, do you mean my blood pressure will decrease now I haven't had a fag for a few days? It's already on the low side, proving what an all-round chilled and laid back character I am, should I start smoking a few a day just to make sure it doesn't go too low?:confused:
Not qualified to say. Was just saying that being in a position where its advisable/required to monitor things is occasionally worrying.

I'm told displacement activity helps when quitting. When you fancy a smoke stick something in yer gob - a saxophone perhaps ;}
 

tengu01

Member
Messages
732
Location
London, UK
Pocket savings. Lung benefits might take a little time to manifest as your lungs recover, but you sure as hell will notice the difference after having quit for a while if you try to have a sneaky one and then play. Speaking from experience on that one Bob.

Good luck though :)
 
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