My name’s Donna Lemon, I’m 39 years of age, and I live in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. It’s where I was born, it’s where my kids were born. The most important thing to me are my sons. They’re the reason that I’m here, they’re the reason I get up every morning, and the reason why I have to leave a legacy behind.
I was a smoker for 26 years. I started when I was 13. I smoked for way too long. I got to a pack a day, and when I was drinking it might have been two.
My eldest son’s birthday is on National Quit Tobacco Day, which is the 31st of May, so he’s been pumping me for the last 16 years to quit, so it was time.
Smoking has one of the biggest impacts on families. I mean, I watched my Mum slowly die from emphysema. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever had to watch. She’d actually said to me the week prior to her passing away that she really wishes she’d never been introduced to nicotine.
I had tried to quit about two years ago. I didn’t try hard enough. This time around I went cold turkey, and I got an app on my phone called the Quit Buddy, and I look at that, and that gives me that little bit more push that I need to help stop smoking. Some of the things on the app mean that you can actually log in and you can seek support from the community that you live in. You can also buddy up with somebody that you can call if you feel like you’re going backwards, or that you need to light up a cigarette. It gives you choices, it’s such a good little app. And we all make the choice to smoke, we all make the choice to quit.
If I could do it over again, I would never have picked up a cigarette 26 years ago, I can guarantee you that.
Cigarettes, smoking, that shouldn’t be your story.