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Rachel used the kitchen sink

Rachel has been quit for 8 years. How did she do it? With everything she had.

I'd been smoking since I was 15

All the cool people in my family smoked, my friends smoked and when I became a psych nurse back in the 80's, it became a way of connecting with people, staff and patients.

I never liked the experience of being addicted to something. All my quit attempts had been cold turkey, even when nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) was becoming available, as if it was a badge of honour to do it through sheer willpower. So I stayed off for a couple of years, back on for a few, off for a few more, each time starting because "just one won't hurt...". Each time, stopping became harder.

This last time I've been off for 8 years. The difference? I threw EVERYTHING at it that I needed to! Nicotine inhalators, gum, patches. I would've taken medication if I needed to. NRT WORKS! I worded up my friends who smoked - that if I asked for a drag or to bot a smoke, could they please say "just wait for 5 minutes". Surprisingly, the friends who couldn't do that for me were the ones I spent less time with when I was feeling a bit wobbly. I realised, FINALLY, that there's no "one won't hurt" for me.

Eight years on and I still occasionally dream of smoking. It took a lot of effort and practice to again call my self a non-smoker, but I did it. So can you. For me, the kitchen sink included NRT, the people around me and a bit of soul searching. Do whatever it takes for you. It's worth it.

Whether or not you’re ready to quit, Quitline counsellors are available on the phone on 13 7848, Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm. They can provide personalised, non-judgemental and empathetic support to help you stop smoking, or just answer any general questions you may have about quitting.

Quitline is an inclusive and culturally safe space for all, including the LGBTIQA+ community. We also offer Aboriginal Quitline, for people who smoke identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. To access Aboriginal Quitline, call 13 7848 and ask to speak with one of our friendly and qualified Aboriginal Quitline counsellors. We also have an interpreter service available if you speak a language other than English.

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