Hi everyone. My name is Naomi and I’m the Health Strategy Manager here at LloydsPharmacy Ireland. I’m delighted to kick off the first post in our Quitters’ Blog, in line with the launch of our Smoking Control Service. I and some fellow quitters have nervously agreed to share our quitting journey with you this January, hopefully giving you some inspiration to quit the habit yourself or offer some moral support in your efforts to give up smoking too. By following along on our paths, maybe you’ll find something in common with us that will help you…
Before I introduce you to my fellow quitters, let me give you a quick run-down of my smoking story. Today is my first day off the dreaded cigarettes and I’m just about holding it together!
I started smoking as a teenager so at 33 years of age, I am now smoking almost 20 years – that fact alone scared me into seriously considering giving up. I was once a ‘social smoker’ but in recent years as work got busier and life got more stressful, it quickly turned into a way of relieving tension and worry. I have never genuinely wanted to give up before now. I like smoking. I like the way it makes me feel and the relief and satisfaction I get from it. I have no children and no pets so who am I giving up for? Well, it’s for my friends and my family. I’m one of very few smokers amongst my friends and I know they all hate it. A close friend was touched by cancer last year and I know it kills her to think of something happening to me. My father has also suffered from lung cancer in the past so it’s really important to me that I give my family one less reason to worry about me (I give them plenty of stress already!).
The cigarette I’ll miss most is first thing in the morning with my first cup of tea and I know I’ll find it difficult in the car on long journeys. I’m also very worried about weight-gain, having lost two stone last year. So my tactic is going to be use of a nicotine inhaler, along with increasing my level of exercise and eating lots and lots of chilli to boost my metabolism. Apparently sucking on Fisherman’s Friends has worked well for others so I’m going to try that too! My boyfriend and my friend are quitting with me so I’m hoping their support will help too.
So, I’ll keep you updated over the coming weeks and months to let you know how I’m getting on. My fellow bloggers will be doing the same and we’re all committed to keeping this honest and realistic. If we mess up, we’ll tell you! Because that’s life, isn’t it?! Let me introduce you to the folks you’ll be hearing from next. We really hope our experience helps you in your fight!
Alison is the manager of our branch in Raheny and today is her first day quitting too:
‘I’m 31 years old and I’ve been working in Raheny almost a year and have been working in the company the last 12 years. I’ve been smoking almost 16 years, usually 20 a day. The cigarette I will probably miss the most is my lunchtime one… just after eating! My plan is to go for a walk on my lunch to try to avoid missing the cigarette and eating too much!! The reasons for wanting to give up are:
Money – on an average month I am spending €300 – I’m in my own house the last 5 years and I keep thinking what I could have done with the money had it been put into my home!!
Health – I feel like it’s finally taking its toll on my health… also my features have started to change…stains on my teeth, skin has grey tone etc. etc..!!
My daughter – she is now 3 years old and I hate that she knows that when mum is going out the back garden she’s having a dirty cigarette! It would kill me if she grew up to be a smoker just because she had seen me doing it all her life.
My partner – he has never smoked and hates that I do! He is really into his fitness and it’s something that I would like the two of us to do together!
I’m giving up on 13th January, after my holidays. Wish me luck!’
Ciara is 25 and is one of our sales assistants also from our Raheny branch:
‘I’ve been smoking since I was 14 years. I was off them once before for two months and went back on them; I smoke twice as much now.
I would smoke ten cigarettes a day, sometimes more if I’m on a night out. I really want to give them up.
Here are my two main reasons why:
- To improve my health. I suffer really badly with my stomach and heartburn so smoking could be the main reason for this.
- To save money. The amount of money I spend on smokes is ridiculous! I could have myself a nice car or a holiday.
I will miss the morning smoke break in work and a smoke after my dinner with a cup of tea 🙂 But the hardest will be when I go out drinking!!
I’m going to use the nicotine inhaler to help me and join the gym to get fit and healthy.
Here’s to 2014 and a new me 🙂 ’
Kayleigh also works in our Raheny branch as a sales assistant:
‘I’ve been smoking the past 5 years since I was 15. I was off them for a few months but it didn’t work out and I went back on them. I would smoke ten a day and on a night out I would smoke a full box. The reasons why I want to stop is I’m sick of coughing all the time and having a sore throat. The 2nd reason is the money I spend is ridiculous. It kills me having to hand over a tenner every second day. I want be fitter and not be out of breath when I go up and down the stairs. I’m going to go cold I believe it’s all in your head if you want to stop you will 🙂
The thing I’ll miss the most is going to be the first smoke in the morning with a cup of tea or a smoke after my dinner. I think I’m going to find it very hard when I’m on a night out with all my friends as they all smoke and that’s where we would spend most of the night.
I really hope cold turkey works and I have the will power to say no 🙂 ’
Lyndsey is the manager of our branch on Main St., Blanchardstown:
‘I’m 27 years old and I’ve been smoking more than 10 years. There are two main reasons I want to give up:
- Like everyone, I need to start saving money; when I add it up, the money that I’ve been wasting on smoking is scary.
- My hubby is a real anti-smoker and I’d love to have another baby but the deal is that I’ve to be off them for 3 months before we can plan to have another child, which is fair I suppose as if the shoe was on the other foot I’d be the same.
I think I’m going to miss the morning smoke the most more as there’s nothing like a cup of tea and a smoke while driving to work with no kids in the car and the radio on full 🙂
I think I’ll find getting used to not needing/wanting the smokes as the hardest part, like before you leave the house it’s Keys…Phone…Purse…and then Smokes. I’ve decided to use nicotine patches to help me quit.
So here’s to a smoke free 2014 with more money in my pocket and more kids under my roof 🙂 ’
And finally, we’re delighted one of our customers David has also agreed to share his journey with you:
‘OK here’s my smoking life story. I’m 33 years old and have been smoking on and off for about 20 years. I smoke about 4-7 on a normal day and might smoke 20 in an evening if I go out drinking. My favourite brand is Camel Blue.
The reasons for wanting to quit smoking are because I am getting older and more and more likely to be struck down with some form of smoking-related illness – be it the coughs, sore throats, sinus infections or chest infections that happen every year from smoking, or else something more serious. Sport and fitness play a big part in my life so it definitely makes a huge difference to my ability to go for a big run or swim or anything where you breathe heavily. Also as I am a teacher, I am supposed to teach children of the dangers of smoking so it is quite hypocritical to arrive in the morning smelling of smoke.
This might be the 20th time that I have quit and I have gone cold turkey, used gum and also patches. I always seem to start again when I am out for a drink so this time I will give up alcohol for the first month so that I won’t be tempted! I’ve also decided to use nicotine patches to aid in my efforts. The cigarette I will miss most is the one right before bed.’
Best of luck to our brave bloggers and to all of you taking the plunge this January!