Chooseday pledger: Hannah

Hannah speaks with us about caving into social smoking, being asthmatic and how the 12.5% tax increase effects her.

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When did you start smoking?

I tried my first cigarette at 15, though I didn’t pick it up habitually until about 17.

 

How many cigarettes do you smoke a week?

It varies, though I’ve tried cutting right down so that I only smoke on the weekends. I may go through a pack or two over a week.

What are your smoking triggers?

Definitely being around fellow smokers. Also social situations heighten when alcohol is involved.

Do you cave in to these triggers?

Yes, almost every time.

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What made you want to take the #chooseday pledge?

A lot of people know me as a smoker, though they mightn’t know that I’m also asthmatic. No one should smoke, but us asthmatics especially are putting ourselves at a very dangerous risk. I also don’t agree with the 12.5% inclination being put on the annual tobacco tax.

How long have being doing #chooseday?

I’ve undertaken the Chooseday challenge for roughly three months now.

How has it been?

Honestly, I’ve caved a few times, but more often than not I’ve kept on track with the pledge. Chooseday’s social media presence has been increasingly influential, and I love reading about other people’s progresses!

Since beginning #chooseday has quitting smoking seemed like a more achievable goal?

Definitely! Chooseday is the reason I’ve cut right back on smoking throughout the week, and I’ve become quite accustomed to it. Quitting smoking altogether is the ultimate goal, and I feel like I can achieve that with huge thanks to the motivation that Chooseday has inspired!

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Chooseday pledger: Francisco

Francisco or Coco to some, tells us why we decided to take the Chooseday pledge and makes a case for e-cigarettes. 

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When did you start smoking?

I started smoking when I was around 15. I’m now 26.

 

How many cigarettes do you smoke a week?

Buying normal packets of cigarettes was too expensive so I switched over to rolling my own because it was cheaper. Can’t really calculate how many but I smoke about 40 grams of tobacco a week.

 

What are your smoking triggers?

Being outside with other smokers and general social gatherings. Oh and when I drink.

 

Do you cave in to these triggers?

Once I get intoxicated there’s no stopping me.

 

What made you want to take the #chooseday pledge?

I ran up Basser Steps and found my breathing to be an issue, thought I should at least try to quit. For my health.

 

How long have being doing #chooseday?

Almost a month now

 

How has it been?

Really hard, I have cut back on smoking tobacco but I have replaced it with electronic cigarettes. I’ve been spending the same amount of money but I do feel a lot better.

 

Since beginning #chooseday has quitting smoking seemed like a more achievable goal?

Definitely

Chooseday pledger: Timothy

First cab off the rank, Timothy O’Brien. We sat down with this third year media student in week four of his Chooseday journey to discuss all things smoking, addiction and positive peer pressure.  Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 10.46.58 AM When did you start smoking?

I started smoking when I was about 16 years old.  

How many cigarettes do you smoke a week?

Initially I only smoked socially, but it progressed to daily and at home. At that point I was smoking about 30 cigarettes a week.  

What are your smoking triggers?

Whenever I see or smell cigarette smoke, if I see someone smoking on television, or if I have alcohol.  

Do you cave in to these triggers?

In most cases, yes.  

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What made you want to take the #chooseday pledge?

Well, some of my friends encouraged me to do it. I had been meaning to quit for a while and seeing the facebook campaign encouraged me to take the final step. So I would classify it as social pressures.  

How long have being doing #chooseday?

About 4-5 weeks now.  

How has it been?

It has been very helpful and rewarding, I am able to interact with other who are smoking as well as learn some interesting things about the damage that smoking can do. I am also reminded every Tuesday of why I am doing this, which further motivates me.  

Since beginning #chooseday has quitting smoking seemed like a more achievable goal? Absolutely. It has been an ongoing process as I am constantly reminded of my mission on social media. It’s a campaign that I can interact with daily, and I can understand that my goal is realistic and definitive.

Ways to help: Support

Online and offline support can really help when trying to quit smoking. Since primary school we have been warned against the dangers of smoking and provided with reasons to quit from the cost of a single packet to the endless amount of health reasons. Despite knowing the various reasons to quit, when smoking addiction is at its peak it can be hard to comprehend these reasons. It is in this time that the smoker needs support. Support can come in all forms whether it be reading a quit story to attending a cessation workshop, no matter how big or small these all help and work as a stepping stone towards a smoke free life. Here at Chooseday we have listed some support networks for those considering cessation.

Online

Online support directory – WhyQuit is a great directory for all forms of addiction support. Their nicotine addiction section directs you to all types of sites list the type of forum, midyear cessation rate and membership requirements. Check out if you are unsure where to start or if you are quitting with a certain method e.g. cold turkey, lozenge.

ICanQuit – Our Aussie readers this ones for you. ICanQuit is an online service of the Cancer Institute of NSW, the website hosts application My Journey which allows you to set goals, track your progress and share your experiences. The site also provides helpful support on ‘Staying quit’ stating that “every attempt to quit smoking takes you one step closer to being smoke free“.

Offline

Speak with a loved one Although this may seem hard to admit that you are addicted, trust me you will feel better. Talking with a trusted friend or family member helps as there is a guarantee that this person knows you better than you know yourself. Through discussing your addiction you with them you are better able to work through methods to quitting. Speaking with a loved one also has a level of accountability as they can hold you up to your promises and keep you on the right path when strayed.

Attend a quit workshop – A more old-school approach to addiction support, a group workshop could be exactly what you need. The purpose of a cessation workshop is to create a forum of both education and support, with individuals and experts together sharing their experiences with nicotine addiction. For our NSW readers The Cancer Council hosts a free one-day Smoking Care Intervention Workshop, click here for more information.

Engage in alternative therapies – There are a number of emerging support therapies which in conjunction with other forms of support can assist in achieving a smokefree goal. Hypnotherapy and visualization are becoming increasingly popular within quitting circles. These therapies occur on a one-on-one basis meaning that it is a tailored program, designed specifically towards your cessation journey. These therapies also appeal individuals as it is a confidential practice, revolving around you and the therapist. If this is something that appeals to you keep an eye out for our upcoming ‘ways to help’ post on alternative methods to battle nicotine addiction.

What is Chooseday?

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We live in a society where we are both highly addicted and also self-deprived. This pattern of addiction and deprivation creates unsustainable expectations of life and sees cyclical patterns of low self-worth. Within Australia, the rate of this behaviour can be viewed within the cigarette smoking community, whom are bombarded daily with antismoking messages yet still smoke. The objective of this campaign is to make it easier for smokers by encouraging them to go without for a single Tuesday. Through this abstention the individual is creating a more sustainable goal and paving a way towards a nicotine-free life. The sustainability of this goal is seen through the changes it makes to a smokers life, by participating the average smoker will save over $800 annually as well as vastly improve their physical and emotional health. This campaign is active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with this blog being the centre for all our content and information.