Die hard smoker with a 100-a-day cigarette habit QUITS after puffing for 27 years – here’s how

A man who chain-smoked 100 cigarettes a day ‘non-stop’ for 27 years has revealed how he kicked the ‘filthy’ habit.  

Walter Humphreys, 58, would puff on cigarettes from the moment he woke up at 5am until he fell asleep at night at 10pm.    

‘I was a walking disaster,’ the die-hard smoker from Townsville, Queensland said. ‘It was one after the other, all day and all night.’ 

Walter Humphreys (pictured) , 58, would puff on cigarettes from the moment he woke up at 5am until he fell asleep at night at 10pm

Walter Humphreys (pictured) , 58, would puff on cigarettes from the moment he woke up at 5am until he fell asleep at night at 10pm

Walter Humphreys (pictured) , 58, would puff on cigarettes from the moment he woke up at 5am until he fell asleep at night at 10pm

Mr Humphreys was 13-years-old when his step-brother and his mates peer-pressured him into having his first cigarette.  

What began as a bad habit morphed into a ‘horrifying’ addiction during a prison stint in 1990. 

The addiction kept Mr Humphreys – from a family of ‘smokeaholics’ himself – in its clutches for close to three decades afterwards. 

Mr Humphreys said at his worst ‘I had nicotine stains all over me fingers, me bed. I was just a wreck.’ 

Mr Humphreys (pictured) was 13-years-old when his step-brother and his mates peer-pressured him into having his first cigarette

Mr Humphreys (pictured) was 13-years-old when his step-brother and his mates peer-pressured him into having his first cigarette

Mr Humphreys (pictured) was 13-years-old when his step-brother and his mates peer-pressured him into having his first cigarette

Mr Humphreys (pictured) smoked even as he battled through leukemia and several bouts of chemotherapy just seven years ago

Mr Humphreys (pictured) smoked even as he battled through leukemia and several bouts of chemotherapy just seven years ago

Mr Humphreys (pictured) smoked even as he battled through leukemia and several bouts of chemotherapy just seven years ago

He smoked even as he battled through leukemia and several bouts of chemotherapy just seven years ago.

The terrible addiction cost Mr Humphreys a ‘fortune’. Mr Humphreys typically rolled a two ounce (50g) packet of White Ox tobacco a day. 

That today costs about $80AUD. In the past decade, cigarette prices have doubled and are creeping closer to $40 for a standard pack. 

Mr Humphreys wouldn’t always pay. The ex-convict was so desperate he would puff on ‘bumpers’ – rolled cigarettes filled with leftover tobacco from used sticks. 

He tried to quit several times. His methods included going cold turkey and ‘going to a farm’ to work hard, but did not work.  

(File picture) The terrible addiction cost Mr Humphreys a 'fortune'. Mr Humphreys typically rolled a two ounce (50g) packet of White Ox tobacco a day

(File picture) The terrible addiction cost Mr Humphreys a 'fortune'. Mr Humphreys typically rolled a two ounce (50g) packet of White Ox tobacco a day

(File picture) The terrible addiction cost Mr Humphreys a ‘fortune’. Mr Humphreys typically rolled a two ounce (50g) packet of White Ox tobacco a day

Mr Humphreys' (pictured) biggest tip to smokers looking to quit is simple: Think about anything else other than smoking

Mr Humphreys' (pictured) biggest tip to smokers looking to quit is simple: Think about anything else other than smoking

Mr Humphreys’ (pictured) biggest tip to smokers looking to quit is simple: Think about anything else other than smoking

Two years ago a chronic lung disease diagnosis forced Mr Humphreys to try and make the most of his ‘second chance’ at life. 

With the help of Queensland’s Quitline, he cut down – first from 100 cigarettes per day to 80, then to 60, 40, 20 and finally to zero.  

The hardest part was the first step – slashing the number of sticks he smoked from 100 to 80 per day. 

‘Your lungs are so used to copping a beating, and the cravings were more strong,’ he said. 

‘I was craving (so bad), I was chewing my fingers, my fingernails – I just couldn’t keep busy enough.’ 

(File picture) Health authorities have urged lifelong smokers to keep trying to quit, rather than give up the first time they fail

(File picture) Health authorities have urged lifelong smokers to keep trying to quit, rather than give up the first time they fail

(File picture) Health authorities have urged lifelong smokers to keep trying to quit, rather than give up the first time they fail

His biggest tip to smokers looking to quit is simple: Think about anything else other than smoking. 

‘If you think about it, you’re gone,’ he said. 

‘Go and do something, anything – watch TV, have a shower – keep busy and don’t think about it.’ 

Even today, Mr Humphreys’ battle with addiction isn’t over. 

Sometimes he will smoke up to four cigarettes a day. ‘Everyone relapses, we’re not perfect … I’m trying my best’. 

But he feels ‘100 per cent better’ now he has almost ditched what he describes as one of the worst drug addictions. 

‘Before you know it, you’re walking down the street and going, ‘I can smell the fresh air, and smell the ocean’ – I couldn’t do that before..

‘If I can help just one person to quit the habit then it’s worth doing this story.’ 

Mr Humphreys (pictured) says he feels '100 per cent better' now he has almost ditched what he describes as one of the worst drug addictions

Mr Humphreys (pictured) says he feels '100 per cent better' now he has almost ditched what he describes as one of the worst drug addictions

Mr Humphreys (pictured) says he feels ‘100 per cent better’ now he has almost ditched what he describes as one of the worst drug addictions

ONE IN SEVEN AUSTRALIANS SMOKE EVERY DAY 

Health authorities have urged lifelong smokers to keep trying to quit, rather than give up the first time they fail.  

About one in seven Australians – or 2.6 million adults – are daily smokers, according to 2017-18 Bureau of Statistics figures. 

Health campaigner Eva James, from Quitline, said: ‘Don’t despair if you do not quit on your first attempt’

‘In fact, you should be commended for taking that first step – it shows you’re serious about giving up smoking and improving your health.

‘Our advice is to keep trying. There are numerous techniques to quitting smoking that have proven successful for many people that you can try.’

Mr Humphreys hopes he can be an ambassador for Quitline one day, ‘because I know how hard it is’.  

Quitline: 13 QUIT (13 7848)

Link hienalouca.com

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