Jamie's battle to quit ends in victory

FOR Coffs Harbour man Jamie Forsyth, a happy mind is a happy life.

And he's learnt that it's all in his head when it comes to quitting the smokes for good.

“I've tried lots of times to quit and I've tried them all - patches, inhalers, gum,” Jamie said.

“Smoking is the only thing I've ever been addicted to and the hardest thing I've ever done is quit.”

Jamie has been trying to quit for a year, following the collapse of his lung in 2007 that saw him transported to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney for treatment.

It was there that he came to realise what his biggest problem was. “Most people who smoke have a psychological attachment to smoking,” he said. “I've looked to cigarettes in times of stress, and really it's all in my head.

“The biggest battle is convincing myself that I don't need them, and I've learnt to still have stress without having a smoke.”

It's a battle that Jamie, and anyone trying to kick the smokes, doesn't have to fight alone, thanks to a new program devised by the Mid North Coast Division of General Practice.

Quit Cafe is a once a month meeting where people wishing to stop smoking or wanting to learn about quitting and harm minimisation can simply drop in.

Facilitated by Dr Gillian Gould, director of the smoking cessation programs, the Quit Cafe involves interactive group activities, discussion and guest speakers such as pharmacists, doctors and psychologists.

The Quit Cafe has been a boon for Jamie. “You get to hear it all, discuss it all, and you have access to information and products you need,” he said. “It definitely makes it easier to quit.”

The next meeting of the Quit Cafe is on November 11 at the Rural Clinical School at Coffs Harbour Health Campus from 6pm. Registration is necessary. Phone 6651 5774.

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