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Smoking: Stroke was incentive to quit

SHANE STEWART
Last updated 12:00 10/04/2014

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After smoking a pack a day for nearly 20 years the best I had ever managed was stopping for a couple of weeks. But on those occasions, I didn't really want to give up. I enjoyed it and it was my escape from high-pressure workloads and stress that I put on myself.

But while at work looking after a complex construction project I noticed my vision was not the best. It didn't improve so I went to the optometrist who sent me to the Greenlane emergency eye clinic.

To cut a long story short, I am 34 and had a mini stroke in my eye, which for my age, is crazy.

After hearing the news I walked outside for a smoke. I lit up knowing that it was my last smoke because I wanted it to be, not because someone told me to but because I did not want things to get worse.

The next step was mitigating the urges while still keeping up with a high-pressure work life.

I decided to go down the road of electronic cigarettes even though people were saying they don't work and they are bad for you or are addictive. If you are already addicted to smokes and you swap it for e-smokes at least you can dial down the nicotine in stages.

So I started high level and dialled it down over two months with the last two weeks smoking zero nicotine.

My wife also gave up with me. Maybe it was the shock but either way we gave up.

We still have urges but we also know why we wanted to stop. I have learned and I know from my personal experience that you can't get people to quit they have to want to stop or your just taking a break from it.


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