Dan’s Journey to Smoke-Free

Smoking is not something I have ever done with the exception of the occasional drag on a friends cigarette while a student and wanting to look ‘cool’ but in fact only ending up coughing loudly in a corner. However for many people including many of my friends, it is as much as part of their day as a cup of tea is part of mine, Dan(@danhennell)has kindly agreed to let us in on his journey to being smoke free!

I started smoking when I was about 14, but in my late teens I became just a social smoker. By the age of 24, I started smoking properly again, so I’ve been a ‘proper’ smoker for 10 years. With everything getting more expensive, I realised that smoking was costing me a fair bit, and also I became aware that I was smoking because I was bored rather than I actually needed a cigarette, and to be honest I wasn’t enjoying it like I used to.

I’ve always enjoyed walking and cycling, but have struggled to find the motivation to get out there and do it, working shifts makes it even harder! Then I discovered Geo-Caching and found myself going on mammoth walks, but often found it hard, especially hills where I’d get out of breath! I started to think that if I didn’t smoke, these walks would be a breeze! So i decided to just go for it one day, just stop!

The first day I decided not to smoke anymore, I was actually working a night shift and it was hard, I found myself eating to distract myself several raids of the snack machine later I had made it through day (or should I say ‘night’)one!

Trying to break the routine has been the hardest part so far, for example there is a certain part of my drive to work where I used to spark up, then again when I got to work I’d have another one. For the first few days I found myself thinking ‘It’s time for a cigarette’ then remembering I didn’t have any!

It has been very tough, I was on 20 a day, but I’m just taking each day as it comes. I’ve found drinking a glass of water or eating some gum when the cravings hit, even standing up or going for a little stroll to stretch the legs helped ease the cravings! Its been easier than using patches and all that stuff though, because with those there is a constant reminder that you are trying to quit.

The best bits about not smoking so far have been actually having cash on the last few days before pay day! Not smelling, being able to walk up a flight of stairs without wanting to pass out when you reach the top !! Also on a night out, not having to go outside in the cold or rain and not missing conversations and just generally feeling so much fitter. I’ve got a new taste for food too, I’ve found myself making fresh smoothies everyday and eating a lot healthier too.

In an average month i reckon i could save anywhere between £150 and £180 which is a lot of cash in anybodies book. Its really scary how much is adds up. Cigarettes are about £6.30 for 20 now when i started they were about £2. Ive already decided that I’m going to treat myself to something every month, whether it be a new t shirt or something for the car and I’m also sticking a little aside so i can go back to Canada next year!
If you’re thinking of quitting, just go for it, it’s all in the head. Just think about all the money you are saving as a result. Once you break the routine you will forget that you smoked.

For more information on quitting smoking visit the NHS site: Smokefree

This is not a sponsored post.