Daniel makes smoking history

Updated 30 Jan 2018.


19-year-old Daniel Yao considered himself a ‘social smoker' until he realised 24 hours without lighting up had become a near impossible task.

"It was pretty scary once I realised I couldn't go a whole day without smoking," he explained.

"Once you're addicted, it becomes a routine and you don't even notice you're doing it. I have a lot of mates who smoke as well, so cigarettes are always there. 

"I picked up my first cigarette when I was 14-years-old. I always knew it was a bad thing to do, but honestly, I started smoking because everybody else was doing it and I thought it was cool.

"Looking back, it was probably one of the worst decisions I've ever made."

Research commissioned by our Make Smoking History team in 2015 found that seeing other people smoke was a key trigger for smokers to light up, and having loved ones who smoke was the number one barrier to quitting for both males and females.

Determined to kick the habit for good, Daniel responded to our social media call out for smokers to take part in our next campaign to address these findings.

Daniel went on to feature in the "From Every Quitter" campaign alongside 11 other West Australians who'd recently quit or were attempting to quit, to voice a heart-felt plea for friends and family to refrain from smoking around them.

For Daniel, the importance behind the campaign's key line "if you can't quit with me, please don't smoke around me" rang true.

"I've been very lucky the past few months in finding and maintaining the right group of friends to surround myself with; they understand why quitting is so important to me," he said

"The vast majority of friends, workmates and people I come across at university who've seen the campaign have been very supportive.

"Even my 7-year-old sister and 12-year-old brother have told me their school friends heard me saying picking up my first cigarette was one of the worst choices I've ever made; I really, really hope that what they've heard will leave a lasting impression on them."

With the help of his support network, Daniel's successfully quit smoking since his involvement in the campaign and is determined to make it stick.
"When you try and quit it's like you almost have to retrain your brain," he explained.

"I did have a couple of lapses, but when I started surrounding myself with more positive, smoke-free friends, I found it so much easier to quit smoking.

"I don't recall a time in my life since starting smoking where I've been smoke-free for this long. I'm very happy about that!"

Daniel says participating in the campaign has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.

"I am so happy that I have played a part in making a difference for the health of West Australians.

"It's also given me a chance to make new friendships with the eleven others in the campaign, and I'm so happy that I have a new support group that I can phone whenever I feel I'm about to slip up.

"The campaign is holding me accountable and each day I think about cigarettes less and less.

"Thank you so much, thank you for helping me quit smoking."

For more information about quitting smoking, visit our Make Smoking History page here.


Found in:  News - 2018 | View all news