Ibrahim 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.
Ibrahim continued to smoke into his adult years and he felt that the habit would help him in times of stress. He also found himself smoking more heavily to pass the time when he was bored.
15 years ago, Ibrahim moved to Hackney. He lives with his wife and two daughters and has several family members living in the same neighbourhood. A lot of his friends and family smoke, as do his colleagues at the restaurant where he works, and this has made it difficult for him to give up in the past. At one pointhe admitted, he was smoking around 30 cigarettes a day. He wanted to quit, he added, but, felt powerless.
Ibrahim was apprehensive about approaching the Stop Smoking Service as he does not speakEnglish very well, and was concerned that there may be a language barrier between him and a stop smoking advisor. However, his mother in law told him that he could speak to a Turkish speaking advisor (Rucan) at Spring Pharmacy, and he got an appointment immediately.
Ibrahim was really determined to quit, and he says that one of the main reasons for this was his daughters:
Ibrahim was so determined to stop smoking that he initially told Rucan that he didn’t want to use any medication to help him quit. However after discussing with Rucan about all the different types of nicotine replacement therapy and medication they decided together that he should use Champix, which works by reducing withdrawal symptoms and by stopping the addictive effect of nicotine.. This really helped him throughout the process of becoming smoke free.
Ibrahim says that quitting has changed his life and he never wants to smoke again. He adds “I hate the smell of smoke now” and feels passionately about helping others to stop too:
He has also noticed how much money he has saved since giving up the habit, alongside substantial improvements to his health:
Ibrahim’s next challenge now that he is smoke free is to have lessons to improve his English. He feels nervous about this but the confidence he built through giving up smoking has taught him a lot.
If you, a friend or family member would like to stop smoking, and like Ibrahim, English is not your first language, Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service can offer one on one support in a variety of languages including Turkish, Polish, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi and Gujarati.
Quitting can make improvements to your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect.