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Kingussie woman tells of her struggle to kick nicotine

By Gavin Musgrove

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Quitting smoking can be notoriously difficult and that was certainly the case for Becky Millar.

The 25 year old supervisor started smoking five years ago.

After several quit attempts, Becky finally managed to stub out her last cigarette last year.

But she says staying tobacco free remains a constant challenge.

She said: “I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this but I started smoking to get closer to a guy I fancied. He asked me if I wanted to go outside for a fag and it seemed like a good idea.

“I’d just started uni and going outside to smoke was a way of getting to know people.

“What started out as the odd cigarette when I was out drinking, turned into having the occasional one when I was alone, which then turned into a constant, recurring itch in the back of my brain.

“I was never happy I had started smoking. If the GP asked me, I’d pretend I didn’t smoke.

“I really wanted to stop but didn’t at the same time because I actually enjoyed it, and didn’t have an alternative activity to fill the void.

“I did try cutting down a few times, but always ended up back where I started after a couple of months or so.

“Being a control freak, I hated that I couldn’t just stop. I also started seriously worrying about my future health and didn’t want to continue this habit that could one day destroy my family.”

Becky says she felt alone in her attempts to quit and so support would have been welcome.

She said: “When I decided to properly stop-smoking I tried an inhaler and gum, which did absolutely nothing for me.

“I did think about approaching the NHS service. But I was embarrassed and felt like that service was only really for heavy smokers who had been smoking all their lives.

“The process of quitting was awful, it would make me really angry and depressed, which then made it much easier to start back up again.

“In the end, I moved onto vaping to stop me from smoking. Vaping was only ever meant to be temporary but soon I came to rely on it, sleeping with the vape next to my pillow and picking it up as

soon as I woke up. It wasn’t a great habit to have.”

Last summer, Becky found the determination to quit nicotine altogether.

“In the end, I started to reduce the nicotine and, bit by bit, got it down to zero,” she said. “From there, something just clicked in my head, that I no longer wanted to vape.

“I feel really pleased that I no longer smoke but it is a constant battle, particularly when I’m out socialising with friends.”

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