By: Sahrudin – firstname.lastname@example.org
I AM a smoker. A heavy smoker! I normally draw on two packs of cigarettes a day. I smoke whatever brand.
It does not really matter whether I buy the Marlboro, Dji Sam Soe, A-Mild, Djarum or the much cheaper Tanjung and Aroma. Magelang Municipality in the Province of Central Java, the place where I live in, has also its local brand called “Djeruk”. But due to its cheap price, sorry to say, it tastes and smells too strong.
Rolling my own cigarettes is sometimes a great way to save money and enjoy different taste of tobacco.
In the last few weeks, I have been huffing and puffing over the slim “kretek” Aroma. It costs “only” 6.500 IDR (about 0.572000 US Dollar) a pack, much cheaper than famous brands which generally prices rose far above 10.000 IDR.
Yes, when faced with the soaring cost of cigarettes, I thought I have to control my expenditures by seeking cheaper brands. I have a family to feed, but I just can’t quit smoking yet. In the name of “austerity”, I would be very happy if someone give me even only one cigarette. (Feel free to laugh at me)
I STARTED smoking light when I was 13, and was still attended the first grade of junior high (secondary) school, SMPN 7 in Magelang Municipality.
I lit a cigarette in the public transport on the way to and from school. I knew there was a rule of no smoking in cars. I knew, children and passengers around me exposed to secondhand smoke. But who cares?
I smoked in the school toilets with some friends. Of course, I didn’t do it at home as my parents wouldn’t allow me to smoke. I knew both my mother and father smelled smoke on my school clothing when I was home, but they didn’t to overreact.
(An unwritten rule in many places in Indonesia, you can smoke when you already have a job. It’s not about health, it’s about whose money you use to buy cigarettes. As long as you still stay at home mom, you must spend your money wisely. Parents no longer let you use pocket money they given to buy cigarettes.)
Trying to get addicted. Yes, that’s just what happen to me. But I didn’t think anything of it. It was just a bad habit, I knew. The fact, it was still with me, and I continued my smoking until I graduated from the school.
I didn’t plan on becoming a heavy smoker. I couldn’t even give an answer when someone asking me the reasons I start smoking. I don’t know why.
My late father was a smoker, a heavy smoker. He had already quitted smoking several years before his death in last 2009. I can’t use my father’s smoking habit, or to “blame” him to making excuse why I smoke.
I had a friend whose father was also a heavy smoker. But he, my friend was not became a smoker. I and some friends often smoked around him. But it did not affect him!
This also happens to some people I know them well. My uncle has been a heavy smoker, and he smokes in the house. His sons, my cousins, completely unaffected.
I am 35 now. It means, I have been a smoker for over 20 years. I may worry about how much damage all those years of smoking did to my bodies. But I have not been able to kick the habit yet! That’s my problem.
I have tried many times to quit smoking but always failed. I am a smoker who is trying to quit but it is hard. I will probably continue to smoke unless the government and cigarette factories continuously jacking up tobacco prices unreasonably above the maximum. Because I will never have enough money for it.