March 28, 2005 at 8:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

i was in second year college when i first lit up. it was my lunch break and with nothing to do, i bought a pack of marlboro reds, which was (and still is) readily available throughout campus. i went into the boys’ room and hung out at the old sofa sitting across the wall-length mirrors opposite the stalls.

i had no idea how to smoke, i had nobody to teach me. so my initiation into the world of smoking was a reckless puff. i took in a mouthful of smoke and blew it out as quickly as i sucked it in.

over the next few years however, i never really got into the habit, although i got better with time.

my consumption increased by the time i got out of college and began working. i guess it came with my new-found economic capacity. since i was no longer dependent on mom, i could buy some stuff i wanted, and that included cigs.

i really had no reason why i took it up, although i always claim it’s an effective diversion from stress and in those moments when i’m extremely bored.

but subconsciously, i think smoking became a status symbol for me. without realizing it, i smoked, because i could afford it. i was a working man, i was earning, and i had the opportunity to spend on things i wanted. i could buy my own clothes. i could eat out. i could pay the rent. and most of all, i could smoke.

so over the last five years, i began to consume cigarettes with increasing regularity, and at present i can down an entire pack of menthols in a day.

and like a lot of people out there, i also want to stop.

the world is already littered with researches relating to the irreversible health effects of smoking. i am sincerely convinced that smoking for the past few years has already done some damage to my health.

i do think i am addicted. and i am stepping in and saving me from myself before it’s too late. so last night i drew up a timetable: a month of gradual retreat from this vile habit. i’ve made quitting one of my life goals. i’ve began to think of it as an achievement worth my attention and effort. if i can do this, i can do anything. including take on big tobacco.

i would start out with 15 cigs for the next few days, which i have been able to do yesterday and today, and by the 15th of april, i estimate that i will be down to 5 cigs a day. by the late part of april i will allow myself a 5-day ‘indiscretion period’ wherein i will let myself go beyond my minimum 1 stick to a maximum of 15 sticks a day and then by Labor Day i expect to be rid of the habit once and for all.

it helps that some other people i know are also trying to quit, most notably kit, who has to because of her diabetes. she did the cold turkey approach and is now on her fourth day of abstinence.

in the exhausting, fast-paced and stressful environment called the working world, smoking is as much a social activity as it is a solitary, private decision. in a world in which smoking is the only way we can dare death to go ahead and take us if it can, i’ve realized that i should start living smart. and smart should be healthy.

funny, but i always told myself that i will only stop smoking if there is a substitute — a pair of lips to kiss all the time. but i’ve realized the utter foolishness of that requirement. what good is a kiss if i’m dead by the time those lips get to me?


1 Comment »

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  1. hey vince,

    goodluck in your quest for good health 😀

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