Nick Clegg had not had a cigarette for almost two-and-half months after finally kicking the habit earlier this year.
That was until the former deputy prime minister oversaw the Liberal Democrats be virtually wiped out in the House of Commons when it lost 49 of a total 57 seats in the general election.
He recalled finding out his party had lost all but eight seats during his first major broadcast interview since stepping down as the leader of the party.
“The first thing I do is reach for a cigarette, not having one for two-and-a-half months,” Clegg told LBC host Nick Ferrari. “Miriam and I were together in Sheffield and unlike everyone else I was pretty blind-sided by that ex-poll.
"Initially like everyone else I thought 'that just can't be right'. But I thought even if we get twice what that exit poll says it's a much worse night than we could have expected.
"Very quickly of course I knew I should take responsibility, as you should."
He claimed to have swapped cigarettes for e-cigarettes back in March after a number of failed attempts, telling the Mail Online: "I am off the fags and on the vapes."
Best General Election 2015 quotes
Best General Election 2015 quotes
1/10 1. "Am I tough enough? Hell, yes, I'm tough enough."
Ed Miliband bats away suggestions he would be too weak on the international stage. It likely to go down as one of the quotes we remember this election by.
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
2/10 2. "If I'm getting lively about it, it's because I feel bloody lively about it."
David Cameron attempts to prove how passionate he is about wanting a second term as Prime Minister after Tory donors criticised his lack of enthusiasm.
3/10 3. "Oh it's crats? I thought it was Liberal Demo-cats"
Reality TV star Joey Essex is taught a thing or two during his meeting with Nick Clegg.
4/10 4. "Brain fade"
Green party leader Natalie Bennett gave what was described as the "worst political leader's interview ever" on LBC Radio as she fails to answer how the Greens would pay for its ambitious housing policies.
5/10 5. "We're a shining example of a country where multiple identities work. Where you can be Welsh and Hindu and British, Northern Irish and Jewish and British, where you can wear a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man Utd, the Windies and Team GB all at the same time. Of course, I'd rather you supported West Ham"
David Cameron experienced his own brain fade when he forgot which football team he supported.
6/10 6. “This is a real career-defining … country-defining election that we face in less than a week’s time”
The Prime Minister made another gaffe when he made it sound like the election was all about himself.
7/10 7. “Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labour leader. Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.”
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon launched a vicious personal attack on Ed Miliband.
8/10 8. "Ajockalypse Now."
The colourful term used by Boris Johnson to describe a Labour government propped up by the SNP.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
9/10 9. “The SNP are openly racist. The anti-English hostility, and the kind of language that is used about and towards English people, is totally extraordinary.”
Nigel Farage launches an attack on Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP party.
10/10 10. "Terms are like Shredded Wheat. Two are wonderful, three might be too many."
David Cameron rules out a third term as Prime Minister.
Clegg also used his interview to insist he has no regrets over going into the coalition. "I don't regret at all, not for one millisecond, doing the right thing for the country," he said.
"I haven't destroyed the party. Liberalism will survive, the Liberal Democrats will bounce back."
He claimed an early departure from the party as leader would have made no difference to the result. “I obviously would have done if I’d felt at the time that it would have helped the party,” he added. “My own view is that changing leader a year before the election wouldn’t have made much difference.”
Clegg was quick to stress that he has since quit smoking after his (understandable) moment of weakness.Reuse content