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Quit Smoking – Stories of Hope

It’s not easy to stop smoking, but it is possible! Find out how one young person managed to kick the habit and why another is still struggling… Which one are you?

Not only is it smelly and expensive, but it can cause cancer, heart problems, as well as emphysema (a serious lung disease). Read more…

Quitting the habit is one of the best moves you can make, but it’s also one of the toughest things to do.

If you haven’t had any luck giving up the first time, don’t give up on trying a second or even a third time, until you find a way that works for you.

Viyon Hammond (23)

Viyon smoked for six years until one day he decided enough was enough!

“While I was at school, I decided to prove to my friends that I could smoke for a month and then stop smoking completely the next month. But I couldn’t stop – I was addicted! I smoked for six years, eventually going through a packet a day. I finally decided to put out my last cigarette seven months ago. I realised that I was lying to myself by saying that smoking helps me to relax or keep me busy.

Not smoking makes me feel GREAT! I’m free of the burden of having to smoke every 30 minutes and my quality of life has definitely improved – my skin condition, my sense of smell and taste is better, and I can play soccer for a full 90 minutes without giving up.

It wasn’t until I read The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr that I finally managed to quit for good. It’s a really powerful book that makes you realise that smoking is a silly habit nobody should have. Quitting smoking was tough, especially in the first week, but it gets easier. Now I don’t crave cigarettes. I wasn’t really addicted to cigarettes; I just carried the wrong belief that they would make me feel better.

If you want to stop smoking, just do it! Don’t light that next cigarette. You weren’t born craving a cigarette – it’s a habit you’ve developed; it was a choice you made to start smoking. Use that same choice to stop.

Sandisiwe Kela (21)

Sandisiwe was able to quit smoking for some time, but she’s now back to lighting up. What went wrong?

I began smoking at 15, after watching some of the coolest stars smoking cigarettes on TV. They made the whole thing look so glamorous. Three years later, my parents found out I was smoking after smelling smoke on my breath and clothes. They really shouted at me and said I was probably taking other drugs, too. I felt so embarrassed. The incident made me realise that I was addicted to smoking and that it was jeopardising my health, so I decided to stop.

I started going to church more often so I could gain strength to fight the addiction. It really helped. I didn’t crave smoking as much as I did before and I tried not to hang around people when they were smoking. I managed to stop smoking for two years.

Once I quit smoking, my skin improved, I could breathe easier and I felt healthier. But I started smoking again after chilling with a friend who was smoking. I began smoking regularly, but then my throat began to get sore. Now I’ve cut down to smoking three cigarettes a week. But I want to stop and I know I can. By hanging around fewer smokers and continuing to go to church, I’ll get there soon!

 Time to Quit

  • CANSA’s eKick Butt programme is a unique online support programme to help you quit smoking. Through a series of emails, surveys and downloads, we will guide you and mentor you as you quit smoking and non-smoking becomes a lifelong habit, not merely the time interval between two cigarettes. This programme supplies a series of handy tools – tried and tested – to help you quit for good. Click here to read more and join for free…
  • CANSA’s partner Allen Carr’s Easyway South Africa is rising to the occasion in these challenging times. Their commitment to helping clients achieve their goal of finding freedom from the smoking trap is inspiring. The Allen Carr Easyway seminar programme is now available live through video webinar, helping smokers quit from the comfort of their own home. Any questions may be directed to 0861100200 or via
  • Call the National Council Against Smoking QUIT Line: 011 720 3145
  • Find additional support resources to help you quit for good here…


This article originally appeared in UNCUT (February, Issue 64). UNCUT is a monthly youth lifestyle magazine published by loveLife. CANSA congratulates Viyon and Sandisiwe on quitting smoking and thanks loveLife for permission to use this article.

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