Wednesday, July 16, 2003

My Relationship With Tabacco

I have a sinking sensation that they stopped making my brand of cigarettes lately. I had the most difficult time of trying to get a pack these past few days. Every shop that I went seems to stop carrying it which is a bit strange since it is one of the more popular brands. I guess that this is one will be one more reason for me to finally stop smoking.

I started smoking at the age of 10 years old. At the time I would steal the occasional cigarette from my father’s stash and smoke somewhere far away from the house. My father would never notice that this because he kept a lot of cigarettes in the house. Other than the occasional puff, I didn’t really get into the habit until years later in secondary school. At the age of 15, I started to buy my own cigarettes out of my lunch money. Of course, going to a school that was an hour away from my house gave me a lot of opportunities to light up without anyone in my family knowing about it. Thanks to my reputation of being a straight-lace student and being the “dependable one”, I managed to fool quite a few people about my smoking habit. No one who knew me back then would ever thought that behind the nice boy fa├žade, I was fast becoming a nicotine freak.

Things didn’t change once I got accepted into boarding school. I could always find ways to beat school rules to sneak the occasional fag. Of course, I seldom risk smoking on school grounds unlike some of my peers so I avoided the possibility of being caught red handed in school. At the time, I would only smoke when we were allowed to leave school grounds on our weekend outing. Even then, it would be at truly out of the way places that I was pretty sure that none of the students or faculty went to. There were some close calls that happened in the two years I was there but basically almost nobody knew that I smoked during my time there. Most of my mates were very quite shocked to see me smoking during the final exams week when everyone else was also doing the same thing.

Once I left school and started working at my first part-time job, I decided to tell my family about my smoking habit. My father was of course a bit disappointed with me but he didn’t really say much since he had set the earlier example himself. My mum, however, absolutely went through the roof when I told her. She even brought back pictures of lunch cancer victims she got from the hospital she worked to scare me into quitting. After awhile she gradually accepted the fact that I smoked and that it would be my own decision to decide to quit. She still occasionally throws dirty looks at me when she sees me light up though.

Looking back, I actually regretted taking up the habit so young. It is hard for me to quit smoking now. I don’t really know if I’m becoming addicted to nicotine or just the habit of lighting up a fag. I’ve tried to quit twice before but it never took. The last time I tried, it lasted for about 3 months and during that time I gained over 20 kilos in weight. I kept getting cravings the whole time I was trying not to smoke. I became really depressed at that time and decided that it was not worth it. It took me close to 7 years to lose all that weight!

I am now faced with the possibility of having to go through that experience all over again soon if they stop selling my cigarette brand. Hopefully I would be able to learn from my past mistakes and finally be successful in kicking the habit.

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