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Andrea Quit and Won

One of ten You Quit You Win competition winners, Andrea shares her story of how quitting her 40-year smoking habit allowed her huge financial and lifestyle gains, affording her an overseas holiday every year.

I’d never been overseas before – the thought of not being able to have a cigarette on the long flight had always stopped me – but since quitting I haven’t looked back.

I started smoking at the age of 14 years and smoked for four decades. I’d tried to quit twice before but didn’t stick to it until my third attempt. Since quitting for good in 2010, I’ve saved $65,000! It’s afforded me the opportunity to go on an overseas holiday every year. I’d never been overseas before – the thought of not being able to have a cigarette on the long flight had always stopped me – but since quitting I haven’t looked back. I love this way of spending my money way more than I ever loved smoking!

I think what made me commit to quitting in the end was a change in mindset; I finally felt ready. I used nicotine replacement therapy in the form of Champix which I found helpful, as well as quit apps which kept me on track in terms of habitual behaviours. I had other little tricks to help break my habit - during breaks at work for instance, I still stepped out with my usual group to chat but while others had a cigarette, I took a nice cup of coffee.

As well as the financial gains, quitting was also a win for my fitness, allowing me to participate in Run Melbourne which I would not have been able to do as a pack-a-day smoker. I helped to raise money for a project that builds homes for people with disability in the Echuca area. It felt so great to be able to enjoy Run Melbourne and give back to the community.

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