I actually had my first try at smoking a cigarette with my father’s stash of a carton of MILD SEVEN the Japanese cigarette brand that was actually gifted to him by his business colleague. So my dad couldn’t just throw it away even though he quit smoking 15 year’s back at that time in the 1980′s. I could safely say I puffed half of a cigarette at around 9 or 10 years old. Then when I was 13 I puffed again, this time a whole half cigarette, ‘stolen’ from my grand dad’s cigarette box of GOLD LEAF.
I became a full-time smoker when I came out of my home and joined the first semester of my University. I guess being free and realizing new-found freedom led me to smoke. Also the fact that “cool guys smoked” caused me to smoke more. I became addicted after watching Hollywood actors smoke in some cool way (sucking real hard and all).
I kept smoking and even though smoking was expensive in my own country (Bangladesh), cigarettes were cheaper than candy in The Philippines where I started to smoke a pack a day cause of the American brand MARLBORO (something to do with cowboys and zippo lighters in their ads) – and it was cheap like candy! Plus MARLBORO actually smelled of chocolates somehow!
After smoking for 9 year straight I came back to my own country. Then my mother in her death-bed asked me to stop smoking and that it’s always bad for everybody!
I tried, but I just couldn’t quit! But my mother’s word stayed stuck behind my mind. Then I saw a Hollywood movie called 21 Grams. That movie featured Seam Penn as an ex-smoker who had a heart transplant to stay alive and then he started to smoke again with his new heart! That movie was too moving specially the scene where Sean Penn holds his own damaged heart in a glass jar after his transplant surgery.
That I just stopped “cold turkey” right after watching that movie – and I was successful!
Than after 4 years of no-smoking, tragedy struck again. This time it was my Dad. So I lighted my cigarette again after 4 years of no-smoking. That was a horrible decision one which I regret till this day. My immune system got hit bad and hard. If I didn’t get nicotine in my blood system then I was doze off or just fall asleep. It was a living nightmare in which I got myself into. Then the worst thing that could possibly happen – happened. I got hit my chicken pox! That was the last and huge blow to my entire immune system and my body began to go to sleep after being awake for only 10 hours daily. Which means I was sleeping the rest 14 hours off.
I had to quit again or surely die sleeping.So with my wife’s help I started to quit this hideous legal poison which is being marketed worldwide as a “pleasure stick”.For the second time I was successful. With the grace of Al-mighty I recovered. It was long and a painful recovery compared to the first episode of quitting. But that was the price I had to pay and I paid dearly. I was so hard hit that all my bodily functions were effected, I mean ALL.
Now I took up cycling daily and slowly but surely I started regaining my strength and stamina. But I am sure that if I go back to smoking again. This time I won’t be able to quit while alive!