Finding the right reason to quit for her motivated Sharon to kick the habit.

Cigarettes left Sharon feeling out of control, but a move to e-cigarettes put the power back in her hands to quit.

Sharon, 64, started smoking at 15 and continued for 48 years, until she made the decision to quit for good in August 2019.

“The typical health and money saving messaging didn’t resonate with me. I’d never had any issues with my health and could comfortably afford to buy cigarettes. For me, I had to choose my own reason to quit.”

Until 2018, Sharon was smoking 8 cigarettes a day. She then became friends with somebody who was a chain smoker and found herself starting to smoke more. Adopting their behaviour, she also started to chain smoke which she had never done before.

“It was a control thing. I realised the cigarettes were in control of me.”

Spending time around other smokers is a common trigger for many. Evidence even suggests that smokers with more smoking friends are less likely to quit. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose friends. Tell your friends you’re trying to quit and ask for their support, you could even try to quit together.

Smoking began to make Sharon feel powerless.

“I felt I was in a vulnerable position. The fact I was having to think about all of this made me feel like the cigarettes were laughing at me saying ‘now what are you going to do?’ I didn’t like that.”

One day, after a cigarette, Sharon decided right there and then that she didn’t want to have another one ever again.

Sharon began using e-cigarettes after they were recommended by friends. Initially she only wanted to use it at ‘special times’ when she would usually have had a cigarette, like with her morning coffee.

However, she noticed that she was still giving smoking a special status in her life. Now she uses her vape more regularly throughout the day and feels that by making it less special, she’s once again removing the power smoking had over her.

E-cigarettes have helped thousands of smokers to quit. To get the best out of it, make sure you’re using it as much as you need to and with the right strength of nicotine in your e-liquid as this will help prevent you going back to smoking.

“It’s so important to find the right vape for you. There are so many different kinds on the market. A lot of people who haven’t liked vaping might have just not chosen the right one. I didn’t like the ones where you had to press a button. If that had been the only model available, I don’t think I would have stuck with vaping.”

If you’re thinking about switching to e-cigarettes like Sharon, there’s lots of information to find the right one for you.

And, you can now get vouchers for free vapes for up to 12 weeks to help you on the road to switching to vapes or quitting completely.