… so I’ve been told. As an ex-smoker myself, I could say that the above statement is true, or at least apply to me. I have been the smoker, I have been the one who have clothes, hair and fingers smelling like ashtray, I’ve been the one who sprayed body mist all over myself to try masking the smell of cigarettes after smoking, and I have been the one who made others uncomfortable with the second hand smoke.
It never crossed my mind on how I would react to smokers after I gave up the filthy habit. I was at a party, sitting outside in a courtyard to enjoy a bit of breeze and I was surrounded by smokers. I felt like I wanted to throw up from the smell of smoke… then I couldn’t help but be disgusted to see the cigarettes buds piling up on ashtray, and some even made it to the kitchen sink, and thanks to that, the kitchen gave out this very unpleasant odour. I have to say though, it was very inconsiderate of whoever dumped the buds on kitchen sink.
I couldn’t help myself from having judgmental looks on especially young people who smoke. Even when I was a smoker myself, I would discourage the younger people to even think about smoking. I asked those young smokers silently, why do you start? Is it just because you think it’s cool? The first cigarette I had was cloves cigarettes since they were (and still are) abundant in my home country, and there are no age restrictions on smoking there. Cigarette brands were still widely advertised on TV, magazines, billboards and even the major sponsors for most of the local cinemas. However, it wasn’t one of those yucky experience but stuck with it anyway because it looked cool, but guess what? I absolutely loved the cigarettes! Well, I didn’t start until I moved overseas though, for reasons more silly than you could ever think. Even though I didn’t start because I thought it looked cool, or because everyone else did it, I have to admit that part of me thought it was sort of “cool” (this was after I started to be a regular smoker). It also was a social tool, I met most of my good friends here because I smoked, just so happen I was smoking outside of a venue and I met this group of people, started having a small talk, then it happened again a few days later, and now they my best buddies. Most of them now have given up smoking for their own reasons, the funny thing was the timing we all quit. None of us had told anyone that we were quitting, then one day we were hanging out and one of us mentioned it, and suddenly it was revealed that most of us were giving up or already quit.
Now maybe it’s to do with me finding myself, and I didn’t like seeing myself with a cigarettes, I didn’t like what I was doing to myself, I didn’t like how my stamina dropped so much (I used to be so fit and lean, and active in competitive sports). So one day I decided I wanted to quit. Took me a couple of go’s. I had a relapse in between, but I finally made it. I had just less than a pack left when I decided that I had enough. I broke those cigarettes and threw it out. I now couldn’t stand the smell of it (though rollies and cloves cigarettes have different effects on me… I loved the smell of those).
Just after I quit, I had the “envy” of everyone else who still smoke. I missed the activity, not necessarily the cigarette itself, but the habit of putting something in your mouth, inhaling it, exhaling it, or simply just to have something to hold between my fingers. Occasionally I caught myself doing a smoking gesture with a pen, though of course I didn’t inhale.
I guess bottom line is, I regretted that I was a regular smoker, and I guess that’s why I have such negative feeling towards smokers. I knew how easy it was to get hooked, and how much hard work it was to quit, and not only that, but not only it’s not doing me any good, but I had this nagging voice in the back of my mind screaming “What are you doing to the environment and people around you????!”. I was inconsiderate towards others and to myself… what a fool I was…
Well, I can’t change what I did, but I surely will not pick up the filthy habit again in the future.