James recently made the decision to stop smoking after 41 years, we caught up with him to see how he found the experience and this is what he told us.
I have been a smoker ever since I was 14 years old and I am 55 now, that makes it that I have been smoking for 41 years! I started smoking because both my mum and dad smoked all their lives so it became taught behaviour. I never really thought about stopping because I didn't want to, I had never been a drinker, so I considered my cigarettes as a treat for working so hard.
As a young man I worked seven days a week to support my young son and wife, then I passed my test to drive a truck and spent time away from home travelling around Europe still working ridiculous hours to pay my way in life. Some people would consider the free trips around Europe a very good job and to be fair I enjoyed most of it, although it should be considered that wherever you go and whatever you are able to see it’s not very good fun on your own.
I was made redundant recently and was able to spend time at home meeting people I had not seen for many years and a realisation of what I had missed, although a new job and less money I had to make a choice between cigarettes and more family life. I prepared myself to stopping smoking to be able to reduce my expenses so that I could spend more time with family and friends, I knew the journey would be hard although I considered that the love for my family was greater than the love for the cigarettes.
It is hard and the first couple of weeks were torture, I got to 20 days and relapsed and had a cigarette and spent a couple of days smoking again, when I saw what it had done to my bank balance I soon stopped. The cigarettes were costing me £20 a day and I have been quit on and off for 45 days which adds up to £900, although much more than that I get to spend more time with my loved ones because I don’t have to earn so much.
I have started to enjoy life more, feel a lot better and purchased a pedal bike with the money I have saved. I would just like to add what is more important your cigarettes or your family because I know what is more important to me.