In a wonderfully insightful interview with the Leicester Mercury’s Lee Marlow for the ‘More Mercury’ weekend publication, 91-year-old Jack Farley explains why it’s never too late to quit smoking and that if he can do it, anybody can…
Jack Farley can clearly remember his first cigarette. It was 1935. Jack was a 13-year-old schoolboy. He was behind the bike sheds, he says, where all first fags are stereotypically smoked. He didn’t like it much, he recalls. But like all good smokers, he persevered; coughing and hacking his way through his first five or six until he was hooked.
Jack was given a Woodbine in 1935 and he smoked for the next 78 years.
Jack, now aged 91, is a retired miner from Moira, near Ashby. After a lifetime of smoking, Jack has decided it’s time to quit.
“If I can do it,” he says, sitting back in his kitchen, regaling the Mercury with all his stories, a gentle smile forming from the creases on his face, “then, believe me, anyone can.”
He quit before once before, about eight years ago. “Then I went on holiday to Skeggy and it was sunny and I was bored and I thought, ‘Ahh, I’ll just have the one’ and that was it, wasn’t it? You can’t just have one. You have one and you’re hooked again.”
It’s £3.69 for a pack of 10 Mayfair at the shops. That’s £20-odd a week. “I can’t justify that,” he says.
So, armed with patches and a little white, plastic fag, which hangs from the corner of his mouth like a Clint Eastwood cheroot, Jack gave his fags the boot. He’s been off them all summer. “I can’t go back on them now, can I? Not after this, after it’s been in the paper. People will call me a bloody liar won’t they?
“I did think, at my age: ‘Well, why bother quitting? I’ve smoked for so long, I may as well carry on,’ but I stopped because I wanted to feel better.
“And I do feel better. My breathing is better. And I sleep better. It’s been worth it just for that.”
To read Jack’s story in full, CLICK HERE to visit the Leicester Mercury website.
Many thanks to Leicester Mercury for granting permission to publish an excerpt of the feature with Jack.