Elaine Rigney, Ngarrindjeri woman is relieved to be smoke free for 18 months. Elaine had been smoking since she was 21 years old. Now 67 years of age, Elaine knew it was time to make change.

Elaine’s doctor encouraged her to quit because she had developed severe asthma through smoking. The prescribed medication for asthma was not working and Elaine found herself coughing constantly at night. After 12 months on the asthma medication Elaine symptoms were getting worse. It was at this point that Elaine decided to quit smoking. Elaine was hesitant about quitting. She had attempted to quit various times before.  On this occasion, with the support of her GPs at Nunkuwarrin Yunti, she gave Champix a try. Elaine did experience side effects whilst using Champix, especially strange dreams, however the side effects were manageable. At first the cravings were constant, but Elaine overcame the cravings by distracting herself with other tasks such as making a cup of coffee or by taking deep breaths. Further, Elaine regularly yarned with others who had quit on Facebook. These interactions on Facebook were a huge support to Elaine and boosted her will power. 18 months later Elaine found that she doesn’t even think about having a cigarette.  Since quitting smoking Elaine boasts “I’ve got no asthma, 2 days after giving up the smokes I didn’t need the asthma puffers, I didn’t cough or anything anymore”.

Apart from health issues, Elaine had another reason to quit. “I hate seeing young girls walking around with a cigarette, and taking it up because it’s cool. I thought it was shocking and smelly. Then I looked at myself, and I thought, I think it’s time to start giving up smoking for real”. Elaine believes she is a better role model now that she is smoke free. By giving up smoking she’s able to better support family members who are trying to give up smoking.  Since quitting Elaine finds the smell of cigarettes horrible. She wishes people smoked further away from the entrance of shops.

Before Elaine quit she didn’t think about the amount she was spending on smokes. To her surprise, Elaine has noticed the significant amount of extra money she now has, approximately $250 a fortnight. She is able to better budget her money and buy extra treats for herself occasionally. A big advantage to having more money is that she is able to afford to fix up her van and go on frequent road trips to explore the coast.

The Nunkuwarrin Yunti Tackling Tobacco Team aim to encourage Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people living in the metropolitan Adelaide region to quit smoking. Need help to quit? Contact tacklingtobacco@nunku.org.au or phone 8406 1600