Saint Man, Ex-smoker
I started smoking at the age of 15, first as just a novelty with a group of friends and only on the weekends. However, this very quickly led to a highly addictive habit which took me over 25 years to completely quit after many unsuccessful attempts.
From the time my first child was born I have been on and off with quitting smoking. However, the final push came after it started to affect my sporting and fitness ability plus a personal ambition to turn 40 feeling healthy.
Next month will make one year since I stopped completely and although this is only a short time, I know that I will never smoke again.
I had tried different quitting aids available at some time or other. Finally, I decided to try Champix which is a daily tablet. I did have a tension headache for the first few days but after that no other issues for me. As someone who had smoked for a long period of time, it's hard to believe but with this I simply forgot that I smoked.
What would I say to other smokers? It will have an impact on your health. I hid the chest pains in the morning and the horrible coughing in the evening and feel like I've spent half my life fighting this addictive drug but I have finally managed to beat it. The most important thing is to not stop trying � you will win.
Saint Woman, Trying to Quit
I started smoking very young, experimenting at around 11-12 years and then becoming a regular smoker at 13. I started smoking because my close family members smoked. It became regular and I used it as a coping mechanism. I tried to stop on many occasions before now.
When I was younger I didn't feel many effects from smoking. I continued to be very athletic and live a full life. After 15 years I felt very differently and have shortness of breath carrying out activities where, say three years ago, I had no problem. Smoking also affects my motivation as I used to be full of energy and more physically able, whereas now this is not the case.
I've just started on Nicotine Replacement Therapy. I've stopped smoking in the past without this but started again after the death of a very close loved one. It's a bit stop-start but I am determined to succeed.
For anyone who smokes, I can't make your decisions for you but will say that although it seems impossible to stop � it is not. I wasn't able to imagine life without my smoke break to de-stress � I now can. I would say to anyone who smokes: Challenge yourself � Why do you smoke? What do you get from it? I won't preach, I don't have the answers, but know that you're not alone in freeing yourself from this.
Source: St Helena Government