My name is Dan, and being there for my family is my story. I started smoking when I was 14. I’m sure that my first cigarette I probably choked on, but I persevered with it, and I was a smoker before I knew it.
Health and fitness has always played a big part in my life. I’ve always played sport. When I stopped playing football, I always had a gym membership, always exercised, always been a big believer in feeling good and being healthy, which is quite ironic considering I spent half my life as a smoker.
Recently, I had the flu and I was really struggling to breathe, especially at night. So, I went to the doctors, obviously, to get some antibiotics. He mentioned to me to maybe get a lung function test. I struggled to even empty my lungs, and it just sounded so wheezy – the test read.
What I could have is early signs of emphysema. I just freaked out. In my own mind, got to the point where enough was enough, and getting that little scare from the doctor was enough for me to say, “No, I don’t want to smoke anymore”.
My advice to anyone who’s considering quitting is to go see their doctor and probably work out what method is going to work for them. I tried a few different things, and it wasn’t until I got on to tablets that I found something that worked for me.
To be 40‑something and then be told that I had lung cancer and to know that I was 100% responsible for that, that I could have quit any time and I chose not to and now I have a disease that could have been prevented, I think that would devastate me.
Don’t make smokes your story. It’s just not worth it.