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Alice Bell Giving up cigarettes goes swimmingly

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 22, 2012

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Fags away, next month is 'Stoptober' when all smokers will encourage their fellow addicts to pack it in. Because apparently the one thing smokers really need in their lives these days is even more people treating them like filthy human beings.

If all months are to be rebranded in this way, I feel like I've been missing out. Is this month actually called 'Sextember' and no one's told me?

And what's next: a whole month to celebrate our frankly extremely creepy Education Secretary during 'Govember'? Or perhaps 31 days and nights for necrophiliacs in 'Deadember'?

My university pal Tyler has been trying to stop smoking for a while but the only thing he seems to really want to give up is his girlfriend, who – as he informed me after holidaying in some far-flung corner of the world – he's left on an island.

I'm still not entirely sure if he'd warned her beforehand or whether it was just revenge for the fact that she cooked some fancy dinner for their first anniversary and he ended up getting food poisoning from it.

Anyway, Tyler has decided he will become a lifeguard at our local swimming pool in a bid to kick the habit, presumably thinking that if he can't light up during working hours he will soon stop smoking all together.

If it was that foolproof surely there would be more smokers becoming astronauts.

There's another tiny snag to his plan. The gorgeous Tyler may have the body of an Olympic diver but he has all the skill of a drowning dog.

Apparently his favourite style is breaststroke which, considering his track record with the ladies, comes as no surprise.

But there's a problem here too, as he hates having his face submerged and so he always swims with his head above the surface like a little old granny.

He said he would practice by sticking his head in the washing-up bowl. I could see various health and safety risks associated with this plan of action and so offered to teach him to swim. (Naturally, his safety was the only reason I wanted to get him in a pair of tight trunks while his girlfriend was busy sending smoke signals or whatever it is one does on an island.)

Although I'm no Ellie Simmonds, I did once beat my PE teacher in the 50m front crawl at middle school.

But I doubt if that qualifies me to get a man who is overly fond of his hair to stick his head in a sea of chlorine, and chances are he'll lose interest when he realises poolside rules in England won't let anyone take their bra off, not even royalty.

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