Tony's kōrero - Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi


Tony’s kōrero

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I started dabbling around with smoking around age 14 or 15 years old.

It all started with a group of high school friends who I was knocking round with, I guess that it all started with a “here, try one of these” moments.

I don’t know what made me even continue with it after that, it stunk and tasted foul.

But soon it didn’t take long until I started buying packets of cigarettes with my school lunch money.

I would get $2 a day for lunch money, “You could get quite a bit at the school tuck-shop for that back then.” That would buy me a packet of 10 cigarettes – Far cheaper than today’s standards, I chose smoking over my lunch and went hungry.

Soon it didn’t take long till my $2 packet went up to $2.10 so I couldn’t buy them every single day.

I then moved on to packets of 20, I think they were around the $4 mark around the time of 1994.

I started working my first part time job at the local supermarket in the produce department, my hourly rate was a massive $4.28 per hour before TAX – The cost was no longer an issue any more.

There was one day at work where I had a cigarette on a break, it made me quite sick that I had to go sit in a chiller until I settled down – This alone should have been enough to make me stop, but when you have an addictive personality that’s easier said than done.

I continued smoking all through my teens, all the way through my 20s and most of my 30s.

I was hooked at a very young age, I never thought that I was ever going to stop.

The times that I would try and quit would usually last around 24 hours, then I would cave in then be off to the shop for another packet.

I used to stress for many years on how I’d ever give smoking the flick. I would say to myself, “This is my last packet.” I would be feeling pretty hopeful that this would be the final one.

I would get down to the final three or four in the pack, then the depression would kick in because I knew that it I was going to struggle to stay stopped, then soon after the last cigarette I would find myself back down at the shop – It was just too hard.

This happened on many occasions, I then purchased a vaporizer and my smoking worries were gone overnight – It was like magic, I couldn’t believe it – It was just too easy.

My final annual spend before I gave up the cigarettes for vaping was $15,000, with the price increases since three and a half years ago my smoking spend would be over $26,500 per year. That is too much money to watch go up in flames, It’s crazy.

I wish I sat down and counted the cost much sooner, I knew that it would be high, but not that high. It’s a financial figure that no smoker ever wants to see.

You will discover immediately the health and certainly the financial benefits of switching to vaping, after the first week of vaping I found the smell of real cigarettes really offensive.

I would think, “Man that used to be me that smelt that bad,” and let’s face it, smoking ain’t cool. It never has been.

So, you owe it to yourself to quit the ciggies, at least with vaping, it won’t give your bank account cancer that’s for sure.

Smoking and drinking go hand-and-hand, so it has been a hard battle throughout the years trying to quit both.

I have to be very careful not to touch alcohol or cigarettes now, one could easily trigger the other habit off again.

I’ve been to rehab twice now and I am proud to say that I now have my recovery. I am 100% happy, healthy and sober. The freedom that I’m feeling today is amazing.

My final step now is quitting the vape, I am now taking Varenicline to quit the vaping.

I want my life to be 100% substance-free so I can live a long, healthy life. I want to be around for my family and friends and doing all this really makes you feel like a Rockstar – I just feel so good today.

I have a very addictive personality, I get hooked on substances very easily. If I can do this so can you.

And on a final note, stopping the vape means one less electronic device to worry about charging. With all the extra money you’ll have you can afford to buy all the latest gadgets so I need that extra power socket to charge them all.