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The Fourth of July is a day of celebration in the United States because that is the day the US achieved Independence in 1776. For me too it’s a day of celebration. It was on this day 5 years ago that I took what for me was a momentous decision- to quit smoking. It was by no means easy since I had been a smoker for 35 years.

I remember the scene vividly. It was 2.00 p.m. on July 4, 2003 when I smoked my last cigarette. I made up my mind. I had to kick this addiction of many, many years. I threw away that last butt and walked into the Tobacco Cessation Clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences at Bangalore.

Dr. Divakar is no longer there. He moved to the UK after a few years. I am sure he would be delighted to know that I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since that meeting with him.

I took a lot of help from QuitNet– which I would heartily recommend as a powerful support site for those who wish to kick the habit.

By the way, QuitNet informs me that it is now 1827 days since I have stayed quit. I am glad I did because of the many harmful effects of smoking.

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This is Post No: 214 of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success