“I smoked from about 17 until I was 35 and was on 20 a day at the end. I had tried a number of times to quit, succeeding from a few days to 6 months at one stage. As a nurse, I knew all the risks, I gave stop-smoking advice, but retained the habit. I even undertake breathing surveillance for workers in industry and seeing my ‘lung age’ reach 54, when I was only 34, was still not a good enough trigger.
“I started noticing pins and needles in my fingers when smoking more heavily and was aware of the peripheral neuropathy that can result from small vessel damage – this was my cue, so I went cold-turkey.
If I could only give one piece of advice it would be this – everyone I talk to who re-starts smoking, has a good excuse. The kids were stressing me… the dog died… I was going through a divorce, tough time in work, lost my job… etc. etc.”
“Whenever I was craving, I’d find myself looking for an excuse; something to blame. My mum was very poorly at one point and I thought this was it – a reason to re-start, but thankfully I relented. There are no excuses that warrant re-starting, it’s just another way of kidding yourself.”