This is his story:
Chewing a packet of gum a day has saved me $400-$500 a week now that I don’t smoke.
I look back now and I’m absolutely shocked at the amount I was smoking. It was so much money!
I started when I was about 13. It was the “in thing” to do, and you didn’t hear about the health effects of it back then. It started off as a weekend thing with friends but of course it escalated.
I really enjoyed the habit and I’d never made any serious attempt to quit.
I was smoking between 40 and 50 tailor made cigarettes a day and spending up to $500 a week, if not more.
Earlier this year I visited my GP and he asked about putting me in touch with the Southern Stop Smoking Service. I said yes although I wasn’t really serious about it. The North Otago coach contacted me and I decided to go and see her.
We talked about cutting my smoking down to 15 a day for the first week, but I knew it had to be all or nothing or I never would have stopped.
I had two more cigarettes that day and that was it. That was 24 May and I haven’t had one since. I really surprised myself, I didn’t think I would do it just like that.
I’m not saying it was easy though. When I wasn’t thinking about work I was thinking about cigarettes but I just had to keep telling myself no. The first four or five weeks were especially hard.
I used the patches and gum supplied to me by the coach and found them helpful. The coach was also very helpful and supportive.
I feel so much better now. I’m not coughing anymore and life is so different now that it’s not ruled by cigarettes. I’ve been putting my spare money aside but I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet.
I think about cigarettes occasionally now but not very often. I wouldn’t want to go back down that road again.
I’m absolutely rapt that I was able to stop smoking. I didn’t think that I’d be able to do it but I was prepared to give it a go. I’m so glad I did!