Matthew's story

Matthew

Don’t give up, trying to give up.

Matthew, 52, Herne Bay in Kent

Matthew started smoking when he was about 10-12 years old. What started as a few a day quickly turned into more and by the age of 16 he was hooked smoking 15-20 a day.

“They used to have cigarette machines outside the newsagents. I could go there anytime, put money in the machine and get them out. It was so easy. There were no restrictions and it wasn’t considered a bad thing”.

As Matthew grew older, he started to notice the link between smoking and peer pressure and also smoking and mood.

Matthew decided to quit smoking on 4 September 2013. It is a date he remembers well. Like other people we have spoken to, Matthew quit smoking because he wanted to improve his health. He had first hand experience of the damage smoking causes.

“I’ve seen it in my own capacity as a carer and working in hospitals, plus family members having COPD and lung conditions, I didn’t want to take the chance and develop any of these conditions”.

Since quitting smoking, Matthew feels more energetic and enjoys playing tennis.

Matthew’s journey to quit was not an easy one. He has tried to quit a few times in the past and tried support group but he didn’t feel ready to stop. He was stressed and cigarettes were a great relief. This time around however was different. He has been smoke free for over two years and there is no going back.

“I deal with stress a lot better now instead of reaching for a cigarette. I exercise a lot now and do weights”.

The first week of quitting was the most difficult for Matthew. To prevent him lighting up he made others aware that he had quit smoking and avoided situations where he might get a craving for a cigarette. As a result, the cravings soon passed and his health has improved drastically,

“When I smoked I felt like I was dragging myself around. I had a terrible smokers cough – it’s all gone now. I feel amazing”.

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