I started smoking when I was about 15, mainly because of peer pressure. Everyone else was doing it and even though I didn’t enjoy it in the beginning, I did it anyway.
I smoked mostly on weekends and a couple during the week but eventually it progressed to 20-30 rollies a day.
I’ve tried to stop before. I stopped for eight months once, and then again for two months. Each time, I’d make the mistake of thinking I could have just one. I could never get away with that!
It started to affect my fitness and my motivation. If I ran 10 metres, I would be completely out of breath. I’ve been wheezy for the past three or four years, and I have suffered from daily headaches.
Recently I decided I wanted to stop smoking for good. I needed to for my personal health and my family. I have young children and that was probably my biggest motivator to stop.
I went to my GP and the nurse referred me to the Southern Stop Smoking Service. It was hard to go to the first meeting. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was nervous but the coach was great and I was put at ease straight away. You’re not there to be lectured, they’re just there to help and offer support. I found the phone calls and the support helpful. It was important to know someone was there and that I could ring her any time.
I used nicotine patches and gum and I found it helpful that the coach explained how to properly use them. I had used them both before and I’d just stick on a patch and expect to get a result and chew the gum and get rid of it. I didn’t realise each product had specific ways it needed to be used to be effective.
I’ve been smoke free almost two months now. I really don’t miss smoking and I don’t really even think about it. I can’t believe how bad it smells!
The benefits of stopping for me have been massive. I don’t get headaches anymore, the wheezing is gone and I can run around with my kids so much easier. The money I was spending (about $140-$200 a week) is sitting in my bank account and keeps rolling over to the next week, which is amazing!
I’m so pleased to be smoke free and I’m looking forward to never touching a cigarette again.