How old were you when you started smoking and how long have you smoked?

I was 15 when I started smoking and I have smoked for 23 years! I was smoking between 16-20 cigarettes a day.

Do you remember why you started smoking?

Because everyone else was doing it.

What were your reasons for quitting?

My asthma and chest got quite bad, I had two courses of steroids in just two months, and it was starting to get expensive. I was worrying about what would happen to my kids too.

How did you access stop smoking support?

One to one appointments, the support I received was excellent.

Did you use stop smoking medication to help you quit?

I used nicotine patches and the inhalator. They were really helpful at taking the cravings away, I could really tell the difference. The inhalator was a good substitute to smoking.

What else has helped you stay quit?

I didn't want to be a quitter, so I told all my colleagues and children I was quitting. I loved not having to sit out in the back garden to smoke and knowing my car didn't smell anymore was great.

Has your health improved since you quit?

I don't get breathless, cough or wheeze anymore. My skin looks healthier too. I do have asthma but I'm rarely using my inhaler anymore.

Have you achieved anything since quitting that you couldn't do whilst smoking?

I did a 60 minute work out at the Metrodome without feeling that my chest was on fire, I hardly got breathless!

What do you like about not smoking?

There's so many reasons! Not having to sit outside in the cold, saving money and not having to put things off until I've had a cigarette. I'm not feeling stressed about whether I'm going to get outside for a cigarette at break time. 

Do you know how much money you've saved since quitting?

£2,375.10! With the money saved, I have 3 holidays booked for this year. I wouldn't have been able to afford these when I was smoking.

What would you say to someone who recently started smoking?

Don't do it! You'll never have any money and it's not fashionable anymore!


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