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Do yourself a favour

Don’t you hate people who stop smoking for a couple of weeks – and then go around telling the world how great and wonderful they are?

Well, I suppose I’m one of those people.

How can Learn and Teach let somebody with such a big head write a story about the dangers of smoking? The answer is simple: There is nobody else.

Come to one of our weekly staff meetings on a Monday morning and you will see what I mean – if you can see at all, because of all the smoke in the air!

Last year, the smoke got so bad that a visitor walked in and ran straight to the phone and called for a fire engine.

Some of us decided that maybe it was time to stop. Now three months later, I am the only one at Learn and Teach who is still not smoking. Since I am the champion, since I am the greatest, let me tell you how I did it – and why I did it.


First of all, and now I am not joking, I believe the doctors when they say that smoking is bad for your health. I believe them when they say smokers hurt their lungs – so that they cannot breathe properly.

I believe them when they say that smoking damages your heart and blocks up all your veins. I believe them when they say that smoking gives you high blood pressure.

I believe them when they say smoking eats up your health and steals years from your life.

Secondly, I gave up smoking because my money was going up in smoke. I was smoking about 20 cigarettes a day. A packet of 20 cigarettes was costing me R1.10. In a month of 30 days I was spending R33 on cigarettes. In a year I was spending R401.50

I was making the cigarette company rich and making myself poor. Now that really makes me angry – because I really hate the cigarette companies.

I hate the cigarette companies because I was a slave to them for so many years. I hate the way they use the radio, newspapers, magazines and those big boards to sell their cigarettes. I hate the way they tell us that if we want to be rich and beautiful, we must smoke cigarettes. I hate the way they try to grab our children when they are still young.


I know that it is very hard to stop smoking. I know because I have tried and failed many times. I understand that cigarettes are a drug that grab you tight and don’t let go. I also know that we are living in very troubled times and smoking helps us get through the day and the very long nights.

But, for what it is worth, let me give you a few tips on how to give up smoking: You must be sure that you want to give up. If you are not 100 per cent sure you cannot give up.

  • Give up with somebody else or with a group of people. Maybe have a small bet – like the first person to smoke must polish the other person’s shoes for the next 10 years.

  • Tell people that you have stopped smoking. You will feel like a big “moegoe” if you start again.

  • Try not to drink too much liquor after you stop. Stay away from the “spot” for a while. Drink lots and lots of water instead.

  • Do plenty of exercise – go for a walk, a run, dance, jump up and down, skip, play some football, do anything until you are nice and tired.

  • Tell yourself that you can do it. Tell yourself that in these troubled times we must be strong and healthy. Tell yourself that you want to be around for a while – that you want to see your children and grandchildren grow up. Tell yourself that you want to be around when nice things start to happen in this country. Do yourself a big favour and do it!


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