This week, Lorraine Ahmat, wanted to share with the TIS team her story on how she stayed smoke-free for 2 years. She was thankful to her husband, children and TIS team for all the support they provided during her quitting journey.
As of the 7th of March 2018, I have been smoke free for 2 years!
I grew up in Weipa and back in the day, it was common for young people to smoke because it was cheap to buy them and they would start smoking out of boredom.
I started smoking when I was 13 and smokes back then were only $5 per packet. I thought about quitting for years. When I felt like I was in the right headspace to take that step I took Champix for 4 months and tried to reduce the number of cigarettes I smoked per day.
Once I felt I was ready, I stopped taking Champix and decided to go cold turkey. After a while, I figured out that the reason I smoked was due to stress and smoking would help me release my stress. I realised that deep breathing exercises were my way of releasing stress so I started using straws to release stress and this really helped with my quitting journey.
The reason I wanted to quit smoking was to become a better role model for my children. I didn’t want my children to think it was normal to smoke and I wanted them to know that it’s not a healthy choice.
Craigie and the kids were really supportive during my quitting journey and they celebrated every milestone with me. I would share my daily progress on the QuitBuddy app with my children. I saved up the money I used to spend on cigarettes and for my 18th month smoke-free anniversary, we used this money to go on a family trip to Gold Coast. I didn’t realise how much money and time I saved from quitting smoking.
I was able to use this time to spend quality time with my children and my family rather than being isolated and smoking.
I have to give credit to Jana Booy (TIS Health Promotion Officer) at work for always checking in on me and forwarding me motivational quotes which really helped me with my quitting journey.
For anyone wanting to quit smoking, you can achieve anything with a strong mind, commitment and support.