Why I supported my friend to go smoke-free

07 Jun 2019 · 3 min read
Your soul mate can unsmoke you when you need it the most. Volkan gave his smoker best friend Mehmet the support he needed to quit cigarettes.
Best friends crop

They say you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And, honestly, that’s a great thing, because who else can really save you when you’re in trouble with your family?

When your friend is struggling with a problem, it’s the perfect moment to show your pal how much they mean to you by supporting them.

From heart-to-heart conversations to pulling all-nighters just to enjoy each other’s company and cheer them up.

Some will opt for a card, others will pick up a silly gift. Most of us will give our chums a shout-out on social media. But Volkan (above, left) went well above and beyond for his buddy Mehmet (above, right) – he unsmoked him.

Their friendship started back in 2007 when they were both tax assistants at a multinational company. They met in front of the hotel room that their manager had assigned them during a training week in Istanbul.

“It took a simple handshake to understand he was special,” Volkan says of Mehmet. They shared stories until the small hours of the morning and told each other their hopes and dreams until they couldn’t keep their eyes open anymore.

After that training week, “we kept in touch almost every day, mainly on the phone, as he was based in Ankara, a seven-hour drive from my home town, Izmir,” explains Volkan. Then they both fell in love with two young ladies, got engaged and, finally, married. 

I’m happy because I feel I did something good for my best friend.
Volkan, Best friend

“I was his best man, and he was mine,” Volkan recalls. “Mehmet was very much in love with his wife, and they soon had a baby. Then my wife and I had a baby, and we spent every weekend together as a big family, it was a joyous time,” he says. The two sons began playing soccer together, and Volkan’s and Mehmet’s wives got along well, too.

But last winter, Mehmet phoned his best friend, sobbing: things were not going so smooth at his house, and the couple were considering a divorce.

“It was sad, like losing a part of the family,” Volkan observes. And things got worse when Mehmet admitted that, during those lonely nights as his marriage was unraveling, he started smoking. “He started with a few, and then it became a pack a day,” says Volkan.

“It was time to have a chat with him,” adds Volkan . But hard as he tried, he couldn’t convince Mehmet to quit entirely.

However, during a business trip, one of Volkan’s colleague talked to Mehmet about smoke-free products. “Then he and I researched it together on the internet and consulted a couple of friends who already used one,” says Volkan.

Mehmet didn’t quit altogether, but at least he is no longer smoking cigarettes. “It was a tough time for him, for all of us, but I’m happy because I feel I did something good for my best friend.”

No matter how messy our lives can get, our best buddies are always there to help.

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