CASE STUDY: Martin McLaughlin
A FATHER-of-three who has been smoke free for nearly a year said he used to smoke hand-rolled cigarettes because he thought they were less harmful.
Thirty-five-year-old Martin McLaughlin, a security officer from Southway, was prompted to quit smoking last April after a game of football with his sons left him gasping for breath.
He said: "I've got three sons aged four, seven and 13-years-old. I remember playing football with them one day on Dartmoor and after three minutes having to lie down on the floor to catch my breath. My sons were always asking me to quit and so the next day I went to see the local Stop Smoking Service."
Martin began smoking at school when he was about 16 but originally smoked tailor-made cigarettes.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said he swapped to smoking hand-rolled cigarettes about 10 years ago.
"I was probably smoking about 20 rollies a day. I switched to rollies because I found they had a stronger hit, they were also a lot cheaper and I could always find them even cheaper than the shop price from a friend or someone who'd been on holiday and brought back a bulk load," said Martin.
"I also really enjoyed the act of rolling the cigarettes and actually thought they were better for you because I didn't think they had any chemicals in."
But after visiting the local Stop Smoking Service, Martin said he was "shocked" by what he was shown.
He said: "When I was told they were actually worse for you I didn't really believe it. And then I saw all the images on billboards and posters as part of the Wise-Up to Roll-Ups campaign going on locally. The pictures were horrendous and the adverts were definitely a big incentive to quit."
Martin used nicotine patches to quit at first, as well as a nicotine mouth spray, but is now doing fine without any aid.
He said: "So far I've saved about £500 in cash by not smoking which I'm planning to put towards a new car – one that doesn't smell of cigarettes!
"I feel so much better now I've quit. The last thing I ever want is a cigarette. My children are also over the moon and every week, without fail, at least one of them says how pleased they are that I no longer smoke.
"I would urge anyone who is smoking rollies because they think they're better for them to quit now before it's too late. There are so many chemicals in them they will eventually kill you."