Proud Hackney quitters
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.
30 year old Paul Carlson (aka Mowgs) is keen to tell the world he’s quit smoking and to inspire others to do the same.
Tracy had been a smoker for 11 years - having started smoking around the age of 46, later than most of her peers. Tracy was smoking more than 20 cigarettes and managed to quit. She felt inspired to share her quit journey with others and encourage current smokers to consider their health by taking steps towards quitting.
Hasan started smoking at 15 out of curiosity more than anything else. 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.
In the autumn of 2016 Kerri was told she needed an operation on her vocal cords and as a professional jazz singer, she decided it was time to fully give the post gig cigarettes the boot, for good.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.