The Challenges of Quitting Smoking

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smoking addiction nicotine

Smoking has been a persistent problem in society for decades, and the addiction to nicotine has posed a significant challenge to many individuals trying to quit. The addictive nature of cigarettes makes it incredibly difficult to overcome the habit, and people often find themselves returning to smoking after enduring prolonged periods of abstinence.

The Tragic Reality of Smoking Addiction

The struggles of smokers are well-captured in a poignant cartoon strip that portrays two women smoking on a balcony. The caption reads: “We used to discuss our problems over coffee and a cigarette. Now coffee and a cigarette are our problems!” This quote is both brilliant and tragic because it succinctly portrays the reality of addiction. Many smokers recognize the devastating effects of their addiction but find it difficult to quit.

One such smoker is Gasant Abarder, who has been a slave to nicotine for over 30 years. Despite numerous attempts to quit, Gasant has found himself returning to smoking time and time again. He has tried different methods to quit, including going cold turkey, using medication and nicotine chewing gum, and even vaping. However, nothing has worked so far, and Gasant remains a prisoner to smoking.

The Cost of Smoking

Cigarette smoking is not only a health hazard but also an expensive habit. A pack of cigarettes costs more than R50, and the smell of smoke lingers on clothes, bedsheets, and skin. Non-smokers in the presence of smokers often find themselves struggling with breathing, as the smell of smoke can be overwhelming. Despite these visible and tangible costs, smoking continues to be a prevalent issue in society.

Smoking and Government Responses

The government’s response to the smoking epidemic has been lackluster, with a focus on taxes and tobacco company politics rather than meaningful action against smoking. This focus has resulted in the rise of cheap, low-quality cigarettes that pose even greater health risks to smokers. Millions of people worldwide continue to smoke, and many find it difficult to quit.


Smoking addiction is a difficult problem to overcome, and Gasant’s story highlights the struggles that smokers face when trying to quit. The addictive nature of nicotine and the social and financial costs of smoking make it a dangerous habit that continues to plague society. The government’s response to the issue has not been sufficient, and more needs to be done to help people quit smoking. Despite the challenges, it is essential to continue raising awareness about the dangers of smoking and supporting individuals trying to quit.

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