Southern Stop Smoking Service: Craig Leitch

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Your Stories
November 8, 2022

- Gore
I was smoking for more than 30 years and although I tried to stop a few times, it never lasted.

I started at 18-years-old and back then, it was completely normal. You’d go to the pub and everyone was smoking. You could go to work and smoke. I was smoking a 50g every five days.

I had always said when smokes reached a certain amount I would stop, and when it reached that price I did stop for about 18 months. But, one New Year I was having a few beers and a cigar with the boys and a week later I was back into cigarettes.

After that, I was smoking a pack of 25 tallies every day, and my health started to decline. I noticed that every cut or scratch I got would take a long time to heal.

I thought it was about time to try and stop again. I was worried if I stopped, I would go back to it again and I raised that concern with a nurse. She suggested I get in touch with the Southern Stop Smoking Service to support me through it. Soon after the doctor referred me.

I come to see the coach on the first week of June and I haven’t looked back since. I stopped smoking and started feeling so much better. Normally after two-three weeks I would have started to miss it but this time was different. I think a lot of that has to do with the support of the Stop Smoking coach.

Soon I couldn’t even stand to be around people who were smoking. The smell was disgusting.

The coach continued to see me every week at the Hokonui Runanga and gave me all of the support and information I needed. She gave me the tools to ensure I wouldn’t go back to smoking like I have every other time. She gave me the opportunity to stop in the way I wanted, on my own terms, and it worked.

If it wasn’t for the support of the coach, I would have been smoking again by now.

I feel so much better now. I can taste the food I’m eating. I’m sleeping better and any cuts or scratches are healing fast.

I’m saving so much money! In the last two months, I saved nearly $1000 over what I would normally have saved. Usually at this time of year, I would be putting money aside for the off-season but this year I didn’t need to and I even paid off my mortgage!

I don’t miss smoking and I am grateful to the service for all of the support.

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