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Kick The Ha’butt!

By Editor's Desk, May 31, 2019, Categories: Edutainment, Featured, In the Mood, Slider, Top Story

Today the world celebrates No Tobacco Day. As we dream of a world when every day is ‘no tobacco day’, we speak to some Hongkies who have put off the smokin’ butt for good! Let’s hear about their inspiring journeys…

Sambhav Shah | Businessman | 34 years | Non-smoker since 5 years

“The decision to quit was just on an impulse – it was the moment I felt that smoking was holding me back in life. I quit cold turkey, and I feel that’s the best way to do it.

Of course, it was really tough because I was used to holding a cigarette almost all day. I remember I had to nibble on something all day long just to keep myself distracted from cigarettes.

Once in a while, when I’m travelling and the weather is exceptionally cold, I think of smoking. But it’s a brief thought and I let it pass. Now that I have quit, I don’t do shisha, vaping, cigars or any other form of smoking.  

It has been a life-changing decision – I am healthier, fitter and leaner than before. I have the energy to play a sport every single day – either tennis or cricket. When I see someone smoking now, it makes me think back about when I was a smoker and I can’t imagine what made me to that to myself.

Unfortunately, a smoke-free world is just a dream. Seeing how popular shisha is or how common vaping is now, I see that smoking of some form will always remain. It’s up to you to make a smarter choice.”

Martin Carmody | Teacher | mid-30s | Non-smoker since 3 years

“I quit because of my kids. Champix* helped me, and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to quit. I was used to smoking 10 cigarettes a day. For a while, after I quit, the post-meal hour was tough.

Health benefits are obvious, but I also saved a lot!

*Champix is a prescription-only medicine which increases chances of successfully quitting smoking.

Pratik Khandwala | Business Consultant | 38 years | Non-smoker since 10 months

“I have been a smoker since my teens and every few years I’d cut down on the cigarettes hoping to wean off but failed. Getting out-of-breath after a short walk or a simple task got me worried. I was smoking almost 10-12 cigarettes a day!

Last August, when I was buying a pack of cigarettes, I told myself – this is the last packet I buy. I quit cold turkey after that.

The withdrawals lasted a few weeks – irritability, sugar craving, anger bouts… my wife can write pages on this!

I remember, after lunch, my hands would quiver, and I was unable to type. I had to wait until my nerves calm. But all that’s in the past now.

I’d be lying if I say I don’t miss it sometimes. But the fact that this time I was able to completely quit keeps me from having even a single drag! 

There is a general improvement in my health which I can see more and more over time – I am breathing better, sleeping better, eating better… I am more active than before. My skin and teeth are also looking better!  

I think with more awareness the culture of smoking can be reduced but it would be a miracle if it were to be completely gone from Earth.

Pradeep Chunduru | Consultant in Change Management | 34 years | Non-smoker since 9 years

“Cigarette first came into my life in 2002. Being an all boys gang, smoking came into my life as a natural gesture of brotherhood. The show-off business started with one cigarette a day, very soon to become a habit and then an addiction – to the extent of smoking around 20 cigarettes a day! Somedays used to seem non-stop smoking days.

Back then, every aspect of my life revolved around a cigarette and even when there was nothing to do there was still a cigarette. Just when I thought it became my partner for life, my life took an interesting turn. I fell in love and she couldn’t stand cigarettes. So the obvious move was to quit smoking.

I quit cold turkey in 2010, but it was not a pleasant experience. I had nose and throat infections, anger issues, mood swings, strong urges to smoke, uncontrollable eating, acidity, digestion problems, dental problems to recollect a few. It was a nightmare and I literally used to beg to allow me to smoke. Since I had the support system all through the ordeal I quit successfully.

I did occasionally smoke a couple of cigarettes not because I was tempted to smoke, but for old times sake when with friends. My life is quite different as a result of quitting smoking, there’s a change in the quality of life. My fitness levels have gone up. I indulge in swimming, gymnastics, badminton and have a pretty active life now and don’t feel fatigued very quickly. My focus increased and attitude has become very positive. On a lighter note, I don’t have people closing noses around me due to the stink!

Well, for the benefit of governments and businesses smoking is here to stay. It is an individual’s choice to smoke or not and I believe when a person has a reason, strong and good enough, he or she will be able to quit.”

Kuldip Singh | Logistics Officer | 43 years | Non-smoker since 7 years

“I quit smoking once in 2012 after 16 years of being a smoker. Seeing my son growing up, I thought if he saw his father smoking, he will feel it’s okay to smoke. I want him to have a good image of me and himself to live a healthy life, and play a good amount of sports.

I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but I woke up one day and never touched it again – as simple as that. There was no struggle, only joy. I’ve never been tempted to smoke again; not even shisha or vaping.

Now I run 10 km at the gym twice a week. I can exercise more, go swimming… We are enjoying better family life.

I’ll say what a friend once told me – ‘cigarettes have nothing positive to offer’. That’s true. And the nicotine in it makes you an addict. If you decide to quit, it may be tough for a few days, week or months but eventually, you will feel better.

It’s difficult to say that someday cigarettes will be gone forever because the governments make a load of tax money from it.

 

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