I’d been smoking 20-30 cigarettes a day for 48 years; a habit I started in my teens and never tried to stop. Everyone smoked in those days, it was normal, and it just became ingrained in my lifestyle.
It wasn’t expensive to smoke back then. In those days’ smokes were 30c for a packet of 20 and once I started working it was easy to afford.
I knew it wasn’t a great habit and eventually I started to notice I was feeling tired all of the time, I was coughing often and throughout the years I lost all of my teeth due to gum disease, which I was told was caused by smoking.
I hadn’t tried to stop in the past. There was the odd day I’d think about stopping but I never did. In fact, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to.
I ended up with a bit of a health scare (not smoking related) and visited the doctor. He mentioned I should probably stop smoking and I agreed, so I got on to Quitline but that didn’t work for me.
That’s when I googled stop smoking help in the Southern District and found the Southern Stop Smoking Service. After contacting them I was referred to the stop smoking coach here in Oamaru.
I met with the coach who gave me patches and lozenges and three days later I stopped smoking. That was about 20 weeks ago.
Liz has been a great help. She is non-judgmental, she listened to me and gave me ideas and showed me how to use the NRT. She has given me the confidence to kick the habit and I certainly noticed that being able to see the person made a huge difference.
I’m 63-years-old now and I feel great. My cough is gone, it cleared up quickly, and my smell and taste has changed. I enjoy making curry and I used to love it spicy but now I’ve had to cut back on the spice because it’s too hot! Smoking must have numbed my taste and smell!
I had been spending about $100 a week to smoke, but since I’ve stopped I’m able to spend my money on something that doesn’t damage my health – I bought myself a brand new Audi! I would never have bought that if I had still been smoking. It’s my reward.
My wife and I have been getting out and doing the gardens and taking the dogs to the beach for a walk daily, which we really enjoy.
I don’t miss smoking and I’ll never start again. That chapter of my life is closed, done and dusted.