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Geraldine's advice

Geraldine has one piece of advice for anyone trying to stop smoking - "It's never just one".

It all started when I was almost two weeks into quitting. Feeling confident and proud of the fact, I was going strong after being a 25-a-day smoker.

My partner and I were both quitting when my in-laws arrived. On arrival, his mum (my first time meeting her) offered my partner a smoke. He took it and said "what the heck, one won't hurt", and without hesitation sparked up. A feeling of disappointment washed over me as I saw him give in so easily and without a fight. It also made me feel a little out of the group, left out almost.

She then went on to offer me one. I explained that I was trying to give up and turned down her offer. The rest of the day went on, in which we finished the night off with a few drinks. Lovely warm weather, BBQ going. After a couple of ciders, mum-in-law pulled out her packet and offered one to my partner, who said yes. I excused myself and went inside - temptation was at its highest. Sitting inside like a loner while everyone was laughing, talking and smoking, I thought to myself, 'my partner gave up, why should I keep going, I'm missing out on the social side because I can't sit out there without wanting to smoke. I feel anti-social towards my in-laws'. What do I do? I go out and politely ask for a smoke. My partner looked at me, surprised, but didn't say a thing as he was in no position to comment.

My mum-in-law said, "it's okay, I won't judge you. I'm quitting after my holidays spent with you, we can quit then". I thought, great! I didn't want to become a full time a smoker again, so I'll do that. It would be more like a break.

Three weeks, they were here for. It's been 2 months since they've been, and my partner and I are on day 2 of quitting smoking. It's so hard, but I know now that if I had of quit then, I would be so much better off. In so many ways I'm kicking myself. In saying that, I've willed myself to start quitting again or else I'll be kicking myself in future if I don't!

Don't risk it, don't have 'just one'. You don't know it, but the habit creeps up on you. You find yourself having one or two more smokes more and before you know it, you're back to where you started. How many times have you heard of smokers complaining about smoking and how they want to give up, but they can't? Or, how it's expensive to smoke? Telling younger people it's bad for you while contradicting yourself - squished in the smoking area for example! Show them it's possible, rid yourself of those minute problems... ask yourself is it worth all that you sacrifice? Wishing you the best of luck on your path to becoming smoke free!

If you've had a slip-up, know they are common! Read Slips ups are a common part of quitting for more info and tips!

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