World No Tobacco Day: Quitting smoking was hard and everyday was a battle admits Arjun Rampal
This World No Tobacco Day marks almost a year for actor Arjun Rampal for having quit smoking. The actor, who was a chain smoker, quit it during the pandemic last year. It was hard and every day was a battle, he admits.
“When I wanted to quit, it was the most difficult thing to do — I’d get cranky, irritated and short-tempered. It’s not something that one can overcome easily,” he tells us.
The Rock On actor started smoking when he was in boarding school. Reflecting on those times, he adds, “I used to be an athlete. I got hurt doing some hurdles, while training for races, and couldn’t compete. I was quite upset and saw my friends smoking, and for the fun of it, I also tried. I couldn’t do it, so, my friends taught me how to inhale and take a drag. I smoked one and got this head rush for the first time; it felt really good.”
Rampal confesses to going from one smoke to smoking daily, to the point where he ended up smoking a pack per day and became addicted. “I became a chain smoker, which was disgusting,” he notes.
Being around his baby boy, Arik, motivated and pushed the actor towards quitting cigarettes.
“I was sitting with Arik in the middle of a pandemic, and I thought I’m just messing my lungs, and playing with my health. I know the capacity I have for outputs is far greater than what it is today,” says Rampal, adding, “How can I be so irresponsible to go and pick up a baby, while smelling of tobacco. It stays on your hands, hair and fingers too.”
Having been a non-smoker for around a year now, Rampal feels that urge usually comes when you see someone smoking.
“You feel like you should smoke too. But, having been there done that, that one drag is exactly like the feeling when you started smoking in the first place and that becomes a habit again. This time your body recognises this feeling and craves for it,” says the actor, who chose to pick alternatives to fight urges to smoke again.
“The best way to quit is to stop thinking too much about it. More than anything, the urge is to satisfy the reflex that the body creates when you have been a smoker. Replace the cigarette with a mint, a chewing gum, or even a lollipop,” shares Rampal.
Talking about people who get influenced into smoking by watching movies, the actor feel they need to be responsible for their own actions.
“Thinking if he’s smoking, I can smoke too is a very dumb approach. The guy who’s smoking in the movie is doing a job and knows that it’s bad. Don’t be a fool and just enjoy the movie for what it is,” he suggests.
Rampal has one piece of advice for people who are trying to quit smoking. “People think it helps them reduce stress or concentrate. It doesn’t, and on the contrary, it does all the opposite things — it increases your stress, blood pressure, and makes you more susceptible to many forms of cancer. Don’t go down that route. I’m out of it, and I’m going to stay out of it. Don’t get into habits that are going to be fatal because habits become a part of your personality,” he concludes.