My name is Neroli White, I live in Wanaka, and I smoked cigarettes for more than 30 years. I’m so proud to say I’ve been smoke free now for three months.
I was surprised at how easy I managed to stop smoking after a 20-25-smoke-a-day habit. I started smoking when I was 14 and the older I got the more I smoked. It was a lot cheaper back then.
I enjoyed smoking. I could be a highly strung person and I found it helped to relax me. I didn’t drink so smoking was my thing. I actually enjoyed smoking right up until the day I quit.
I’d often think about stopping but I would always feel I wasn’t ready. When smoking became anti-social I became even more stubborn not to give up. I don’t like being told what to do and I felt like smokers were being picked on.
I had no intention to quit but in September I was admitted to hospital and I couldn’t smoke. On the second day I was offered a patch so I put one on and thought, why not?
I’m a very strong willed person so once the idea was in my head that was it, and I thought if I could go a whole day, why not keep going?
I didn’t think it would be easy to give up because I’d smoked for so long, but actually it wasn’t that hard. The hospital put through a referral to the Southern Stop Smoking Service and the Lakes District stop smoking coach got in touch.
If it hadn’t been for the coach showing me how to use the patches and lozenges properly I probably would have started smoking again. She was amazing.
I found her home visits very helpful in keeping me on track. I’m so proud of myself since this was my first serious quit attempt and it’s been three months now. If I can quit, anyone can quit!
Not smoking hasn’t really worried me too much, and I’m enjoying having a lot more money.
Do I think I will start smoking again? No, probably not. It’s not that hard to stop and remain smoke free if you have the right support and at the end of the day, it’s your choice.