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Quit smoking cigarettes.

I’ll confess first. I’ve smoked ~10 cigarettes my whole life, all during my senior year in high school. Even though I knew the detrimental effects of cigarette smoke, my rebellious attitude and discontent for my own life outweighed the regard for my own health. I haven’t touched it ever since. After my first year of college, I also ceased to smoke hookah or cigars.

There’s no need to lecture about cigarettes; I’m sure everyone already knows the adverse effects associated with the smoke. This post is actually about something new I’ve been doing the past week and a half.

I used to threaten my friends who smoked. I would take away their packs, or lecture them about their habits, guilt trip them, and try to impose my will on them. It doesn’t work, for it is ultimately up to the smoker to quit. Moreover, the negativity associated with my “help” only promoted rising tensions.

I recently found out that a friend of mine, the last person I would have expected, started smoking cigarettes for a few months. Upon hearing the news, I swore to text him to quit smoking cigarettes whenever he appeared in my thoughts. I then decided to do the same with two other friends.

These texts aren’t meant to be humorous. I text them random times throughout the day, including at 8:00am (I hope it wakes them up), to mid-afternoon (I hope they’re occupied with something), to 1:00am in the morning (I hope it wakes them up again). My intent was to annoy them with my persistency that I and others care about their immediate and future health. I average 1-2 texts a day, and there are now four people whom I consistently text.

Smoking kills. Seriously.

A few days ago, my original friend whom this task was made for replied to me. He said that he had cut down to 1-2 cigarettes a day and was striving to quit entirely. He appreciated my frivolous efforts and said that his determination was aided by my constant nagging. It made my day, and I am glad to have made a difference.

Think about your own close friends. If applicable, even think about yourself. Think about the accomplishment of quitting cigarette smoking, especially while you’re ahead. Think about the beneficial health benefits from quitting the bad habit. Of seeing your friends do the same. The rewards are worth the effort and pain. Help yourself quit; help your friends quit.

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