He quit smoking for his little boy

Mr Kenny Sim stopped smoking for his son, Xavier, with the support of his wife.
PHOTO: He quit smoking for his little boy

Assistant executive Kenny Sim, 32, had been smoking for 17 years.

But thanks to the birth of his son Xavier last September, and the encouragement of his wife Charlize, 34, Mr Sim kicked the habit.

He lit his last cigarette on Dec 31 last year and has made good on his New Year's resolution not to light up another stick.

Mr Sim had started smoking as a teenager, and under the influence of school friends.

His smoking habit escalated when he started working and had more money to buy cigarettes.

"I started working after national service, so I had more money. I also smoked to ease my work stress," said Mr Sim of his previous 20 sticks a day habit.

He tried on numerous occasions to quit, especially after meeting Charlize in 2008.

She does not like the smell of smoke.

He tried nicotine gum and oral medications prescribed by doctors to stop his smoking habit, but these did not work.

He also tried to gradually cut down on his smoking to ease himself out of the habit. But once stress kicked in, he found himself smoking more to cope.

Even though he resolved to quit since meeting his wife, the nicotine often got the better of him.

Mrs Sim revealed: "I only found out he smoked when we started dating. From then, he kept promising he would quit and seemed sincere, but these would usually be empty promises.

"We continued to quarrel about this even after marriage."

Mr Sim finally decided to put in more effort when he found out their baby son was due.

"My wife often reminded me of how my secondhand smoke could affect my baby. It's the least I could do for my child," he said.

"But I never knew I could succeed."

However, even though he promised to stop smoking the day baby Xavier was delivered, he faltered once again.


"It was not so easy, even though I promised. I was even scolded by a nurse at the delivery ward about my smoking habit," he said.

Finally, he decided to start anew when 2014 came around, using the Health Promotion Board's "I QUIT" resources.

"It helped me a lot by keeping track of my smoking and giving daily reminders. I was also inspired by the stories of others who had quit," said Mr Sim.

The first day he gave up the sticks, Mr Sim said he felt like a "zombie".

By the third day, he felt like giving up.

But his wife talked him out of it by telling him how disappointed she would be.

It was his breakthrough moment, and from then on, he realised he could actually do it with sheer determination.

"I don't want to go back to smoMr Kenny Sim stopped smoking for his son, Xavier, with the support

of his wife.king. Whenever I felt the urge, I would drink water and fruit juice, or divert my attention to my baby.

"I now have more time as I used to lose 10 minutes each hour to smoking. I concentrate better, and the $300 I save a month now goes to Xavier," he said.

Mrs Sim added: "I always remind him that he must be a respectable and responsible father. I don't want him to regret one day if his smoking has any effects on Xavier.

"Not smoking is a way for him to show love to his son."

This article was first published on July 29, 2014. Get The New Paper for more stories.