Me and my ex-BFF…..

I started smoking when I was 14 years old. That time, cigarettes were cheaper. I could get a stick of filtered 555 for $0.15. Then, I upgraded to Salem or Marlboro Menthol. A box of 10 @ $1.70 could last me nearly a week and I had to hide while smoking with friends.

When I went to NS, my craving for cigarettes grew. I needed 2 big packs of 20 sticks Marlboro @ $6.xx/pack for the whole week.

When I came out to work, 1 big pack of Marlboro @ $7.xx could only last me 2 days. Sometimes one day only if I went to clubs or karaoke.

Then came the turning point. My company stationed me in Hong Kong/China region. Marlboro in China costed only S$1.50 and I took advantage of this “discount”! I practically smoke stick after stick. I no longer buy cigarettes in boxes. I bought them in cartons. It’s common that I had cartons of cigarettes in my China home. Marlboro is my best friend now. The first and last thing I would do everyday is take a puff…..

During this time, my health deteriorated. I coughed regularly and would develop sore throat every now and then. My teeth stained with tar and I guess my breathe stinks because I felt people were avoiding my breathe when we talked.

One fateful day in 2009, I suddenly had this horrible pain in my chest. It was like someone literally tearing my chest apart while trying to break out from my body. My face turned pale and my chest sweat like a waterfall. I felt as like one of the victims from the Aliens movie, when the baby aliens broke out through the rib cage of the unfortunate victims. I fell to the floor, too weak to get help myself. I was living alone at that time. I thought my time is up.

Luckily, the phone was beside me. I struggled and quick dial to my company driver and told him I was in trouble, deep shit trouble. He had my house keys as I always had him running errands for me. He called an ambulance for me. I was admitted into the biggest hospital in ShenZhen. I suffered a heart attack called Aortic Dissertion Type B. I was evacuated back to Singapore for treatment.

I am lucky I made it back alive. I smoked and drank too much and my blood veins stiffened cause the rapture. Doctors told me to stop smoking immediately if I wanted to live on. I had no choice but to give up smoking since 2009.

Since then, my body felt better. I seldom cough or have sore throats anymore unless I ate too much peanuts. If calculating at $10/pack/day of cigarettes, over the years, I had saved a hefty amount of at least $20k.

All TDs are like my family members and kakis. If I could, I would like to wish each and everyone of you great fortune and great health. I just checked the price, a pack of LD cost $12.10 and so much restrictions on where you could smoke. Do yourself a favor and quit smoking!!! For your family and for yourself, do consider quitting!!! I really did it!!! So could you!!! 加油!!!

Source: FB post by Paul Chua


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