In life we’re told never to give up, to keep going – but when it comes to smoking, being a ‘quitter’ is a good thing. We’re using inspirational stories of ex-smokers in Hackney to highlight the life-changing benefits of quitting.

H.A Ali

Before he quit, Ali was smoking 30 cigarettes every day - and had been for 12 years - but he was able to stop completely with the help of nicotine patches, gum, and an inhalator.

Read his story› 


Alan Brooks had been thinking of giving up for a while, but seeing the Stop Smoking Service on the site where he was working was the kick start he needed to quit for good

Read his story› 


Hanim Boyraz is feeling proud of herself. After 27 years as a smoker, she has just become Hackney’s latest resident to be smoke-free for 12 weeks and receive her certificate from Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service.

Read her story› 


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Paula Shaw had been a smoker for over 40 years, and was smoking around 20 roll up cigarettes per day when she was referred to the Stop Smoking Service by her GP at Well Street surgery. 

Read her story› 


Lorraine Dunkley Clark had her last cigarette on 14 March 2011 and has been proud to be a quitter ever since. “I don’t miss it”, she said, “I see people smoking and it sounds terrible but I just feel sad for them”.

Read her story› 


“I hate the smell of cigarettes now, to me it’s disgusting”. This is how proud quitter and long term Hackney resident Sarah Pluck feels after 10 months of going smoke-free. 

Read her story› 


“I couldn’t walk anywhere, I couldn’t do the housework and I was breathing like a 95 year old”.  This was 54 year old Hackney resident Nazmiye Baris’ life as a smoker. Nazmiye is now proud to be a quitter and has never looked back.

Read her story› 


Ali Akpinar successfully quit in September 2015 after 20 years as a smoker. Ali was born in Turkey and moved to London about fifteen years ago. He has lived in East London with his wife and teenage son since 2007. Ali started smoking whilst serving in the Turkish military.

Read his story›


Ibrahim Corten successfully gave up smoking in March 2015 after 28 years as a smoker, with the support of Yucan, a stop smoking advisor at Spring Pharmacy on Hoxton Street. Ibrahim started smoking at the age of 15 in Maraş, Turkey, where he grew up. In his community, almost everyone smoked and it was the normal thing to do, so he did not think twice about starting.

Read his story›


After nearly 60 years of smoking, 74 year old Thomas O’Reilly successfully quit on 3 June 2015. A Hackney resident for most of his life, after having moved to the borough from his home town Dublin when he was a teenager, Thomas started smoking at 16. As with many smokers, Thomas’ habit began after being encouraged by friends to try a cigarette.

Read his story›


Markus Wilson successfully quit in June 2015 after more than 10 years of smoking. Markus had tried to stop smoking many times, but found the cravings too hard to deal with. “I just didn’t have the willpower. I went through bouts of wanting to quit and I would go cold turkey for a couple of days but then the cravings would get too much for me and I would give in".

Read his story›


Hackney resident Brian Toomey stopped smoking in January 2015. He made it a new year’s resolution following 16 years of smoking and two previous quit attempts. He can already feel the benefits of not smoking. “I feel healthier, my breathing has improved and I’m a bit richer”.

Read his story›  


Andreena Walton is a stop smoking adviser for Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service.  She quit smoking in 2009 and says it changed her whole outlook on life. “I know what smoking did to my life, and I know the change it’s made. It’s made me positive. I suffered from depression for a long time, and the depression has gone. I am happy, I’m buzzing and I can help other people.”

Read her story›  


Joanna Thomas

Hackney resident Joanna Thomas gave up smoking in January 2015 after 40 years of smoking. She has tried to quit a few times over the years, but would start again in times of stress, or when socialising. She decided to quit this year, mainly due to health reasons. She was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fears her health deteriorating as she gets older.

Read her story› 


 

At the end of her twelve week course of treatment with Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service, Abir Mohamed has never felt better - her teeth are whiter, she no longer coughs all of the time and her skin is better. After years of ill health and a series of difficult life events, she feels like her life is finally back on track.

Read her story›  


Mother of three Ermira Alishani stopped smoking in January 2015 with the help of Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service. She says “stopping smoking changes everything. I believe you have to care for yourself before you can really care for others. Now that I am caring for myself by stopping smoking, I have much more energy and time for my family.”

Read her story› 

Get help to stop smoking today and you can also be a proud Hackney quitter.


Quitting can make improvements to your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect.

Smoking and your health›

Thinking about the reasons to quit is a great way to motivate yourself.

Why quit?›

Medications and nicotine replacement can double the chances of quitting smoking.

How to quit›