Habits are hard to break, especially bad ones. A popular saying goes that it takes 21 days to break a habit, but only determination and discipline would get you far. For the case of Paulo Bautista, he wanted to end his journey with smoking. It was a struggle, but he did it successfully.
Recently, he celebrated 5 years cigarette-free and took it to social media his humble achievement.
WHEN IN MANILA has reached out to Bautista for further details.
I started smoking when I was in 2nd year college. It was purely out of curiosity. I was miles away from home and from my parents, so it was easy to buy cigarettes. It started with just one stick until it became a habit. I’d buy a pack of tens in the morning, and I’d be able to finish the whole thing before I’d go to bed. Stick count was always higher when I was out drinking and if it was rainy or cold.
I first attempted to stop smoking when I was 21. It was one of my new year’s resolutions back in 2011. That first attempt at quitting only lasted for about 3 weeks. I tried again summer of 2012 but I also failed. In February 2013 at a work dinner, I ate something bad and my throat was getting all swollen so I had to rush myself to the ER. I stayed in the hospital for about two days and you know how when you’re in the hospital, you’re not allowed to smoke? That started my cold turkey. When I got out of the hospital, I fought the urge to buy yosi. I would convince myself na “Sayang naman yung tiniis ko for two days if I’d light up.” So I bought stuff to keep my mouth busy such as lollipops, butong kalabasa, chips, chewing gum, etc.
I also downloaded an app called Cessation Nation, which tracks your quitting progress in terms of money saved, number of cigarettes you didn’t smoke. It also has built-in games for when you had an urge to smoke. It also has a health tracker that tells you how much your dependence on nicotine has dropped, how your senses of taste and smell has improved, etc. A week went by, of course there’s still urge to smoke but I’d tell myself again “Sayang yung tiniis ko for one week kung magyosi ulit ako.”
My ultimate tests were: partying and the rainy season because those instances always made me wanna smoke. So when I hurdled through those, I knew dire-diretso na.
Bautista as a chain smoker
What advice can he give for those who can’t seem to break the bad habit?
I’d like to believe I’m healthier. Before, I couldn’t even spend 15 minutes on the treadmill. But after quitting, I’m able to run 10k in an hour.
My advice for those who want to quit: Understand the risks and health hazards of smoking. Start from there. Also, imagine other things that you could buy with your yosi money.
It's been five years since my last cigarette. I've saved almost P50,000.00 from not smoking over SIXTEEN THOUSAND sticks (I was averaging nine sticks a day, more if I was out drinking or if it was rainy and/cold). If you're a smoker, please have a little consideration for others. Do it in designated smoking areas NOT while walking in a crowded walkway or in places where there might be non-smokers around because the person walking behind you or sitting next to you might be a struggling quitter.
Bautista today, happier and healthier.
Inspiring, right? Kudos to you!
What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: WheninManila.com does not own the photos above. Credits go to Paulo Bautista.