I began smoking at 11: YSR

HYDERABAD, MARCH 24. The Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, has said that he began smoking cigarettes at the age of 11.This candid confession by Dr. Reddy, which surprised a large gathering came at, a workshop on tobacco-free initiative programme for the policy makers here on Thursday. The Chief Minister recalled his past experience as a chain smoker.

"Though I began smoking at 11 years, freedom came to me at the age of 14 when I joined a hostel to study PUC. Slowly, I became a chain smoker," he said. "But I took a conscious decision to quit smoking when I attained the age of 40 and it is 15 long years since I had puffed a cigarette," he pointed out.

Dr. Reddy pointing to the TDP leader, N. Janardhan Reddy, a doctor himself, said that the latter used to smoke more than 100 cigarettes a day. After attaining 45 years, he suddenly stopped smoking and became obese, the Chief Minister pointed out.

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