How these 2 friends helped each other quit smoking

·3 min read

Mark Gallant says he knew his buddies suspected something when he kept finding excuses to stay inside the coffee shop instead of joining them outside for a cigarette.

He'd tell them he didn't have any smokes on him, or just didn't feel like it. One in the group, Dave Clarkin, wasn't buying it.

"On the fifth day, Dave looked at me and said, 'You son of a bun, you quit.' And I said, 'Yeah, Dave, I think I did,'" Gallant said.

"And the next day, Dave come in and they asked him to go for a smoke. And he said, 'I'm done.' Neither one of us had a smoke since."

That was a year ago, and despite smoking for about 50 years — back when they could buy three single cigarettes for five cents — they said they don't miss it one bit.

It made it a lot easier for me when I knew Mark was off them and it was someone to stay sitting at the coffee shop with. — Dave Clarkin

"I couldn't care less if I ever see another cigarette," Clarkin told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. "It doesn't bother me to see somebody else smoking. I don't think, my God, I'd love to have the cigarette. It's been months and months and months since I've even thought of it."

It helps, they said, when they count all the money they've been saving. At $17 a pack, it adds up quickly.

Sandi Gallant/Facebook
Sandi Gallant/Facebook

Gallant has been putting a few toonies and loonies in a jar every day, and has saved about $1,000 — enough to buy all his Christmas gifts and have some left over.

Clarkin bought himself a new truck. He said the monthly payments are less than what he was spending on cigarettes.

Tried quitting before

They tried to quit before but nothing worked — not the patch, gum, hypnosis, you name it.

The key, Clarkin said, was doing it together. Especially when they meet with their regular group at a coffee shop in Stratford.

"It made it a lot easier for me when I knew Mark was off them and it was someone to stay sitting at the coffee shop with in the morning, it didn't feel like I had to be outside."

Gallant said he took it hour by hour at the beginning, then day by day, which was the first milestone.

"I've never had a full day. I've always snuck a smoke here or there or a drag or something. But I had the full 24 hours in and I felt pretty good. And the next day I put a couple of toonies in my bank and I said, well, if I can go another day."

More time with wife

Both say at this point, they're confident there's no looking back.

They rarely get cravings for nicotine, and Clarkin has even found another benefit.

"My wife quit 13 years ago, and I've never smoked in the house since then, just in my shop, and I've really started to spend some more time with my wife now that I'm not in the shop all the time."

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