Kamran Ramadan Success Story

What was your reason for stopping smoking?

My reasons for quitting smoking were better health and a healthier lifestyle. I have a family and I know smoking also affects them. I also wanted to improve my finances. I used to get out of breath easily especially when walking, I would get out of breath quite quickly. I also wanted to improve my stamina in the gym.

Have you stopped smoking previously?

I tried smoking many years ago but failed. However, that time I didn't try properly. I tried doing it on my own and only managed to do it for a few days but was still smoking in between. My tip is if you fail for the first time and many times after, don't give up. Keep trying. If you fail, it's not the end of the world, you can have another attempt until you succeed. Don't think you can't do it, yes you can. 

Before your first appointment, did you believe you would be successful?

No, because I have not managed to stop smoking properly and there was not much support available. Now we have vapes available through the services which is very helpful with quitting smoking. It gives you something you have in your pocket. It helped with the whole routine. When you're bored the first thought you have is you want to have a cigarette but the vape can help distract you from it. 

Did you use stop smoking medication to help you quit?

Not medication as such but I have been on the vape. I have been offered other options but opted for a vape. I did not want to be dependent on any medication. I felt this was the best option for me.

Apart from medication, what else helped you to quit and stay smoke free?

Self-motivation and motivation, encouragement, and regular appointments from my advisor Razia. Once you start you get yourself on the right track. The services overall is great, and you get good vibes from it to keep you motivated. I also get a lot of encouragement from my family. You must remember that are doing this for yourself more than anything, however, I have a family and loved ones and I know it affects them as well, I always keep this in mind.

In previous years how have you handled smoking during Ramadan?

I found it very difficult. Especially when you must fast for long hours. I would usually smoke more before the fast started as I knew I was not going to be able to smoke for the next few hours. I realised that, if you are desperate for a cigarette, you are not concentrating on the fast as good and doing the good things during Ramadan. So instead of fasting, worshiping,ing and prayers, and doing good deeds, your whole day is focused on the next time you will be able to have a cigarette. 

Do you think whilst fasting this year you will find it difficult to stay smoke free? What will you do to help tackle this?

No, the other way around. I quit smoking it will put me in a better situation. I've been through this already. When you're not able to eat or drink and on top of that you can't smoke, you find it very difficult. I think I stopped smoking just in time ready for Ramadan and I would encourage others to start as soon as possible. Stopping smoking is like detoxing, just like fasting. Also, as a Muslim, it's easier to quit. If you can do fasting, you can also quit smoking. Ramadan is a great time to quit. 80% of the time you are already not smoking, the 20% you can do it with willpower. Why not use this time to quit completely. Use this period to quit bad habits. Anything that harms the body is haram (forbidden), so follow this.

Do you have any tips to current smokers to help them quit during Ramadan?

Keep motivated and bring positive changes. Ramadan is the best time to do it.

What do you like the most about being a non-smoker?

I feel good and healthy. When I smoke everything is a blur and my brain is in a fog. Stopping smoking makes everything come out of that blur. I feel fresh and everything is more pleasant. Once you quit smoking you step to the better side of things. Stopping smoking also improved my taste and smell.

Has your health improved since your quit and if so, in what ways?

Yes, as mentioned before, my overall health has improved, and I no longer get out of breath easily. I no longer worry about going out for a cigarette, especially in winter and I no longer smell of smoke. Stopping smoking basically improves everything. I feel like my overall family life has improved too.

What have you found helpful whilst accessing Yorkshire Smokefree service?

My advisor Razia has been very helpful. The service is easily accessible for anyone and is easily led on. I was offered options and opted for a vape. I got the vape straight away and it was a smooth process. The service has a positive impact and gives you confidence that someone is there for you and supporting you. As a smoker, you might think the service is our enemy, but they are here to help. When you realise this, it changes everything.

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