The Breakfast Cigarette

There is something very satisfying about the breakfast cigarette. I admit that when I am very busy sometimes breakfast is only a coffee and a cigarette. On the very rare occasion that I don’t have time for either I can be irritable and grumpy for the rest of he day. Moreover I just don’t feel well. One of the things that regular smokers will know is that the first coffee and cigarette of the day becomes part of your body chemistry and tends to regulate your bowl movements!

I can’t remember exactly when it became part of my routine. For many years I generally didn’t smoke much until the afternoon or the evening. I worked as an Au pair for a while and it didn’t seem appropriate to smoke in front of the children in the morning, particularly when I was busy getting them ready for school anyway. I think I began to smoke in the mornings when I was at university and there were a lot of late nights followed by early mornings writing essays and assignments. I think you could have measured my academic  progress by how full the ashtray was as the day went on. It wasn’t the healthiest of lifestyles, but who worries about that when you are young, immortal and enjoying the university scene? Anyhow, by the time I started work full time the breakfast cigarette had become part of my daily routine.

The combination of caffeine and nicotine at the start of the day certainly gives you a buzz. But for me the effect is mostly meditative. I think I inhale and exhale more slowly and deeply than at other times during the day and I can think and plan ahead very clearly. It is almost like a time outside of time.

These days I do make a point of eating a full and healthy breakfast before the coffee and cigarette, but still breakfast would not be complete without lighting up at the end.

Sophie also enjoys a smoke after breakfast; it has probably been part of her daily routine as long or longer than it has been for me. On workdays we both find it tends to be a five minute oasis in an otherwise stress-filled day. On weekends however it is even more relaxing and there might be several cups of coffee and three or four cigarettes while we chat, listen to music, read papers or surf the internet.

The breakfast cigarette would certainly be one of the hardest to miss out if we ever wanted to quit or cut down our smoking habit.


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