You know what the hardest drug to quit from is?

tak nak

Nicotine. Yes, it’s been well documented that it causes physical dependency. I have quit a lot of addictive substances in the past but the only thing that I haven’t managed to quit is smoking.

You know, if tobacco was discovered today, it’ll be illegal due to the health risks and addictive potential. However, it wasn’t and thus we have an entire generation of smokers.

I count myself among them. My first experience with a cigarette was during Chinese New Year when I was 7 years old. My grandfather was a chain smoker with cartons of cigarettes in his personal desk. He never stops smoking, not even in front of us. Of course, back then the awareness level of second hand smoke is quite a bit lower than today.

firecracker

Anyway, back when I was a kid, he gave me a lit cigarette to use to light up my firecrackers. I’m a naturally curious person and I know I wasn’t supposed to smoke it…but I did. It’s just my personality. I wanted to see what it feels like for myself, even at such a young age.

Of course, I didn’t know how to inhale back then but my parents smelled the smoke on me and gave me one hell of a thrashing.

I come from a family of smokers. Both my paternal and maternal grandfather were chain smokers. Notice the past tense?

Not surprisingly, they both died of lung cancer. My paternal grandfather kicked the bucket when I was 12. My maternal one hung on for 1 year longer before he went six feet under.

mom

Cancer genes runs in my family. My mother is battling lung cancer even though she has never smoked a single cigarette in my life. I do believe second hand smoke had a lot to do with it though. It can’t be much fun to live around chain smokers.

Myself? I picked up the habit in my early teens. What started as social smoking turned into a full blown addiction in two years. I couldn’t get out of bed without first smoking at least two Marlboro Reds, with deep inhales and I’ll be craving for a cigarette by 10 am.

I smoked in school like everyone else and they all thought I was cool. See, when you’re an impressionable teenager, being one of the “bad boys” who smoked behind the toilet seems like just about the most awesome figure to look up to.

It is not.

I have tried to quit a lot of times and never succeeded. It isn’t a “cool” thing to do, no matter what you think when you’re a teenager or in your early twenties. Just coz everyone does it doesn’t mean you should. Wouldn’t it be cooler if you didn’t smoke? You’ll be the exception instead of the ones trying so hard to fit in.

I won’t preach so I’ll keep this short but let me just tell you the ways smoking WILL affect you when you get older. I speak from personal experience.

yellow teeth

Yellow teeth
Tar stains your teeth. It looks ugly and although you can bleach it all you want, smoking will continue to stain your teeth.

breath mints

Bad breath
I’ve often heard people say that dating smokers are like kissing ash trays. I notice that I do have bad breath but it never quite sunk until I dated a smoker who chain smokes and you literally have to air out the room whenever she speaks. It’s just not sexy to have bad breath.

aging

Aging
Yup, smoking also ages your skin. I’m lucky coz I have great genes in the youth department (possibly to compensate for the high rates of cancer that runs in my family) but you will most definitely age faster when you smoke.

When you’re young, all you want to do is to look older and more “mature”. Trust me, the opposite will be true once you hit your mid-twenties. You’ll give anything to look younger. You don’t want to start smoking and do all that damage to your youthful complexion. You can’t quit smoking as easily as you think.

erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction
I’ve always thought this was just government propaganda thrown out to discourage smoking…until I discovered the medical journals who confirmed it. I still was in a state of denial though – I just pushed it out of my head. Now that I’m finally in my 30’s the effects become more and more apparent.

The quality of your erection drops and it can be hard to get it up sometimes too. This one is the real banger (no pun intended) – if you want to have a healthy sex life until you’re nice and old, smoking is not one of the things you want to pick up.

I can’t tell you what to do. It’s just not my style. I’m all about personal experience and experimentation. I know better than to convince people who doesn’t want to be convinced. You just push them the opposite way. I was like that too. When someone tells me to quit smoking, I just laughed and dismissed them.

You have to figure it out for yourself. You can do that the easy way or the hard way. I’m just telling you that it’s not easy to quit smoking unless you’re very dedicated so if you want to start, just think about what the “future-you” would want.

Surf on over to http://www.facebook.com/TAK.NAK.MEROKOK if you plan to quit.

Now for the fun stuff! There is a contest running where you can win:

  • Grand Prize – RM 1,000 cash
  • 2nd Prize – RM 700 cash
  • 3rd Prize – RM 500 cash
  • 4th Prize – RM 300 cash
  • 5th Prize – RM 150 cash
  • Consolation Price – Voucher worth RM 50

just by sending in a picture. The most creative picture that shows Tak Nak to smoking/smoking kills/the dangers of second hand smoke will win. The winners will be determined by votes (50%) and judges (50%). The only rule is that the picture must not show cigarettes or a cigarette box.

Get more information from www.gayahidupsihat.my

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34 thoughts on “You know what the hardest drug to quit from is?”

    • Hey bro! It’s quite unusual to start when you’re working, the vast majority started as teenagers.

      I read somewhere if you hit the 20s without smoking, it becomes very unlikely for you to pick up the habit.

      Cheers bro! You did the right thing, all the best to your health. 🙂

      Reply
  1. the problem with controlling the addiction is all due to the accessibility of this “drug”. then again, if it isn’t available, everything crumbles. 🙁

    and lol at erectile disfunction lolol!

    Reply
    • Indeed! Well, pricing it high and limiting areas you can smoke e.g. Singapore seems to work too. I noticed I cut down a lot when I’m there.

      Haha! That’s a duck liver lap cheong. 🙂

      Reply
  2. The last photo (dried cucumber?) should be put on those cigs warning labels, instead of premature babies or smoked lungs photos. LOL!

    If not mistaken former Bursa chairman did comment on govt’s high sin tax on cigs as irrelevant on fishermen that smoke on cold sea to keep their bodies warm.

