While health worker Barbara O’Brien knows that quitting smoking has huge health benefits, she says the savings are a huge incentive as well.
It was a combination of health concerns and the reality of how much she was spending on cigarettes that prompted her to quit.
“I’m 53 now, so the health issue was obvious, but also because they’re so expensive.”
Barbara smoked twenty to thirty cigarettes a day and left the store regularly, having spent € 35 on cigarettes and a few bars of chocolate. “I would use my VISA card to buy cigarettes, but I wouldn’t use it to buy a top at Penneys.”
Having started smoking at the age of eighteen after someone offered her a cigarette at her brother’s funeral, she decided last year that she would finally give up the expensive addiction.
Now, six months later, she is “delighted with myself”.
She credits her success to HSE support services for those who have quit smoking.
She started with QUIT.ie and got in touch with Madeleine Kennedy, the HSE Stop Smoking Advisor for Louth and Meath.
“Madeleine was great and gave me a lot of helpful advice. She called me every week to see how I was doing. She doesn’t judge which makes it easier even though I never fell off the wagon so it wasn’t. was not publish. “
Barbara says the use of nicotine replacement therapy was crucial for her to be able to quit and not smoke.
“I used a spray that I could take whenever I needed a cigarette. Some people use fixes but they don’t work. Some people use chewing gum but I don’t like chewing gum. The important thing is to find what works for you.
“It’s the tobacco you crave, not the act of smoking, so if I have a cup of tea for example, I’ll take a spray of mist.”
She toyed with the idea of quitting smoking for a while, but the fear of being too picky and getting fat had held her back.
“The assistance I have received from QUIT.ie has been tremendous. I thought smoking made me feel better and I was terrified of gaining weight.
She says that although, like most people, she gained a few pounds over Christmas, she didn’t “bloat”.
Now that she has quit smoking, she can see how cigarettes are a waste of money.
“Look at the money I saved! ” she says.
She uses an app to track her progress.
“I haven’t smoked for 137 days. I did not smoke 3,100 cigarettes and I saved 2,000 €.