COMMENTARY | If you’re thinking about taking up smoking in the future, think again – don’t do it! Being a former smoker of more than 20 years, it was nothing but hell for me in trying to give up the habit once I was hooked. It doesn’t matter whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars or even a pipe. All of these are smoking instruments and will eventually lead to your quick demise. Smoking of any type is basically an unwise and unhealthy choice on your part. Besides being unhealthy, tobacco in all forms is nothing but an addictive, disgusting drug. Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain nicotine. And as many are aware, nicotine like many other drugs can do more harm in the long run than good.
Like many teenagers starting out their high school careers, I wanted to feel cool around others. But I also did not want to be frowned upon by my peers. Being part of the crowd was probably the factor which influenced me the most when it came down to smoking butts, as we all called them, around the schoolyard. In addition, I also wanted to appear important or grown-up around the older crowd. In fact, one day, my local barber was giving me a haircut and he noticed a pack of Marlboro cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve of my shirt. He said in his deep Italian voice, “So you think you’re a big shot now, huh – smoking cigarettes and acting cool around the girls and your classmates?” It just went in one ear and out the other.
Smoking definitely is not an easy habit to kick. The longer you smoke tobacco in any form, whether it is cigarettes, a cigar, or even a pipe, the harder it will be for you to give up smoking. And believe me, I’ve even tried small cigars to help me get off of the two packs plus of cigarettes that I was inhaling on a regular basis for those 20-plus years. Prescription drug products – transdermal skin patches, for example, and nicotine gums – did not help with kicking this habit. And at times when reminiscing about my first year of high school and getting hooked on smoking, I wish I was better informed about the terrible diseases such as cancer, heart disease and many others, that tobacco products plagues their victims with.
After a while, smoking became an inescapable hell for me. I began to experience heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Along with the palpitations and shortness of breath, I eventually had succumbed to terrible allergies. It didn’t take my doctor to tell me to give up smoking. I figured it was the smart thing to do. Because I wouldn’t be here to tell this story to my readers if I didn’t eventually kick this unhealthy habit.