A Letter to an Aspiring Smoker



I hear you saying, “Life’s seems tough.”

Oh! Does it?

Maybe due to this ‘stressful’ life of yours or just to look ‘hip’ among your peers, you are quite likely to try your first smoke. While I am thinking of pouring my worries on paper by writing this letter, you, somewhere on earth, must be thinking to learn how to throw those rings of smoke in air. Why not! Afterall, you have heard that the easiest way to get rid of stress of day-to-day life goes right through those rings! And I know you also want to experience that famous ‘kick’ one gets after a smoke?

My worry however is, how long is it going to last…the Kick!  How long will it last?

Unfortunately, the kick is ephemeral. Soon the ‘high’ will go down and you’ll be left restless, craving for another Kick…means another smoke, then another, and you’ll not be stopping anytime soon. The threshold for your kick will keep raising and without any realization turning YOU into an ‘Addict’.

I know what you are thinking right now. You think I am over-imagining but I am just showing you the mirror. You know ‘Addiction’, is not a good word in itself; it has life damaging consequences.

I was going through the site of WHO and I got chills down my spine after reading that smoking alone is among the major killers worldwide. It leads to countless critical ailments and my heart bleeds to think that resulting deaths are the ones that could be easily prevented!

If I show you this fact sheet I know what will be your reaction, “This is bullshit!” and there are bright chances that you’ll cite examples also, may be in the neighbourhood or somewhere else, where a young person died without having smoked even once or  a chain smoker lived a long happy life! I know you’ll come prepared with your home work. But this doesn’t convince me at all. In fact, it worsens my fears.

Mere imagination of you, inhaling and exhaling the smoke, slows my heart beat down. As I visualize your lips turning darker day by day, my heart sinks deeper and deeper in a never-ending gloom.

I don’t know how to stop you before it all starts. I don’t want to sound like a preacher because I know what kind of answer I’ll probably be getting-“It’s none of my business” or “Everyone has to die one day” or may be more hurting stuff. So you see, I am scared to say a word.

All I want to say is, “Life sometimes does seem tough; but as they say, ‘tough times do not last, tough people do’. I know you have every right to live your life the way you feel like. I don’t want to breach into your freedom. I just wish to tell you that I love you, and I don’t want to take any chance to lose you. I know death is the ultimate truth and everybody’s going to die sooner or later but why to jump into a river when you are certain to drown. Common-sense says enjoy at the bank only.”

“So when you know the consequences why be an ostrich and bury your head in the soil to pretend that there’s no danger? Although you know, it’s very much there, and can attack you any time. Do you ever imagine the pain of the dear one’s while seeing you suffer? You don’t have even the slightest idea about their mental, emotional and physical torments? Not to mention the financial distress once the symptoms start showing.”

While closing my letter, I only wish to say this,

“Life can be simple. Why make it complex? Death is undoubtedly the ultimate truth my dear but let’s live first…live until natural death do us apart.”


Yours hopeful,

“Tobacco kills; don’t get duped”, As per WHO report:

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills around 6 million people each year. More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.

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54 Comments on “A Letter to an Aspiring Smoker”

  1. I don’t want to seem to belittle the topic but people have to take responsibility for themselves and when it comes to what appears to be self-abuse from another’s view point, I believe it’s up to the individual as long as it doesn’t harm others. I know the thing about second-hand smoke, but I happen to like it. I jokingly say, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life – true – but I’ve smoked all my life – also true until “they” banned smoking in public places. I am reminded of what the young African prostitute says to the “Lord of War” (Nicholas Cage) in the movie after he castigates her for being high on some drug that, quote, “can kill you” to which she replies, “Why worry about what can kill you tomorrow when so many things can kill you tonight?” Yes, it is foolish to speed up death’s process – perhaps – although had I not attempted suicide on a couple of occasions I would not have had my “near death experiences” and probably would not know something about life few people know about or accept, but some of us are willing to risk “death” in order to discover and experience the “crazy” in this life, the alternate reality that the “normal” insists on hiding from us. The best way to deal with other peoples’ choices – the ones that only impact me emotionally – is through a healthy dose of detachment. Set them free to make their own choices, and more importantly, set them free to suffer their own consequences without the, “I told you so” when the inevitable happens. When my mother committed suicide I chose to believe that she had made a sacred choice, a very brave choice and I have always admired her for it. She wanted out, and she was looking for something “better” or some alternative and she did it. I have never changed my view on that.

    1. You know sometimes I also think that everyone is and should be responsible for himself or herself and be ready for the consequences of their actions. But most of the times when I see that the ‘everyone’ here is the person I really care about, I’ll do everything to make it right because here it’s not him/her alone who’s gonna suffer alone, we are together in this. Sometime we have to be the mirror and bring people back to life.

    1. Thank you Parveen Ji…I wrote it in one breath and pressed publish… I was so moved by the data…I am smiling to see many people noticed and probably will think at least once before kissing the killer…:)

  2. It never seizes to amaze me that despite how much we know about smoking as opposed to our parents and grandparents we still do with such a niceNess like it’s not going to kill u s . You said it best at the end about a natural death, smoking is one man made one that will not allow for anything natural. Great post!

    1. Thank you very much. We go really easy on many things until they show their ugly side…but it’s too late to do anything by then. Human is the most intelligent creature on earth, I just wonder why we go for such foolishness when we can rightly weigh the consequences.

  3. I had a “near death” experience because of a sudden unexpected asthma attack 3 years ago. The feeling of the extreme fear and loneliness of being close to death cannot be expressed with my linguistic ability. The cause of the disease was not fully established, but the doctors told me it was 90% due to my past smoking. I was then saved from death because I could get doctors’ treatment in time only because of series of lucky coincidences. (I posted about this on my blog. If you’d care to read it, it’s at: https://ashiakira.wordpress.com/story-poems-2/asthma-attack/)
    If you smokers knew you have the 90% of chances to get what I did, I’m sure you would think twice before you light up your next cigarette or pipe. I wish I could let you know how it is to have the feeling of near death so you would be serious about stopping smoking.

  4. A well-meaning advisory against a vice that was very trendy and the ‘in thing’ during my college days in the 1970s. I was also one of those people who smoked away my health for around twelve years before better sense prevailed and I overcame the habit after a great struggle, much before my children were born. So they have not seen me smoking and have never fallen prey to the vice. Fortunately, as a result of awareness campaigns and health warnings, smoking is on the wane in the west and in India. But not quite so in many of the Asian and African countries. Hence the campaign must continue…best wishes.

  5. I used to smoke. From 1978 until 2011. The dumbest thing that I ever did and the toughest habit to break. I still crave for one every once in a while. I promised my dying mother that I’d quit and that’s a promise that I intend to keep. You see my mom used to smoke 2 + packs a day and died of stage 4 lung cancer in 2011, the same year that I quit. When I make a promise, I keep it.

  6. You’ve done a good job here. We’re supposed to be each others’ keeper; and so lending important advice like this one is worthwhile. It may help many. Meanwhile anyone who doesn’t want to take it may leave it.

Your one comment can make my day 😊