How a K500 deal to quit smoking changed my life

28/12/2011 17:27

By guest blogger Will Tekwie

I started smoking heavily when I was doing grade 11 at Kerevat National High in 1994. Most of my friends were smokers and chewers so it seemed like the natural thing to do to fit in and to be cool.

My favourite form of tobacco was the dark, heavy and strong Spear Roll which at that time was selling for 20toea for a 10cm piece. The stench of Spear was quite strong and it is a wonder that my friends and I thought we were cool even when we stank of tobacco.

I tried many times to quit. While I was at University I managed to lay-off for about a month. I got back to smoking after having more than a few beers. My nightly routine consisted of smoking one "long" spear roll, one "half" spear roll, one cigarette washed down with a 500ml coke before I slept!

Eventually in 2000, sometime at the end of the year, I made a deal with my cousin sister Margery to stop smoking. The agreement was that if I quit smoking for a year she would pay me K500 when she started working. At the time she was about to go to do 1st year at Unitech. I can’t remember what I was supposed to give her if I broke the deal?

Somehow I kept my end of the deal and didn’t touch another cigarette ever since that day. Margery has been working for several years now and hasn’t paid me the K500 yet but I’m not complaining. I got my life back and I’m healthier than if I had not quit so that’s worth more than K500. My advice to young people out there:

  • Smoking may be cool but smokers are not!
  • Don’t even try it! If you do, wash your mouth out with the foulest tasting detergent you can find and do that every time you smoke!
  • If you are hooked on the habit, don’t give up trying to quit. Keep at it you will succeed if you are serious about your health.
  • Find a "buddy" to help you quit. Make a strong agreement with that person with a penalty for any failure to keep the deal. This person should be someone who is close to you and who doesn’t smoke too!
  • Alcohol and tobacco go hand in hand. Lay off the booze if you seriously want to stop smoking.
  • Drink lots of water, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and try to get away from places where smokers like to congregate (bars, street markets, etc.).
  • Last but not the least stay away from smokers where possible, don’t touch cigarettes, don’t buy cigarettes and have the mindset that "smoking is for losers and that you are a winner who is not dependent on tobacco to live".

I have quit for 11 years now and when I look back at my life I realise how ridiculous and foolish I was to even start smoking in the first place. I’m glad I quit and I know that any smoker out there can do the same too. It’s not hard as its all in your mind.