Five years ago, I went to Shao Xing to visit my cousin. My grandpa had been outside smoking when my aunt called him into the house. He left his cigarette on the front porch steps so he could continue smoking it when he returned.
My cousin was curious to see what smoking was really like, so he picked up the cigarette, put it in his mouth and puffed in smoke. Next, he was coughing his head off. He looked like he was about to throw up, but he stretched his hand out toward me to offer me the cigarette. “Come on try it,” he said.
I just grabbed the stupid thing out of his hand and smashed it with my shoe. Then, grandpa returned. “Where'd my cigarette go?” he asked. I just stood there, not wanting to admit what I had done, or what my cousin had done before that. But I knew that this was the moment of truth. I took a deep breath and began to explain.
I told my grandpa that I could't really believe he would choose to smoke. I was sure he knew how bad it was, so why did he do it? He said he started smoking when he was just a teenager. Now he was so addicted that he couldn't stop. It was just too hard to quit.
Here was an old man, my own grandpa, admitting there was something that he couldn't control that was probably slowly killing him. I stood there in disbelief, dumbfounded. Then I remembered this commercial I had seen on TV. There was this lady who was so addicted to cigarettes that she'd gotten really sick. Doctors had to cut a hole in her throat for her to breathe, and she was still smoking through the hole! It was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. Standing in front of my grandpa, I began to cry. What if that happened to him?
Ever since that day, my grandpa has cut back on cigarettes. I know one thing: I want to live a long time. I don't want to be sick or out of control of my life, the way that lady was. I'll never smoke. I'll take fresh air.
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