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I quit smoking after many failed attempts, says Jackie Shroff

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 31-05-2019 Sangeeta Yadav
MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA- MARCH 04: Jackie Shroff clicked dancing on the sets of Super Dancer Chapter 3 in Mumbai. (Photo by Milind Shelte/India Today Group/Getty Images) © Getty MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA- MARCH 04: Jackie Shroff clicked dancing on the sets of Super Dancer Chapter 3 in Mumbai. (Photo by Milind Shelte/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Any addiction is bad, especially smoking, which is extremely harmful to one's health. While smoking a pack of cigarettes each day is no big deal for chain-smokers, but when it comes to quitting, it takes a lot of courage to take that daunting step. For actor Jackie Shroff, who was once the face of a cigarette brand, and a "chain-smoker" in his own words, it took "many failed attempts" to finally quit smoking.

Today, on World No Tobacco Day, the actor opens up about how difficult it was to get rid of something he had been addicted to for years and whom he credits for helping him achieve the impossible.

"It was a tough journey for me to quit smoking because each time I'd decide to stop, I was offered the role of a bad guy [in a film] who'd smoke. Instead of faking it, I'd eventually get back to smoking in order to make my character look real," reveals Jackie, adding how there was always a conflict between him as a person and as an actor, who "would go any extend to play the role convincingly".

For Jackie, it all started at a very young age when he got into the habit of smoking while hanging out with his group of friends. "I started smoking pretty early, when I was a teenager. Since there was nobody to slap me back then, it became a habit," shares the 62-yearold actor, who was last seen in Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) and will next be seen in Bharat.

Jackie further reveals that he used to be a very good athlete in school, "but after I start smoking, my stamina went for a toss and health took a back seat." Confessing that he feared his children also might start smoking like him and harm their health, the actor says, "I enrolled both Tiger and Krishna into sports from the start and they continue to play football and basketball even now. They have successfully kept themselves away from smoking."

On being asked what was that driving force that helped him quit smoking, Jackie says it was because of "frequent requests from my children" that he managed to let go of the habit a few years back. "Tiger used to say, 'daddy stop it... stop it... stop it. Jab hum bachhon ko bolte hai ki aisa mat karo, we expect them to understand in one go. So, I realised that we, as parents, should also understand why the child is making a request and the intent behind it. When my children told me to stop it, I just quit. It took some time though, but now, I'm completely out of it," Jackie says with a smile.

You might get rid of the addiction but the urge to smoke remains. So, how does he deal with that? "I eat betel leaf or laung (cloves) to quench the urge for smoking," says Jackie, who is now following a healthy way of living that includes "doing pranayama, walking barefoot on the grass and staying close to nature."

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