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Purab Kohli Reflects on His Battle with Smoking Addiction on World No-Tobacco Day

On the observance of World No-Tobacco Day, acclaimed actor Purab Kohli has opened up about his arduous journey to overcome a smoking addiction that had gripped him since his teenage years. The ‘Rock On!!’ star, now known for his fit and healthy lifestyle, revealed how he first took up smoking at the tender age of 15 and the subsequent struggle he faced while trying to quit the habit in his late 20s.

In a candid conversation with Hindustan Times, Kohli shared, “I was around 15-16 years old. We always knew that smoking is bad, and we had already heard some terrible stories, so we knew we were doing something that was not good. Smoking looked attractive at that time, as this macho thing. But, I started it just to feel cool.”

The realization to quit smoking dawned on Kohli in his late 20s, by which time he had been ingrained in the habit for more than a decade. “I could see that when I was stressed with work, I would do it even more. I reached a point where I wanted to try and give it up to see if I could really do it. I said to myself, I have smoked for 10-12 years, can I not smoke for one year? I even marked the date. I kept myself motivated through that as well. And I am quite committed; when I make a decision, I stick to it,” Kohli explained.

Recalling the exact moment he made the life-altering decision, he said, “I just woke up one morning and said that I have to stop. I did stop smoking, but it was very hard. I bought one cigarette and I used to keep that in my hand and never light it. I used to hold it in my hand and puff away on it without lighting it and slowly the feeling of wanting it went away. Even the shops that I used to buy from, whenever I crossed them, I used to feel like smoking. I started realizing how strong of an addiction I had to tobacco.”

The physical toll of quitting smoking was not negligible for Kohli. He elaborated on the experience, saying, “There was a physical impact also happening, like my tummy was being all funny and I used to eat and get indigestion. It was physically hard for my body; not a cakewalk at that time.

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Despite the challenges, Kohli’s strong-headedness played a crucial role in his journey to quit smoking. “I told myself, I have smoked for 10-12 years, can I not smoke for one year? I kept myself committed by marking the date. When I tried lighting one up after that year, I hated it. When you don’t smoke for a long while, you realize how disgusting it tastes. It felt horrible,” he shared.

However, Kohli’s journey wasn’t straightforward. After initially quitting smoking, he was compelled to take it up again due to a role he was playing. “I didn’t smoke for 3-4 years after that, but there was a role for which I had to smoke, and then I started smoking for a short period again in my early thirties. I already knew I had stopped once and how much difference it makes while working out.”

Determined to quit smoking for good, Kohli embarked on a second journey to beat the addiction. “The second time I quit was forever. Once you get over the initial 6-7 months, it gets better. You feel drowsy and sleepy and even tend to gain weight when you are trying to quit. I remember eating carrots and cucumbers for crunchy munching so that I don’t crave a lot. It helped me create good habits. My skin looks better now and my mind is so rested. The deep and fulfilling breaths, wow! I feel so happy that I don’t feel that craving anymore; it has been more than 13-14 years since I last smoked,” Kohli concluded.

Purab Kohli’s story is a testament to the power of determination and self-discipline in overcoming addiction. His candid revelations and the methods he used to combat his urge to smoke serve as an inspiration for many struggling with similar issues. On World No-Tobacco Day, Kohli’s journey stands out as an encouraging example that quitting smoking, although challenging, is certainly achievable.