Hollie’s Quit Story
Hollie credits her volunteer work with a nearby SPCA as the big inspirational push she needed to finally quit smoking. As soon as she started making regular visits to the shelter to care for the rabbits, ferrets, mice, rats and guinea pigs, she found that she loved it so much that it quickly became the highlight of her week!
The more time that Hollie would spend caring for and cuddling the animals, the more she would think about how the smell of the smoke on her body was affecting them. She felt so much joy from being with the animals that she decided that she wanted to live a long and healthy life alongside the animals. She was determined not to let anything, including her smoking addiction, get in the way of her regular shelter visits.
Like most smokers, Hollie had tried to quit many times on her own, but nothing she did ever really stuck. When she found out that as a BC Public Service employee, she could access a ton of free resources and support through her employer, she decided to take the leap to quit once and for all.
She was relieved to find out that she was eligible to be reimbursed for smoking cessation products through her job. She also signed up to receive bi-weekly Quit Tips via text message and used a quit-smoking app to track her progress. Hollie also read a lot about the benefit of quitting and did a ton of research. The more Hollie learned about how quickly her body would bounce back after quitting, the more motivated she was to quit.
Hollie also connected with a free Quit Coach, a virtual counselor who helped her build and follow a quit plan. The coaches were available to her when she had questions and provided her with helpful advice for how to handle difficult situations and resist the urge to smoke. Hollie says that the extra interactions helped her feel less alone. “I don’t think I would have quit smoking (for the last time!) if it wasn’t for these resources.”
After trying to quit almost a dozen times over the years, Hollie smoked her last cigarette on January 31, 2015 and never looked back. She doesn’t think she couldn’t have done it all by herself. Hollie learned about the Quittin’ Time program and the BC Smoking Cessation program at work. “It just really helped knowing I wasn’t alone and was being encouraged and supported and cheered on by people I’d never met.”
Hollie says that quitting wasn’t easy and, at the start, she had to make a conscious decision not to smoke each day. Hollie’s advice for people who are thinking about quitting is to make sure it’s their decision. She says “no matter what your reasons are, they have to be your own.” She also suggests that if you are thinking about quitting, that you seek out as many support and resources as you can from the start – visit Quittin’ Time, join online forums, do research online, work with a Quit Coach and search out helpful tips and tricks.