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One look at local hunkle Zheng Geping and you know that he’s as fit as a fiddle. But did you know, that the 56-year-old was a “chain smoker" for twenty-odd years? And at one point, he was even smoking up to “40 cigarettes a day”, especially when there were overnight shoots.

But now, he’s been smoke-free for 4,380 days, after successfully kicking the habit in 2009. So, how did he do it?

When 8days.sg caught up with Geping over the phone, the actor revealed that it took him four different attempts to quit smoking, and that now, some 11 years on, he feels “disgusted" whenever he catches a whiff of cigarette smoke.

“I picked up smoking during NS. I was with the police force then, and when I started working, I started smoking more," said Geping. "Cigarettes were a lot cheaper back then, they were only S$2.50 [a pack],” he said. [Ed: Cigarettes now retail for around S$13 a pack.}

“[I smoked] when I was bored, stressed, or happy, basically whenever I felt all sorts of emotions. When you're young, you think that you're fit, but as you grow older, when you smoke too much, you'll feel lethargic and breathless,” he added.

But as much as he smoked, Geping made sure that he never brought his habit home.

“I tried not to smoke at home. Ever since my wife [Hong Huifang]’s first pregnancy [with their daughter, Tay Ying], I stopped smoking at home.” he said.

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