There would have to be a major, stressful, crisis in my life for me to light a cigarette again.
With the help of the Southern Stop Smoking Service I have now been smoke free for four months!
I started smoking when I was about 19 when I was feeling stressed at work. My sister was smoking at the time, and she said ‘here, shut up, and have a cigarette.’
Since then smoking has been my go-to in stressful times. I’ve given up over the years but stress would always cause me to start again. I smoked menthol cigarettes and spent about $25 a week.
I got myself down to a maximum of three a day for quite some time, and then in September last year I decided I needed to stop completely.
I went to see my doctor and while in the waiting room I noticed a flyer advertising the Southern Stop Smoking Service. I got it touch, went to see the Central Otago Stop Smoking Coach, set a quit date, and stopped smoking two weeks ahead of it.
I was just so determined, and all I needed was that extra little push to stop smoking. The coach gave me patches and lozenges and within three weeks I didn’t even need the lozenges. I’m down to a low dose of patches now.
Sometimes I miss it, and I have been tempted, but that would just be going backwards, and I know I won’t smoke again. I enjoy going outside and walking around the garden with my headphones on rather than smoking. I enjoy having more money in my pocket, and being able to walk further now.
The stop smoking coach was a bundle of energy, a highly positive person, and supported me right throughout.
My advice to anybody wanting to stop smoking is to get onto the Southern Stop Smoking Service programme because you get the support and the means to do it. It gives you that extra little push that you need to give up. It would be so much harder without the programme.