How smoking is impacting my health volunteer Dylan reveals why he started smoking and why he now wants to quit

Written by Dylan Varian


To be honest I don’t know why I started smoking. Actually, that’s a lie. I do. It was a girl. I started smoking because of a girl. I started smoking over four years ago and I’m still trying to kick the damn habit. And guess what? That relationship didn’t last either. I got an addiction to smoking and it was all for nothing.

If anyone is reading this thinking of taking up smoking just to impress another person, try not to. Because you know what doesn’t impress people? Shortness of breath and stinking of smoke. I say all this as a smoker. In fact, I had a cigarette mere seconds before writing this entire thing. After four years of smoking the damn death sticks, it’s time to say goodbye.

When I decided to quit smoking

This won’t be the first time I’ve tried to give them up. From the age of 16 to 18 I smoked without caring about it. I enjoyed it. It relaxed me. When I was doing the Leaving Certificate, I used to finish my exams and have a cigarette outside the school while waiting to head into another exam. I became very dependent on it and I still am.

However, there was a turning point about two years ago at my friend Jemma’s 18th birthday party. I stood outside the front door to have a smoke and began talking to a friend of mine. She went on to give me a lecture about smoking, the damage I was doing to myself. I had heard the speech many times – “years off your life,” “shortness of breath” yada yada yada. But for some reason what she said to me that night stuck with me somehow. I gave up smoking for three months a week after that party. At another one, three months later, I caved again.

I’m really starting to see the bad effects of smoking

Things are different now than they were two years ago though. After four years of smoking, I am starting to see the negative impact of smoking. Up until now I have been pretty fit. I was able to run around and do what I wanted, but a couple of weeks ago I found myself feeling winded when I ran up the stairs. I am 19 years old. I shouldn’t feel winded after running up the bloody stairs. That is not right.

The other reason I want to give up smoking, besides the whole health thing, is the fact I don’t like it anymore. It was something which I enjoyed and used to relax. At this stage it is more of a chore than anything. I know this isn’t going to be easy. Let’s see how the next few weeks go.

You can follow Dylan’s quitting journey here.

Getting help and support to quit smoking

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