Book Review: “Sorry, I Don’t Smoke” By: Sherif Zaki

This is my first and probably the last book review, and to the coincidence, my cousin – Sherif Zaki – is the author! So let’s consider it a sort of some family business, he wrote, I reviewed, and put my own criticism. :)

"Sorry, I Don't Smoke" - By Sherif Zaki

“Sorry, I don’t smoke.” — A personal experience.

For me, this is the first time to personally read a book written through an inspiration by another author, where the author of the latter book gives credit to the author of the former book – in this case he’ll be Allen Carr, author of ‘Easy Way to Stop Smoking’. It gave me the impression of how Zaki is confident about his new book, that it won’t be a copy cat of Allen Carr’s one, but an addition to it.

The book is simple, discussing a phase of 14 years since Elzeek (and that’s how I’ll refer to Sherif Zaki several times in this review, that’s his nickname by the way) started smoking; and all the inner and outer influences that made him start, all the way till he quit, passing through withdrawal periods, and urges of the “one last cigarette\shisha puff!”

The journey drives your mind through stages starting from an only occasional smoker gradually turning into a heavy smoker, in other words: A drug addict! And how your subconscious – or your little Monster – accompanies this journey of yours till it gets total control of your body. I liked how Elzeek pictured the ‘subconscious’ as the little ‘Monster!”

It is sometimes!

”Smoking is your enemy.”

Every chapter emphasizes a point. As I said, it’s a journey for Elzeek starting as ‘someone who’ll give it a go in smoking a shisha’ then into an occasional smoker, then into the heaviest smoker he’s ever met! And vice versa in his head: the more he turned into a smoker, the more his inside urged him to stop! Like a cold war happening in the mind – between the conscious and the subconscious.

This dilemma is represented in the book in a very smart and organized manner, from a smoker’s point of view. I don’t think we find much of similar experiences in the book market!

And although the book is full of examples, that I sometimes might find it a bit boring for a non-smoker like myself, I understand the importance of why Elzeek had to use them: Imagine a world of 6 billion citizens, how many millions of smokers are there? In turn, we have billions of reasons\examples\excuses on why a smoker is smoking, and therefore many of the examples stated enrich his point of view!

”You need to get it clear, that the smoking doesn’t calm your nerves, but rather slowly destroys them.”

Zaki was a heavy smoker, but what he did was simple: He stepped outside the little box of smoking and took a bird’s eye view. He saw the whole picture, and the whole picture made perfect sense for him to quit. In other words, put his little inner monster to eternal sleep!

It is always a good thing to quit smoking, because yes: Smoking is the evil of all evils.

But to write a book that will motivate others to do the same, in such a highly intellectual manner by sharing your own experience? That’s what I call superb!

I’m sure that if this book has worked in convincing someone into quitting smoking, or just made them think, or even NOTICE that they’re getting hooked up… It is enough!

I also like that this book is an all Egyptian approach. I can relate myself to most – if not all – of its incidents, even when I’m a non-smoker! I have heavy smoker friends and colleagues and I believe that this is how all of them think.

”The moment you stop smoking, everything that goes wrong in your life is blamed on the fact that you quit. It is all in the head.”

Another smart approach by Zaki, and is expressed in 4 chapters in Sorry, I don’t smoke, linking  smoking to the quadruple: Stress, boredom, concentration, and relaxation. — Exploring each one in a chapter separately, discussing the ‘Little Monster’s’ reasoning to why smoking falsely aids in the release of stress and boredom, and falsely aids in increasing concentration and relaxation!

I, as a non-smoker, have definitely been put successfully in a heavy smoker’s shoe! I was made to THINK like a smoker. I wonder how will a smoker think about him\herself after reading this book…

I find it convincing.


The book discusses different types of smokers, reasons why we start smoking, and of course, excuses to why we find it difficult to quit.

In chapter 25, Zaki explores into the history of ‘Shisha’. I kinda like that because shisha has lately became a ritual for most of us – even for those who don’t smoke cigarettes! It’s even funny that I sometimes bump into people who claim they’ve quit smoking, and are only on shisha! Ridiculous!

Not to mention that from a Pharmacist’s point of view, all the medical facts used in that book couldn’t have been better explained.

This book is the complete picture when relating smoking to the society we live in, and the influence and peer pressure we are exposed to as Egyptians. I haven’t read a book before where an author speaks about why people lit their first cigarette in Egypt.

This is Original!

”It’s never too late. It is so Easy.”


In the whole of chapter 28, I was — crying.

Zaki managed to put me into memories which on the same exact date I was experiencing, each one of the family experienced in their own way. The death of his father has left an impact on every member of our family. But to my surprise, when I started reading this book, I never thought that probably the biggest reason behind Zaki’s whole approach to quit smoking and maybe later write a book; is that turning point taking place in his life.

Every one of us have their own turning point, what matters is how you get influenced by it…

“You are free, don’t go to JAIL AGAIN!”

What a journey presented in a book! :)

To be honest, all my life as a non-smoker, I thought I was average. But I realized after finishing ‘Sorry, I don’t smoke’ of how a lucky person I am… I never thought how important this line was in my life till today.


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