London, Aug 1 (ANI): A retired senior Brit banker has decided to live on a deserted island for a month in a bid to quit smoking.
Geoff Spice, 56, from Surrey, started smoking 43 years ago while working as a paperboy, after stealing some cigarettes from the shop where he was working.
Spice has now decided to become a castaway on Sgarabhaigh, a 40-acre uninhabited island in the Outer Hebrides, and the former managing director for NM Rothschild, the top London investment bank, will have to camp outdoors as there are no houses.
Sgarabhaigh, which means Cormorant Island in Gaelic, also has no electricity or water supply, and so he will rely for fires from driftwood and a camp stove and bottled water.
The island has plenty of sheep on it, but is free of rabbits, and Spice has decided against fishing.
"I'm a bit apprehensive now that the time is almost here about spending the month on the island by myself but I'm determined to see it through," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"Today I'm going to have one last cigarette and give the rest of the packet to my wife and get on the boat to the island.
"This is my last chance. I've been smoking 30 a day as usual but I think I can crack the habit.
"I am taking plenty of midge repellent though ironically they say that smoking helps keep the insect away," he said.
In order to do away with boredom, he hopes to be able to learn to play the guitar, and he will be taking with him an iPod that contains the text of 120 books.
The other items of necessity that he will be taking are a mobile phone and a computer, and both will be powered by a photovoltaic solar cell, which will also have a wind-up handle as a back up to generate electricity.
Dave Hill, the island's owner, has arranged for Spice to be dropped off on Sgarabhaigh and picked up a month later.
"If he rings to say he cannot stand it without a cigarette we will ignore it until it gets to three calls. He must have time to reflect on his decision," Hill said.
Spice had previously tried nicotine patches and gum, a self-help book and going cold turkey in an effort to kick the habit, but nothing worked.
The former banker first considered staying on an uninhabited island a decade ago, when he was living in Australia, but was worried about the spiders and snakes there.
He found Sgarabhaigh by Googling 'Uninhabited Scottish Islands'.
"I will miss my wife Elena, my children and my family very much but I understand that my mobile phone will work on the island so we can speak that way," Spice said.
"I'm hoping that my plan will work, I'll stop smoking and my month on the island may lead to many years of extra life that I'll be able to spend with them," he added. (ANI)