Photo credit: Shoreditch Trust

Hasan started smoking at 15 out of curiosity more than anything else.

Originally from a town near Izmir in Turkey, he began smoking just one or two cigarettes a day but once he started his military service, it quickly turned into packet a day. He was then hooked.

When he was 25, he fell in love with Asli, a Hackney resident, who was on holiday in Turkey as her family is originally from there. Hasan decided to follow Asli back to the UK and find work so that he could be with her. Hasan and Asli eventually got married and now have two children, Ecrin, nine and Mira, three.

I quit smoking for 9 months when Asli and I got engaged, but unfortunately it didn’t last.

"I hassled him every day to stop smoking. I just hated the habit,” said Asli, his wife at their flat in Homerton. In the end, her encouragement and perseverance paid off. 

Hasan’s own father, a heavy smoker himself, had died from lung cancer in 2015 but this didn’t provide the push he needed. It was when he got out of breath from climbing the stairs at his mother’s house that Hasan decided enough was enough.

Hasan then visited his GP who referred him to the Hackney Stop Smoking Service. The clinic he chose offered Saturday appointments which was just what Hasan needed as he works 6 days a week running  the Copper Kettle, a café in Kidbrooke .

The medication (Champix) I was given really helped, but it was my advisor who made the difference. She gave me breathing exercises to help with anger management, and other advice to help with cravings. I also kept myself busy and took up a new hobby.
My advice to other smokers is first think of your health and then think of your finances.

Now that he’s quit smoking, Hasan can breathe better and spend more time with his children. “A lot of my customers can’t believe I’ve given up,” he said proudly.

“We’re so happy that he quit!” said Hasan’s eldest daughter Ecrin. “He can spend more time with us rather than spending all his time outside smoking. He also doesn’t smell anymore of smoke.”

Asli has already started putting aside the money that they’re saving for when the children go to university. She’s also interested in developing her skills of persuasion and becoming a specialist stop smoking advisor.

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›