While waiting for my flight to take off, I noticed an obese gentleman painstakingly passing through the aisle and sat right next to me. As my nose is sensitive to dust and smoke, I immediately noticed a strong scent of tobacco smoke from my newfound neighbour’s clothes.
Nevertheless, I offered him a smile of courtesy and observed that he was out of breath while frantically ransacking his bag for something. Finally, he produced a blue inhaler and quickly inhaled two puffs. Upon a slight relief of his shortness of breath, he proceeded to take another four puffs.
“Are you ok?” I asked as I looked at his trembling and sweaty hands.
“No problem, I’ll be fine in a bit. Just an old problem”, he replied with a smile.
It seemed to me that that was a common problem he faced and being a Pharmacist, I couldn’t help but to start observing this curious gentleman. The inhaler he used was a medication to relieve asthma attacks, yet within his shirt pocket lies a box of cigarettes. From the smell of it, he must have had a smoke just a short while ago. As he sat beside me, I can still hear him breathing heavily and I believe he has been living with this condition for quite a long while.
“Sorry to disturb, but the way you used your inhaler isn’t entirely correct and it will cause you to use more doses than necessary. Also, you might want to consider quitting smoking.” I just had to advise him.
“Young man, when I had this illness, you were just kid…” he replied with disdain and closed his eyes to sleep.
I could only offer an ironic smile.
While waiting for my ride in the arrival hall, I see a familiar figure at a distance casually lighting yet another cigarette.
Please do yourself a favour, save yourself!
Translated by: Gan Pou Wee