Like most smokers, I've had several attempts at quitting over the years. Some have been more successful than others. On one occasion I managed a few weeks. Usually, it's several days. But one thing is always the same - I come unstuck when I'm out having a drink. However, my most recent effort to ditch the cigs has been different.
I've now gone 34 days without lighting up. And I've enjoyed several nights out during that time - including my own birthday. I signed up to the HoldMyLight campaign to see if it could help me where I've stumbled in the past. And I'm happy to say that it seems to be working. The approach is simple.
You choose a friend or family member to be your supporter, and they offer a reward if you stick to your pledge to go smoke-free for 30 days. Go smoke-free in four steps:
Hold My Light has been designed to break down a big challenge into more manageable steps - maximising your chances of going smoke-free.
Decide - to go smoke-free for 30 days
Choose - your best way to give up cigarettes
Start - Hold My Light and ask your friends to help
Stay - on track and enjoy your success
I asked my twin brother, because we're always together on a night out and I thought he'd be able to keep me on track in those moments when I was most tempted to light up. In fact, we both took part in the challenge.
I offered to get him a ticket to watch Liverpool play, and he offered to pay for a fancy dinner if we both completed the challenge. Of course, the reward was a good incentive. But the main help for me was having someone around to encourage me in those moments of weakness.
And the longer the campaign went on, the easier I found it. Once I knew I could go out and not have a cigarette, it wasn't so hard.