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Jay's journey

Jay was influenced by his family, he started smoking at four. But thirty years later, he's found a reason to quit and he's reaping the benefits!

I have been smoking since I could remember (around age of 4). I didn't put it to my mouth but I had to endure my dad's smoking. In the car with the windows closed, in the house, at the dinner table. He would get up in the middle of the night so he could smoke.

He had a hard life with World War 2 destroying his homeland and turning him into a refugee at the age of 18. The years he should have enjoyed his youth, he spent trying to stay alive. He eventually died of cancer because of smoking, and I remember watching him trying to smoke even as he only had one month to live.

Finally he threw the cigarette away and stopped smoking. He died shortly afterwards after wasting away for 12 months. I used to buy my dad's smokes for 20 cents a packet, and after watching him smoke I decided it was the thing men did. He was shocked when he caught me smoking, lectured me and then just accepted it.

Thirty years later I decided I had enough. I smoked 8 cigarettes per day. In social circumstances I could go through a packet in a few hours. The cricket club, the footy club, the soccer club, any social setting where alcohol was freely available. Most smoker's think about stopping but fall over when they try it. I decided to go cold turkey because I was sick of being a slave to nicotine.

I gave away coffee and alcohol and used mints to keep my mouth fresh and the cravings away. Two weeks after quitting I could not believe that my cravings had disappeared. I waited for the inevitable coughing which I had seen many ex-smokers go through when they quit. It didn't happen and in fact I have never felt better. My stress levels have dropped by 70% and I sleep better. My clothes no longer stink of cigarette smoke. I can now have a drink and not have an urge to run outside and hide in the shadows like a leper to smoke.

To all smokers out there, do yourself a favour and quit now. Deep down you know you want to do it. No more excuses.Once you have done it you will not believe that you could have ever been a slave to a stick of poison.

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