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Kicking the Habit
Real Life Experience by Mr. Jay kadapatti Real Life Experience by Mr. Jay kadapatti
The Marlboro man probably stopped riding off into the sunset because he was incapacitated with severe coughing fits. And this wasn’t only because stumped tobacco companies reeled under a free on slaught of legal hassles. It’s also because awareness made individuals realize the fall outs of heavy smoking and the potential risks to their health.

Life always offers choices. In this case it wasn’t a choice of whether or not to smoke, but a choice between leading a normal life without giving into that irritable desire that made one tremble with the anticipation of fragrant smoke slowly invading the lungs. But the choices weren’t plain black or white. Life is never that simple. Jay Kadapatti faced an uphill task the moment he decided “Enough is enough!”

A social worker working with the Leprosy Rehabilitation Centre at the Anand Gram Society, Jay was a chronic smoker for the past fifteen years. And like all chronic smokers, had always tried to give it up some time or the other. “It got to a point where I was smoking two to three packets a day. My breath and even my clothes would reek of cigarette smoke. I wasn’t even enjoying smoking anymore, but craving kept the habit strong,” says Jay.

Jay started smoking when he was in college. “It wasn’t peer pressure. I just wanted to try out something new,” said Jay. Starting from two to three cigarettes a day, Jay progressed to something like two to three packets. By this time he also discovered that he had high blood pressure. There wasn’t a correlation between smoking and his BP, but nevertheless, Jay decided that he would have to limit his smoking and even toyed with the idea of giving it up altogether.

“By now, I had also begun to feel a social misfit and even had problems interacting with people. I felt extremely conscious of my breath and smell and was rather by. A lot of people kept persuading me to give up smoking entirely, and this time I felt that I was ready,” says Jay. He went to Igatpuri with another friend to try Vipassana and possibly stop smoking. “I was still puffing away till I reached the aram gates. Then I had to throw away all my packets. Once inside there was no way I could get cigarettes. I was there for fifteen days, and though it was very tiring emotionally, it did help.”

However, the urge was still too potent. Jay tried to fight it one night, but relented and was smoking again. Around this time, he met Dr. John Almeida, who persuaded Jay to try the nicotine patch to stop smoking. “Initially I tried it on for 24 hours. When that didn’t help either, Dr. Almeida told me to put it on for another 48 hours. I feel that my craving definitely subsided and I was progressively able to stop smoking altogether.” It was finally two protracted months of resisting that enabled Jay to come clean. And its been five months since he has not touched a cigarette. How does it feel now?.

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