“You will only notice the change within yourself when you stop. That’s when you realise – oh wow! There was something wrong with me.”
Smoking caused Andrew Chikungwa to be short of breath and money. But he never imagined how good not smoking would make him feel.
He said: “I like exercising a lot. It’s part of a routine I developed when I was in the army. But, near to the time when I stopped smoking, I couldn’t do it anymore. My body just couldn’t cope.
“On the money side of things, it was getting out of hand. I’d smoke a packet a day, which is roughly 11 quid. So I’d smoke, maybe six packets a week that’s almost 60 to 70 quid. In a month, that’s quite a lot. In a year, that’s a significant amount.”
It was easy for Andrew to think he was only harming himself, but there was a slow realisation that his daughter was also suffering.
“I have a little man cave where I hang out. So that’s why I used to smoke. My daughter would come in and hang around with me.
“The secondary smoke wasn’t good for her. And she’s young, she’s five now. She would say she didn’t like the smell, but to me, it was okay. Now that I’ve stopped, I know what I was putting her through and it was not pleasant for her. It wasn’t good at all.”
Now, since Andrew has stopped smoking, he has realised the damage he had been doing and the price his body was paying.
“I feel so different now and I never expected that. You will only notice the change within yourself when you stop. That’s when you realise – oh wow! There was something wrong with me.
“Even if you’ve been smoking for 20 years 30 years, give it a go. See what your body is capable of.”