"For me it was a revolutionary event, because I gave myself very little hope that I would be successful"
Anita retired three years ago and decided to quit smoking to match her drastic change in lifestyle. We spoke with Anita to understand her experience in quitting smoking, and how vaping impacted this.
"I just thought I wasn’t going to do it because I like smoking. That was my issue"
I’ve smoked for, oh goodness me, in the region of 40 years. Predominantly roll-ups, approximately 20 or 25, based on the stress levels of the day. I’ve stopped twice, but both of those were when I was pregnant so I had a very good reason not to smoke. Without that prompt that I’m responsible for somebody else’s welfare directly, I didn’t give it any hope. I just thought I wasn’t going to do it because I like smoking. That was my issue.
"I thought nothing of vaping, except I had seen people at work successfully quit smoking using a vape"
What made me decide (to stop smoking) was when I retired and I thought I’d retire a couple of years early to get a few years of good quality life. I thought that could only be enhanced by me stopping smoking so I can have some healthy years. When I retired three years ago, I could no longer use the excuse that I was under stress. That excuse had been and gone, done its job and as a retired person I was experiencing very little stress.
So I went to the vape shop, to Julie and Andy, and had a chat with Julie. Julie said when I felt ready, I could come in and she’d show me how to use the device.
I left it as you do, being such a devoted smoker. I thought nothing of vaping, except I had seen people at work successfully quit smoking using a vape. So I thought I'd give it a go because Nicorette and the other products had never inspired me before.
"I picked it up and after the first puff I have not touched another cigarette in two and a half years"
So I left it for about two months. In order to get home, I had to pass the vape shop and I felt so silly that they would see me coming past and not going in to take this a step further. I used to sneak across, hiding behind people, until I realised I can’t be doing this. I was creating another stress level! So I went in and said okay, let's give this a go. Julie set me up with a simple, easy-to-use, inexpensive device and asked me what my palate was like, to advise me with flavours. They gave me really good advice with the juice.
I got home and left it again. I created excuses not to use it. One day I came to an agreement with myself to try it for two hours. I was sure that after a couple of hours I would want another cigarette, but at least I could say I tried it! I picked it up and after the first puff I have not touched another cigarette in two and a half years.
“It has changed my thought process, I do not actually think about cigarettes at all”
It really, to me, proved totally effective. I have been able to halve the nicotine dosage. It has also changed my thought process, I do not actually think about cigarettes at all. I’m fitter, with much more energy. I've changed my thinking dealing with stress, I do not use a crutch any longer. I don’t use the vape to deal with stress. Psychological changes are one of the most powerful things for me because I no longer spend a lot of time thinking about whether I have tobacco, papers, lighters, where to roll. You are continuously preoccupied with thinking ‘when can I have my next cigarette?’ Wherever you are, you are thinking when and where you can have a cigarette. For me it's a certain level of freedom because I don’t have that need any longer.
“They are genuinely and seriously committed to helping people curb their habit”
Any difficulties I have, or still do encounter, by virtue of a physical disability, Julie and Andy assist me by helping care for the device, and refilling it on a daily basis. Even if it is at great inconvenience to themselves. For instance at Christmas when I ran out of juice, they actually came out on Boxing Day to safeguard against me picking up a cigarette. That was their aim, and remains. When we have conversations that say they would rather travel a few extra miles with a device for somebody so that they don’t go back to smoking. They are genuinely and seriously committed to helping people curb their habit."