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The support of the Quit group was vital in helping Anthony give up smoking. This is his story...
I started smoking when I was 14 years. It was the biggest mistake I ever made. It took me 38 years before I quit for good, with help from my local stop smoking group.
I work in a pub in Carrigtwohill called ‘Cousins Home’ and the cigarette vending machine is part and parcel of the pub culture.
I could get cigarettes any time of the night or day. Before I quit, I was smoking 50-60 cigarettes a day.
I don’t believe in regrets but the money I spent on cigarettes is just frightening. It was the price increase gave me the push to quit, that and a bad cough that wouldn’t go away.
After seeing the advert for the Quit Smoking Support Group in the Irish Examiner, I made the decision to pick up the phone and join the free, six-week programme.
There were about 12 people in the group and all bar one succeeded in quitting.
Miriam O’Shea was our smoking cessation officer and she was very good and very supportive.
I found that the group gave you that extra incentive to quit.
You didn’t want to be the one that let the group down if you failed, so it certainly was a help to be in a group.
I hadn’t tried to quit before and I was worried about how difficult it was going to be. But I have to say that I was surprised at how easy it was. The night before I was due to quit, I bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked them before I went to bed.
The next day we all arrived at the group smoke-free and ready to quit.
I knew in my head that if I survived the first weekend, I would be ok.
Most of the group used the patches to relieve the cravings but I found the mist quite good.
The mist gave me that instant hit of something that I found good. It wasn’t the nicest but it was a help.
On the bad days, I would have a bottle of water in the fridge – I drank a lot of water in the first month!
I’m quit over a year now and I’m happy to say the bad cough is gone, I’m not as breathless as I used to be. Overall, I’m definitely feeling healthier.
I really enjoy the fresh air now when I’m out walking with my three dogs.
I really notice the strong smell from someone’s breath if they’ve been smoking and I think that I used to smell like too that before I quit.
Another plus is that I actually have more time for my job now. Before I quit smoking I was running in and out of the bar for a smoking break. Now I’ve more time to get things done.