Stopping Puffing



A retired person narrates his smoking experience at an early age and how he could finally kick the butt for good by sheer determination and fighting many odds.

My smoking Experience

Everyone knows me as a non smoker having no puffing experience. I have often been asked to give tips on how I have resisted such a craze in my youth. While I have never tried to preach others as a matter of principle, I have always wished to narrate my experience how I have been successful in avoiding tobacco and sticking to it till now.

Believe it or not I had picked up the habit of smoking at the age of only 11 years when we four brothers, cousins included, would be cooped up in a closed toilet experimenting with the puffing process a little after noon. As the number of times we smoked in a day gradually increased one day we were scared stiff to find our mother giving a violent knock on the door. She was very adept in giving punishment in her inimitable ways for she would never beat us but her stern frown would benumb us with fear seeking the cover of another kind indulgent person. But alas! There was none to save us from such a frightening situation in that odd midday hour and we had to eat humble pie by swearing then and there that we would never smoke again. Honestly I, for one, have never smoked again but such an avowed practice was facilitated more by the fact that my house physician strongly advised me against the habit since I would suffer from bronchial problems regularly in early life. “Smoking will aggravate your problems resulting in asthma and you know even passive smoking is also dangerous.” The physician had cautioned us.

How I Could Resist Temptation

While we smoked out of curiosity and juvenile precocity but years later becoming an adult and stepping into the college campus some smoker friends told me it was a futile exercise to quit smoking for good and I, too, was not sure if I could stop for the rest of my life. I abstained from smoking but realized soon after that sticking to my pledge was all the more difficult for my peers would often try to entice me into the practice to be in their good company. They made unkind comments that non smokers did not seem to be grown up at all! I often had to explain time and again for such abstinence. Smoking is always considered by young boys and girls a fashion of the smart guys and I proved myself to be extremely naive not going for lighting the fag any more. Some friends, pretending to be unaware of my firm stand, would offer me a smoke that I had to politely decline. They began to keep a close watch on me if I could change my stand. I was under their surveillance but nevertheless it allowed me not to budge from my determination.
During my college years I once faced the big challenge when working in a laboratory one of my friends had received a phone call and handing over the cigarette to me went to the corridor for some time. I had the only option to keep the fag burning but determined as I was not to smoke again I devised a unique way of smoking by placing the fag at a distance from my lips. My friend later had to congratulate me on my novel plan admitting that I was a master of abstinence!

As for my plan while remaining firm in my stand I told family members, friends, and colleagues about my non smoking pledge seeking their cooperation in the endeavour.
I had already Identified smoking triggers and threw away all cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters and kept our house as clean as possible.

Despite my remaining very rigid in keeping my promise resolutely alive I had to often face many odd situations and resistance to any change was found to be the problem with many people. I had learnt from a european friend that by stating health reasons one might escape from any difficult situation in a social gathering. While trying to implement that in a similar meet I was ridiculed heavily by the members. Fortunately the accompanying ladies were non smokers and with their help I could wriggle out of the embarrassing situation that evening. The situation has now changed so much that one can now boldly ask a smoker to stop smoking or leave the place. Then there is the heavy expense of the cancer sticks and misery fighting cancer and an untimely funeral.

Covid19 higher risk for smokers

As the Covid19 crisis deepens across the world the health experts have been continuously advising the smokers to quit the habit since they are at higher risk for developing severe disease and death when affected by COVID-19. So let us all try to call it quits.

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