I smoked due to stress, but vaping helped me quit
Five years ago, during a tough period in his life, Ollie, a healthcare assistant and dad of two, bought a packet of cigarettes and was hooked. But by switching to vaping, Ollie quit smoking for good and is set for a healthier future.
“I started later than most people. I’d just split from my ex and it was partly that and partly boredom that made me try smoking. I bought a packet, smoked a couple, and that was that.
“Very quickly it became part of my routine. Wake up, fag, coffee, get ready for work. Another smoke on the way to work and another before the shift. They all added up.
“It only took me about three weeks for it to become a habit. At first, on nights out, I’d have one off a mate but then it felt cool to buy my own. Like I was in a movie – I can’t believe how much smoking is glamourised, even now.
“I’d just been a bit down that’s all. I just needed something to fill my time and it was all too easy to fall into the habit.
“Very quickly it got expensive. At first each packet was a bit more than a tenner. I reckon back then I was spending about £25 each week on smoking. Then they went up a bit to about £12 and I was spending £30 to £40 a week.
“It just became a household expense. I didn’t even think about it. When I got paid, I’d think – gas, electricity, fags.
“And then I got ill. I suffer from asthma and I got a chest infection and one of the doctors at work knew I smoked. He said – you’re not helping yourself. I felt embarrassed because he was right.
“It really made me think. Working in a hospital, I see people who are sick but still smoking. I thought – I can’t be like that.
“So, I tried vaping. I’ve found it alright. I bought two or three vapes a week at first, just to see me through the cravings. They really help in those moments and I tell other people – cut down, see how you go. Use something like vapes to fill that gap.
“Now, I haven’t smoked at all since December. Not even vapes. I’m clear of it this year. I feel cleaner, I’ve got more energy and my money is lasting longer.
“My kids have noticed too. In a flat you have to go down the stairs to smoke and they were wanting to come with me. I used to feel embarrassed. I’d even be sneaking out straight after mealtimes for a fag.
“I started smoking when I was in an awful state and every time I got stressed, I’d have a fag.
“It’s behind me now. I’m never going back to smoking.”