13th March is No Smoking Day.
When I was younger, I hated going to my aunt's house because he smoked 20-30 cigarettes a day. The place was yellow with nicotine stains, smells and always made me cough. As I grew up I was completely anti-smoking, to the point I refused to go anywhere I knew people were smoking.
I then hit my early twenties and started my rebel phase - I got engaged at 18 to the man who introduced me to Mayfair Menthol's, with the saying of, 'If you've never tried it - how would you know?'. I'd now make excuses to go out and smoke, I'd go out for walks to the local shops - enough were I could have one there and one back. I thought I was in control at this phase and looking back I clearly know I was not, I was constantly thinking of ways of sneaking out for one.
After that relationship came to an end I came to the point of nearly stopping, this is when I met another man who mentally abused me. Smoking then was my one finger salute to him, he hated me doing it but yet again it was always when I wasn't with him. Thankfully the relationship ended but by this time I was hooked.
I always said I was a 'social' smoker so I'd smoke more on a night out with friends and in a group to be social. My hair, clothes, breath - everything smelled of smoke. My handovers were worse because I was starving my body of any nutrients and oxygen, I was placed on an inhaler because my hay fever was so bad as well as constantly having colds.
I smoked for 7 years before my and families health pushed me towards giving up, my heavy smoking aunt had just started treatment for lung cancer caused by the heavy smoking. We were told that any member of the family was now at a higher risk now it was in the family history. My own health was failing, It also was the time that smoking was banned in enclosed public places like pubs - It just seemed the right time.
One night I smoked my last one and didn't buy any more, going cold turkey was really hard and if I did it again I get the aids to help. I would of happily killed anyone for one cigarette during the first month, made harder being a retail customer service assistant. Gradually I got my taste and appetite back so I wanted to eat everything in sight and ended up putting nearly a stone in weight on. However, I could breath and cut down on my inhaler to nearly nothing, I smelt so much and felt healthier.
Since the 3 years since I officially gave up (after 5 attempts) I have had two puffs on a cigarette since and each time they've made me feel really sick. I still get cravings for the nicotine which is the chemical which triggers the addition releasing endorphins when smoked. I cannot seem to shake off spotting other smokers, I can smell and spot them straight away.
My own experiences have also motivate me to help others quit and have finished my phrase one of being a Stop Smoking Practitioner. This means I can offer advice and support to anyone who has made the step towards quitting as well as offer advice on what they use to help them through the cravings. If you do chose to make that step towards quitting then I wish you every success towards your goal. It's going to be tough at first but the support is out there, you can get free support on the NHS though your doctor and local pharmacy where can give you support and advice by your own Stop Smoking person.
I always happy to lend a ear, remember I've been there and done that...
You can get more information here http://smokefree.nhs.uk/
This is not a sponsored post - This is something I have been through and wanted to share to let other quitters they CAN do it.