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Supply chain issue

October 20, 2022

My time in New York in my twenties got me smoking American cigarettes. Once you have, you can never switch back from that blend of Turkish and Virginia tobacco and its unique taste. 

For some years I smoked these.

That was fine in the UK, where they cost the same as other cigarettes. Annoying in Canada where American cigarettes cost more. (Something I thought the free trade agreement would sort out, but of course it didn’t.)

In my thirties I decided to switch to these.

It wasn’t long afterwards it was decided by the powers that be that manufacturers could not call a cigarette “light”, so they just became universally known as Camel Blues. I’ve smoked them ever since.

First the printed warnings came, then the warning pics that took up most of the package. I quite liked this one in the UK.

First of all, it was kinda funny and second, if this was only problem caused by the cigarettes in this package (or the ones about smoking around infants) then obviously they were fine for me. (Okay, I am joking when I say this.) The humour didn’t last long. Now it’s all diseased lungs and mouths on snot green packaging with no sign of a camel anywhere.

More recently, in Canada, it was decided to change the packaging altogether to the same as Canadian brands.

Oh, and a name change: No longer Camel Blue, now Camel Smooth. So incredibly irritating that I went online to find and purchase a Camel cigarette case.


When everything went into lockdown in March 2020, it suddenly became impossible to find Camel Smooths, so for several months I was smoking full-strength Camel Originals. 

The result? A cough I didn’t have before. Even though Smooths have been regularly available for some time, the cough persists.

It’s not a terrible cough. I don’t sound as if I’m hacking my lungs up. It isn’t constant, but there is no denying that I cough a lot more than I used to do. 

I live on my own. Most of the time I don’t even notice I’m coughing. Then I went to London in August where I was staying with my friend Rowan who did notice how much I cough.

“You should see your doctor about that cough,” she said. 

“Probably,” I agreed, “except she’ll just tell me I have lung cancer and I don’t want to know.”

Not that I thought it was that bad, because the cough isn’t that bad. Mostly I hadn’t consulted my doctor because I knew she’d tell me I had to go to town to get an x-ray. And I hate having to go to town. Nevertheless I promised Rowan I would see my doctor, which I did. She had a listen to my lungs, determining that, yes, I seem to be able to breathe, and then, of course she said I had to go to town for an x-ray.

That was three weeks ago. I could have gone earlier, but I already had a dental appointment in town today, so decided I’d double up. 

Was awoken this morning by the phone ringing and a message being left to say the dentist was sick and my appointment would have to be rescheduled. Figures.

When I actually got out of bed a while later I was greeted with the news.

Well, that cheered me up.

Might as well go for the x-ray anyway, even though there was absolutely no other reason to go to town.

Mission now accomplished. Will get results next week.

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