Smoking case studies
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Dubai: There are many smokers who have kicked the habit and are happy that they have successfully managed to stay out of it for good.

Khalid Sharrouf, 30, Lebanese:

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Khalid Sharrouf, 30, Lebanese, smoked his last cigarette on August 28 last year. He had just returned from a holiday with family, friends and decided to give it a go at quitting smoking.

Having been a chain smoker for ten long years, Sharrouf was under pressure from family and friends — who had the best interest in him — to give up his habit of smoking cigarettes. And he would do at least half a packet every day.

Sharrouf, however, always brushed away the thought of giving up smoking. But one day, he just made up his mind to give it all up. And it was not easy for this marketing executive, a former Dubai resident, now living in Amsterdam.

“I just decided to give it a try one day.”

Scanning through his library of books he was delighted to get hold of one authored by Jan Guertz. The book titled “Quit smoking in one day,” is said to have inspired him to give up smoking.

“One of the biggest challenges of turning into a non-smoker is overcoming the temptation to smoke. Not that it was an addiction for me, but it was definitely a habit. Every day I would spend a certain amount of time with friends smoking cigarettes. So suddenly when I stopped, I did not know what to do with that extra time. Then there was also the issue of dealing with the urge of feeding nicotine into the body,” said Sharrouf.

“During my initial phase of weaning, I started having coffee to substitute it with cigarettes.

Robert Webling, 44, South African:

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Roert Webling too has been tobacco free for eight years. The South African said his reasons for giving up smoking were totally personal and he is glad he did it. Webling, who was grossly overweight simply wanted to get fit. It was also around the time when his wife was pregnant with their first child and Webling did not think twice to quit smoking.

He added thanks to his fitness regimes which kept him mentally and physically pre-occupied, it was easier for him to keep away from cigarettes.

“The real trick is that a smoker should never give up cigarettes after coming under pressure from someone. You should be the most important reason for giving up smoking. If you do it for someone else the effort to give up smoking fails.”

He added a good support structure is critical to a smoker trying to give up on cigarettes. “Family and friends must be sensitive about your situation. For example the way they can help is that if you are in the company of smokers, it will greatly help if others do not smoke around you. They can always step out and smoke elsewhere. I remember, in my case I avoided visiting friends in cafés and restaurants as I knew they would be smoking.

“Forget patches, pills or other nicotine release gimmicks. Just stop taking any of these things. Work on your mind. That is all,” said Webling.”

Vincent Mendonza, Indian:

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For Indian expat Vincent Mendonza, the journey to giving up smoking was rather smooth. “Four years ago he gave up smoking during lent, the period preceding Easter, devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence by Christians. I kept on with my fasting ever after Lent had ended. I have not touched a cigarette since.”

“It is all about having a strong will power. If you have it and you really want to give up smoking, it can happen. For me, personally, I immersed myself in my job so I was not distracted and reminded about smoking cigarettes.”