A ci­garette break WITH A DIF­FER­ENCE

I saved a small for­tune by quit­ting for good

Chat - - ADVERTISIN­G FEATURE - Kristie But­ter­field, 31, Black­pool

Fold­ing my clothes into a small suit­case, I counted down the days un­til we jet­ted off.

‘Only two weeks to go,’ I texted my friends ex­cit­edly.

We’d booked a long week­end in Barcelona for a girls’ hol­i­day.

I couldn’t wait to ex­plore a new city with my best mates.

The best part about it was, I had a huge rea­son to cel­e­brate.

Af­ter giv­ing up cig­a­rettes more than two months ago, I’d saved a for­tune.

An app on my phone told me I’d saved £350.

I’d ba­si­cally cov­ered the cost of my week­end abroad without even notic­ing!

‘It’s like you’re get­ting a free hol­i­day,’ my friend Rachel laughed when I told her how much money I’d saved just by giv­ing up fags.

Sure, the past few weeks had been filled with ups and downs.

I’d caved un­der stress, find­ing my­self back at the newsagents for a sneaky pack of 20.

But I’d come through it, and the re­wards were so worth it.

I de­served to let my hair down now.

That night, I re­searched all the things I wanted to do on my trip.

Visit the fa­mous Sagrada Fa­milia, drink san­gria by the sea, and tuck into a huge pan of tasty paella in a tra­di­tional Span­ish

restau­rant.

Look­ing at my cal­en­dar on my bed­room wall, it sud­denly hit me how far I’d come.

It was al­most two months ago when I made my pledge to give up for good.

I’d man­aged more than 60 days without a fag.

‘I knew you could do it,’ Rachel told me proudly.

Af­ter more than a decade as a ded­i­cated ci­garette smoker, the past few months had proven to me just how strong I am.

I don’t need cig­a­rettes to get me through the day. There have been times when my ci­garette crav­ings have got the bet­ter of me.

But I’ve man­aged to over­come them.

Af­ter years of be­ing ashamed by my dis­gust­ing habit, I’m now proud to call my­self a non­smoker.

On nights out I don’t have to leave my friends in the bar while I go out­side for a sneaky puff.

I can no longer smell the rem­nants of cig­gie smoke on my clothes.

I’ll never go back.

Af­ter be­ing in cig­a­rettes’ grip since I was 14, I fi­nally have con­trol of my life.

A health app I use has es­ti­mated I was clog­ging up my lungs with around 105 grams of tar ev­ery year.

Just the thought of it is ut­terly grim.

Yet for years I car­ried on puff­ing away on cig­a­rettes, not even think­ing about the dam­age I might be do­ing to my body.

I wish I could go back to the teenage me and tell my­self just how much of a mis­take start­ing smok­ing cig­a­rettes was.

They took their toll on my pocket, my health and my life­style.

But I’ve kicked the bad habit for good now. I feel so much fitter.

Af­ter two months I can last a full hour on the bad­minton court without stop­ping to catch my breath.

I can’t wait to see what the fu­ture holds.

My trip to Spain will be my ul­ti­mate re­ward to my­self.

For the first time ever, I am truly proud of my achieve­ments.

No ifs, no butts!

Who knows what else I’m ca­pa­ble of now.

‘I was clog­ging up my lungs with 105 grams of tar ev­ery year’

I’m a non­smoker now and never look­ing back

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