Proud Hackney quitters

In life we’re told never to give up, to keep going – but when it comes to smoking, being a ‘quitter’ is a good thing. We’re using inspirational stories of ex-smokers in Hackney to highlight the life-changing benefits of quitting.

Meet our quitters

Brian Toomey

Brian Toomey - proud to be a Hackney quitter
Brian Toomey

Don’t fall at the first hurdle, take it a day at a time and use a stop smoking service, they can really help you.

Brian Toomey
Hackney resident Brian Toomey stopped smoking in January 2015. He made it a new year’s resolution following 16 years of smoking and two previous quit attempts.

The 32 year old graphic designer explained why his previous quit attempts failed, “I stopped smoking for about eight months once but I started again. Social environments like pubs and clubs are my biggest trigger, especially as some of my friends are smokers so temptation is there. It’s all too easy to think you can have ‘just have the one’ cigarette and before you know it you’re smoking regularly again”.

“I would convince myself that I didn’t need to give up because I didn’t smoke as much as other people, but after sixteen years of smoking I started to really feel unhealthy. After a big night out my lungs would feel terrible in the morning. As I got older, the health risks became more of a concern.”

Brian had been a relatively moderate smoker, of around 2-5 cigarettes per day and more at the weekend.

He quit with the help of Hackney’s Stop Smoking Service, after his GP at the Lower Clapton practice referred him to the service. He had two sessions with a specialist stop smoking adviser who helped him identify his triggers and ways of managing them. He was also given nicotine patches to deal with cravings, which was particularly helpful when he was around smokers. He said “I went out with friends the first week I quit and was surrounded by smokers. It wasn’t easy, but I didn’t smoke and it felt really good”.

The stop smoking service continues to send Brian texts with tips and encouragement to stick with it, and two months on he is still smokefree. He can already feel the benefits of a life without cigarettes; “I feel healthier, my breathing has improved and I’m a bit richer” he said.

Brian’s advice to other smokers is “don’t fall at the first hurdle, take it a day at a time and use a stop smoking service, they can really help you”.
Ali Akpinar

Ali Akpinar

H.A Ali

H.A Ali

Ermira Alishani

Ermira Alishani

Hasan Bala

Hasan Bala

Nazmiye Baris

Nazmiye Baris

Hanim Boyraz

Hanim Boyraz

Alan Brooks

Alan Brooks

Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson

Ibrahim Corten

Ibrahim Corten

Lorraine Dunkley Clark

Lorraine Dunkley Clark

Kerri Layton

Kerri Layton

Abir Mohamed

Abir Mohamed

Simon O'Brien

Simon O'Brien

Thomas O'Reilly

Thomas O'Reilly

Sarah Pluck

Sarah Pluck

Paula Shaw

Paula Shaw

Joanna Thomas

Joanna Thomas

Andreena Walton

Andreena Walton

Markus Wilson

Markus Wilson

Working on it!