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[Opinion] Deciding to Quit Smoking for the New Year

Posted December. 28, 2004 23:07,   


“Smoking is a gentlemen’s passion. Men who live without cigarettes have no reason to live.” (Moliere) “Men who smoke pipes and cigarettes do not quarrel with their wives.” (Lin Whi-tang) “A mouthful of tobacco clears thought, worries and fatigue.” (Kim Dong-in) There are many eulogies made to tobacco across the world. Poet Oh Sang-soon says that he does not go near buses or theatres because he hates the phrase, “No Smoking,” making him the true fan of smoking.

However, the world has changed. Now, smoking is not seen as romantic, but as a disease that should not be kept close. Heavy smokers have experienced the stares one gets when trying to smoke in restaurants. The desolation one feels when trying to smoke outside a restaurant with the cold wind blowing cannot be described in words. Every time, you say, “I will quit smoking,” but trying to quit is easier said than done.

Cigarette packets will rise 500 won in price from tomorrow. For those poor smokers, this is tragic. However, can this not be thought of as a good time to stop smoking? Those who smoke one pack a day will be paying 182,500 won more a year. They pay 560,000 won more in tax than non-smokers, but are not treated as patriots. Money-consuming, health-destroying, poorly-treated tobacco. There will be a big rise in the number of people who try to quit smoking. On top of it, is it not yet time for New Year’s resolutions.

Many call those who quit smoking easily malicious. However, if there are smokers who receive lung cancer and do not quit smoking, they are the real malicious ones. Heavy smokers who are not resolute enough to be that kind of malicious may try to be the “smoke-quitting malicious kind.” In the old days, there were jokes like, “do not hang around with those who quit smoking.” However, now, everyone will welcome them. So what are you going to do? Quit of course.

Song Moon-hong, Editorial writer, songmh@donga.com