When I was a little child, I saw a fisherman pulling out a fishing line. He held up the line with the poor fish dangling on it. The fish struggled in pain and without oxygen for quite a while before it died. I felt extremely sad for that fish. Then I saw the fisherman forcing out the fishing hook from its mouth. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. There was a small hook pointing in the opposite direction preventing the bigger hook from coming out.
As a doctor, whenever I saw somebody smoking, I recalled that fish on the hook. I felt sorry for him. Cigarette is a slow torturer and killer. It tortures the smoker in many ways, killing him slowly with its smoke. It is a human hook. Once we are hooked, it will hardly let us go. The addictive property of cigarette is even stronger than marijuana.
In my mind, he is like, “Oh, my gosh! He is that poor ‘fish’ on that nasty ‘hook’. I wanna help him get that hook out before it is too late.” Yet as a doctor, I know it is an uphill task. There is another ‘hook’ that prevents the hook from coming out. Like all other mental habits, he needs some form of behavioural therapy with perhaps some medicines to help him out.
Cigarette smoking is an addiction. Once your mind falls in love with it, its ghost will haunt you whenever you try to leave it. Your mind will crave for it and you will refuse to think of anything else. Also you will lose concentration, get anxious, irritable, and restless. Among other things, you may feel uneasy with a heavy head, stiff neck or perhaps ‘butterflies in the stomach’.
Strange it might seem, 99 out of 100 cigarette smokers are not thinking of dumping this smelly smoky lover. Nonetheless, I shall remind them that, “Perhaps it is time to think of quitting, for the sake of their better health or the health of their loved ones.”
Only 1 percent of cigarette smokers may come forward to say, “Doc, I want to quit smoking. Can you help?” Well done! This person is at the contemplative stage of behavioural therapy. I love this group of cigarette smokers because they are thinking of dumping their smoky lover for many great rewards. This is the group of smokers that will listen closely to whatever I have to say about the great challenging crusade that is so timely and rewarding. Those who take up this awesome challenge and win, will be a hero in many other challenges in life because this is really a tough one – a real test on one’s ability to turn one’s messy life around!
Obviously, this group of smokers have been thinking hard. By now they probably realise how bad it is to continue hanging around with their smoky lover. Perhaps, it is good to share some hard facts here to wake up those who are still very much asleep (in their pre-contemplative stage).
Indeed, cigarette smoking messes up one’s life. Smokers are smelly, dirty and unhealthy. They are putting their life at multiple risks. Do you know that cigarettes have been the ‘culprit’ behind all the top human killers – assassins just waiting to strike? They are the single most dangerous murderer hiding behind the masks of top killers such as cancer, chronic lung disease, heart attack and stroke.
Pregnant mothers who smoke, often smoke their fetus to death or suffocate them in their womb causing all of them to be born much smaller and lighter, and perhaps less intelligent. Parents who smoke also pose a particular danger to the respiratory health of their young children.
Economically, those who had been smoking for 40 years literally burn the amount of money sufficient to purchase a comfortable apartment. Socially, smokers may not be aware that their non-smoking spouse, children and friends had been complaining behind their backs about their repulsive odour and health hazards that they posed to them. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could save much money and make all their friends and family happier by making a great decision now? It is time to say goodbye to your smoky lover once and for all and harvest all the great rewards awaiting your return as a great hero.
You will also be rewarded with one of life’s greatest pleasures – the restored taste of food. The original enticing aroma and flavour of delicious dishes that you had forgotten from the time you fell in love with your smoky ex-lover will come back to you. All kinds of food will smell and taste wonderful again once your nostrils and tongue are freed from the stain of nicotine and dirty smoke.
My dear smokers, you are hooked. Get out of it. You can do it. All habits are learned behaviour. It can be unlearned. You can cease smoking. The decision is in your hands. Just take one step forward. Contemplate on all the benefits of quitting smoking. Know that you can quit. Soon you will find yourself on your way to dislodge that nasty hook, and claim all the rewards due to you as a winning hero.
The newer medicine that helps one to quit smoking is reasonably good. They are capable of reducing craving and the difficult-to-bear withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, quitting smoking becomes much easier.
If you need assistance, your family doctor is just a call away. He has the skill and right prescription to usher you out of your difficult time. That hook may be a tough one. You can beat it. Trust me. You can do it. So do it now.
My next column will be on ‘Alcohol – The legal drug that kills many.’
Dr. Victor Ti, MD, MFAM (Malaysia), FRACGP (Australia), Dip P Dermatology (UK), Dip STDs/AIDS (Thailand), Dip. AARAM (USA), LCP of Aesthetic Med.(Malaysia) is an experienced expat specialist generalist (Family Physician) of BH Clinic, Phnom Penh. As a specialist generalist, he is skillful at diagnosing all general diseases and excluding the sinister ones. Apart from the general diseases, Dr. Victor is also known for his skill in skin diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, minor surgery and aesthetic medicine. He can be contacted via messenger m.me/bhclinic1, Tel: 023900446 or Whatsapp: +60164122977