Updated: Mar 10
Aaron is one of our amazing LANDED volunteers. Recently, he has stopped smoking cigarettes and we asked him some questions about his cessation journey.
With the end of 2019 in sight, a lot of smokers will decide to quit smoking as part of their new years' resolution.
Aaron hopes that his experience of stopping smoking will help to encourage and support others to quit. We conducted a short Q&A interview with him which you can read below.
1. How long have you smoked?
- 4 years.
2. Why did you start smoking?
- All my friends at school smoked, I thought it looked cool and decided to try it.
3. How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?
- Depending on the day, I smoked around 15 – 25.
When I was at work I smoked more as I got bored and was easy to just go out for a smoke. On nights out I smoked more than usual, the smoking areas at clubs is a sociable area so I would make quite a lot of friends there. When I first started smoking I smoked normal fags, then I moved onto roll-ups.
4. Why do you smoke roll-ups instead of fags?
- Roll-ups are a bit cheaper for me to buy, I usually spent around £18 a week on tobacco and other products, compared to almost £10 a day when smoking normal fags.
5. What made you decide to quit smoking?
- Many reasons made me decide to stop smoking. In the past, I have tried to stop several times to stop smoking – all of which have been unsuccessful.
There are a lot of negative health effects which come from smoking, the amount of money that I have spent could have been saved and used for something else – maybe saving up for a car. I and the LANDED staff looked at how much money I was spending a year on fags – this totalled almost £2000 a year. This shocked me, I did not realise how much money I was spending – this was one of the things that encouraged me to stop smoking.
Also, I recently went for an operation on my throat which I had to stop smoking for – this was my main motivation to stop smoking. The doctor told me if I continued to smoke the recovery would have been a lot harder and possibly more painful.
6. What did you use to quit smoking?
- I have attempted to stop smoking on many occasions – each time having a different approach. The first time I tried to stop smoking I just completely stopped and didn’t use anything to help me. This proved unsuccessful, so I tried to gradually cut down how many fags I was smoking each day. This worked for a small period of time. I have also tried using different vapes and e-cigs to help me stop smoking. These worked but as I was still using nicotine when I wasn’t using my e-cig I was still craving it and ended up smoking again. This most recent time that I have stopped smoking I have completely cut out all nicotine, and when I crave that hit of nicotine I have a piece of chewing gum or a mint, this keeps me occupied and stops me from smoking.
7. Did you access any help services to stop smoking?
- Within my area there is access to stop smoking services, I phoned the number on a poster I saw and went along to the stop smoking clinic for help. I got free nicotine chewing gum and patches. The nurse was really nice and talked to me like an adult.
I didn't really like the gum, but I felt that the patches helped a lot. After a few weeks, maybe just over a month, I'm not sure. I stopped craving fags. I got myself an e-cig which also helped me a lot, it only had a small dose of nicotine in it and using that plus the patched I managed to stop smoking completely.
If I ever start smoking fags again then I would happily use the service again.
8. Did you receive any support from your family and friends in your attempt in stopping smoking?
- My family and friends were all really supportive of me. They all played a part in me stopping smoking – encouraging me that I don’t need to smoke and that I will feel a lot better for it.
9. How do you feel now that you have stopped smoking?
- At first, I was a bit stressed and could be quite snappy as I wasn’t having nicotine. I felt like a lot of things were irritating me and constantly just wanting a fag for the first week or so. I can now feel that my breathing has improved a lot and I feel like I am starting to get fitter. I also notice that my clothes no longer constantly smell of smoke.
10. If you had to give advice to someone thinking about stopping smoking, what would you say?
- I would tell people to just power through all of the cravings and ensure that they have some form of support around them to help them stop – such as family, friends, teachers, youth workers or colleagues. The more support that you have then the easier it will be.
I would also tell them to contact their local stop smoking service, they really helped me.
Are you thinking about stopping smoking? - Contact your local stop smoking service below:
Quit Your Way into the New Year with our support!
Are you thinking of stopping smoking in the New Year? With the right support, you can Quit Your Way for good.
Call 0800 84 84 84 to speak with an advisor today or visit www.quityourway.scot and request a quit pack to help you get started.