Six years!


Six years ago this week I found out I was going to be a mum. It was a day that changed my life and not just in the obvious sense of having a baby. It was also the day that I stopped smoking.

I had been a smoker for longer than I can remember, starting well before it was legal for me to do so. I always said I could give up but I enjoyed it too much. However I was adamant that I would never smoke whilst pregnant. I would never want the guilt. Even now I feel guilty that I smoked (and drank) from the moment of conception until the day I found out. Could that be why Elizabeth has leukaemia? There is no way of knowing but I can imagine my guilt would be a lot worse if I had continued to smoke throughout my pregnancy.

Even though I gave up six years ago I know that if I ever had even one cigarette I would become a smoker again. It is amazing how many smokers actually want to tempt you back, saying that just one won’t hurt. It is almost that by being a ex smoker you are showing them that you can do it and it makes them feel inadequate. I know I can never be like Gaming daddy of two who only smokes when he is drinking. I know that the temptation would be too much and so I resist although the urge never completely goes away.

I want to celebrate that I have resisted temptation for the last six years and I hope that all of the damage I have done to my lungs over the years has been reversed. I know that I don’t suffer chest infections or coughs anywhere near like I used to and now a cold is just a cold and not something worse.

I was asked to write about an interactive lung designed by Health On Line which shows the difference between how a non smokers lung works compared to how a smokers lung works and I thought it tied in well. With Stoptober and my six year anniversary of not smoking upon us I thought that seeing the inside a lung might help those of you who are trying hard to give up. I know how hard that is and I know it is a constant struggle. If it wasn’t for the baby I had growing inside me reminding me why I was doing it then I don’t think I would have succeeded.

I also don’t think I could afford to smoke now. In six years the prices have gone up drastically. With an packet of twenty cigarettes costing around £8.30 and a ten a day habit that is £1514.75 a year! Using figures from the Tobacco Manufacturers Association I have saved over £7500 in six years based on only smoking ten per day and we all know there are days or nights when you end up smoking a lot more. That is a lot of money and I was really shocked when I worked it out.

If you are struggling to give up why not put that money aside every time you would have bought a packet of cigarettes and at the end of the month go and buy yourself something nice, you would deserve it!

Written in association with Health On Line