    Anyway the hardest drug to quit from is not Smoking.

    There’s another drug much more dangerous, most addictive of all – Corruption/Dadah Rasuah!

    Even China tried to get rid with it (death penalty imposed) but nope this drug ruled us all!!!

    Reply
    • Heh! It’s actually duck liver lap cheong. I didn’t expect anyone to realize that shriveled up old liver sausage I found in the fridge.

      I think some countries do that – affects the quality of your erection – read that somewhere. 🙂

      Yup, agree with that last bit bro.

      Reply
  3. i had a neighbour who has been smoking for the past 12 years and stopped for 7 years. suddenly, he had lung cancer and died in 1 year. i saw him deteriorate. it was painful to watch. when my parents told me that he had passed away ( i was just 10 and understood little about death), i had this hollow feeling inside me. that neighbour was someone’s father, someone’s husband… that person could be anybody’s relative. it was really difficult to get over it.

    you missed a large part the effects of smoking. so i shall be nice and fill it in here. apparently, smoking will affect how your brain works because of the effects of nicotine. intake of nicotine will influence executive functions, which is a diverse range of activities that take place in the prefrontal lobe aka the front part of your brain. activities included attention, inhibition (preventing impulses from taking over the rational side of things), working memory (i.e. holding a set of numbers in your head while trying to write them down on paper), and goal planning. since nicotine and other drugs will lead to poor cognitive control, it will lead to poor decision making. therefore, those who smoke find it difficult to quit because of impaired inhibition over behavior. and the bad news is, the longer you smoke, the more impaired your brain becomes. no joke about this. backed up by quite a lot of neuropsych studies out there. one of the factors that lead to addictive behavior is also due to nicotine itself. lack of control -> unable to handle addictive behavior properly.

    having said that, do not underestimate the power of cognitive control. most people are able to quit their addiction because the loss of control due to drugs is loss of relative but not ABSOLUTE control.

    sorry for writing this essay. i hope it makes sense. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hmm…interesting bit of information Michelle! 🙂

      I have heard something similar to that for drug users but it hasn’t been conclusively proven whether one leads to another e.g. risk taking gene makes it more likely for people to experimentation or vice versa.

      Yup, it makes sense, I’ll look more into it and see what the research papers say.

      Thanks Michelle! 🙂

      Reply
  4. I stopped smoking when I found out I was pregnant. It’s one thing to choose to shorten my life and quite another to affect a being who had not develop any decision making powers and who was wholly dependent on me.

    My daughter turns 3 next month. I’ve not smoked a cigarette for more than 4 years.

    I still think about smoking sometimes but then I remember how long it’s been and there’s just no real point in returning to it after so long.

    And yes, you do have to figure it out for yourself. Finding something new to do with your hands while idling also helps 😀

    Reply
    • Yeah, that would be a great motivator. I would too.

      I’m glad that you’ve managed to stay away from it for so long. The addiction is quite powerful I hear, some people can relapse after even decades, under the right circumstances.

      All the best Mela! 🙂

      Reply
  5. HB, drinking . My friend who lost her mom as teenager become so hook into boozs later sleep with all kind of guys yet she was a smart student in school still. So that cover her up so well no one knew of it till later. Now she does not drink as much working her way to law school.

    It sad for her father was a stock broker became hook on gamberling lost their huge home in a great high price neighborhood now renting an apt. All due to lost of his wife who was an accountant in death.

    Reply
  6. Smoking is the only preventable cause for cancer z(compared to gene,gender etc) yet so many people choose that path how irony. Btw just wanna say among all the bloggers who blogged about tak nak campaign,I think u wrote the most influential one =)

    Reply
    • Indeed!

      However, most of us chose to smoke as a teenager and got addicted (myself included). If you’ve been smoking for that long (over 15 years for me), it’s REALLY hard to stop.

      Thanks for the kind comments Yj! 🙂

      Reply
  7. I found that smokers normally have the same principle ‘Enjoy first, don’t need to think of future. You won’t know what happens next’ while people who don’t smoke are those who thinks about their future and family.

    Reply
    • Hello Charmaine!

      Actually older smokers don’t think that. They know all about the harms and dangers but it’s really hard to quit. There are triggers everywhere and it doesn’t help that you can just buy it from the corner convenience store. 😡

      Reply
  8. feel surprise to read this from a smoker. to be honest, i hate smokers to the max. i have some really really bad experience with smokers. i just dont understand why must they smoke in the lift of my condo, and throw the burning butt INSIDE the lift?
    i have sensitive throat and asthma that will end up coughing for FEW MONTHS if the air quality is bad, i already tried my best not to get any nearer to any smokers, but its like an impossible mission in malaysia, unless i just stay at home forever. sometimes smokers even smoke in jusco toilet.
    aihhh.. but reading this from a smoker at least telling me not all smokers are complete selfish assholes

    hope one day u can successful quit smoking too.

    Reply
    • Well, there are all kinds to be honest. I’ve never been inconsiderate like that…but I guess it’s the way you’re brought up and where you started smoking.

      I’ve seen atrocious behavior from people in China (they smoke everywhere – even inside shops) while in places like Australia, you have to go to designated smoking spots.

      Thanks Don! 🙂

      Reply
  9. I dunno man, methadone is a fucking bitch. Kickin my ass all over. Way worse than smack ever did, for sure. Gettin down there though just hit 38 mg only gonna get harder from here!

    Reply
    • Hey Derek,

      I know how opiate withdrawals feels like – I quit cold turkey from methadone (coz of lack of availability) and it was the second most intense period I can remember (closest was quitting benzos cold turkey at a stupid drug rehab center).

      I feel you man, and I wish you all the best. Take care bro.

      Reply

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