I have been trying mightily hard to convince my friend to finally quit his smoking addiction. I keep telling him that smoking is really bad for his health and although he knows it, he seems incapable of stopping. Either he does not really want to stop or smoking has finally gotten control over him. He said that he already tried it many times but ultimately failed in each and every one of them. He said that every time he tried to quit, things just seem to always push him towards smoking again, be it seeing an ashtray or a cigarette lighter lying around, it never fails to remind him of the kind of rush and feeling that only smoking cigarettes can brings to him.

I have enumerated to him all the disadvantages of being a smoker. From all the sickness that he is bound to get, to the little things like how much he can save if he’s not buying cigarettes, or the effects of secondhand smoke to his family, especially his children who are still little. Never mind him being a bad example to his young ones who might think that smoking is good just because dad does it or something like that, yet he still persist on his ways. Maybe smoking is really that addictive that he sacrifices all of these things for a puff of smoke.

Imagine the surprise I got last week when we met during a meeting for an animation project for which we are both contributors. I didn’t notice it immediately, not until we had a chance to talk after a brief break in the middle of the presentation. He always smoked outside during these intermissions, but today I was glad he didn’t. I teased him about it and asked of when did he finally quit, and what made him do it.

He said his doctor one day gave him a choice between bronchitis vs. pneumonia, after he consulted with the doctor with regards to his chronic cough, which doesn’t seem to stop with whatever medicine he takes for it. The doctor then stern-faced said to him that he has the former of the two, and although it’s still mild in form, also based of his lab tests and x-rays, might eventually get chronic if he still doesn’t kick his habit immediately.

Thinking about his family and their future together, he got really scared and finally decided to quit altogether. He said it was apocalyptically hard the first couple of days and he almost went mad from quitting. Sleeping offered no solace as his dreams were always about smoking and stuff and his terrible coughing did not help either. But he did manage to quit eventually with the help of his family, particularly his wife who was the strong one, during his down days.

Now, a couple of months since he last smoked, he looks like a changed man. He even gained a lot of weight from what he says is him recovering his sense of taste back. His bronchitis seems to have receded from what he says as alternative bronchitis remedies that his doctor had devised for him. Items like ginger, garlic, turmeric, eucalyptus oil, salt water and honey to name a few, are always given a slot in every meal and its working great for him. He says that he has no trouble breathing now and that his cough has also vanished.

I congratulated him for his momentous choice and it is also such good feeling, knowing that he finally realized the error of his ways. I just hope other smokers realize the many mistakes that they are making right now, hopefully before it’s too late.