I was approximately 14 years old when I started smoking. I smoked on and off for the past 6-7 years, the last few years especially.

My parents are smokers, I used to try cigarettes out of my mums ashtray, continued with this because everyone smoked. I also didn't have many friends and I was bullied so having a cigarette behind the bike sheds was a place to try and make some friends, plus cigarettes were easily accessible.

I initially looked at stopping due to living with my partner and him quitting due to a deterioration in his asthma, I did want to quit but my mental health wasn't good, I was also spending my universal credits and borrowed money to buy cigarettes, at one point I was even suicidal and saw cigarettes as a way to shorten my life!

I was admitted to hospital with a broken coccyx and this was first introduction into a proper smoke free service.

During this time, I was also diagnosed with asthma, then I was diagnosed with a slow beating heart, in effect I was told my heart was failing, heart problems as it turns out are a family problem and I was classed as very high risk and I am only 21, it felt like a kick in the teeth.

Before I began this current quit and while in the process of it all I have had 2 heart attacks and 3 cardiac arrests, 2 of these were after having my pace maker fitted due to complications.

At times I have felt like I have wanted to give up, like its not worth it and I may as well just smoke, but now I am not smoking I can definitely tell the difference, I am not craving I just occasionally 'want' one but it passes.

I accessed the support via the telephone, it was excellent.

I used a combination of patches and an ecig that I have gradually reduced the nicotine on.

Though I am still using my ecig I have found the patches a massive help especially when I have been too ill to use my ecig.

Support from my advisor Stevie, someone who is patient and friendly and has allowed me to talk things through, sometimes her call maybe the only one I got all week and I try not to burden my partner and family with issues as they all have a lot to deal with so its good to have her there.

My health improving is a tricky one, apart from my cardiac issues I can say yes I do, my mental health is getting better and I can breathe a lot better. I am also no longer getting constant throat and chest infections.

Since quitting I have bought myself a new car! I have never ever had a brand new show room car before, and stopping smoking helped me to save for the deposit.

What I like about not smoking is my breath, it doesn't smell! And I am able to spend more time with family instead of having to leave their company all the time to smoke, I always felt so rude. I also let myself be closer to people as I no longer feel like I smell of smoke, my teeth are a lot whiter and my tongue is healthier.

I also now have a kitten called Lilly, I have always wanted a pet but I felt I could not afford to look after one, I now feel financially secure enough.

Since I started not smoking back in July, I estimate I have saved around £840!

I have plans to treat myself, and I would like to do up all my house as at the start of this journey I lived in a bedroom at my mums house.


Find us on Facebook Subscribe to us on YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram