Our listeners are quitting fags for good and we're helping

We are helping three of our listeners kick the dirty habit of smoking for good.

Gary Collins, Emma Quinn and Perter Holohan are all determined to give up smoking but they won't be doing it alone....

Emma will have help from our resident GP Eleanor Galvin, Peter Holohan will undergo hypnotherapy with hypnotherapist Nigel Brennan and Gary Collins will have sessions with acupuncturist Michael Lawlor. 

Here's a little info on their smoking histories and the action plans of our experts:


Hi Anton,

I have been smoking since I was 13, I'm now 35 and my daughter hates that I smoke, as do I. I have tried quitting several times and usually end like a crazy woman by day 3. Often my family have urged me to start smoking again cos I'm like a demon.

My latest attempt was in January and I lasted 5 whole weeks - the first time I've ever got past a week! Unfortunately though I started again.

I just can't seem to stay off them long term and it has me worried for my health - there is a history of emphysema in my family. I also worry about my daughters health - I never smoke in the house but the smell/smoke would cling to my clothes. She has just turned 13 so I'm conscious of her being at the age I was when I started.


  • Emma started when she was 13, hanging out at school, regrets the day she started because her daughter Aoife is coming up to the same age as her when she started
  • Works as an accountant , so drives around to her clients a lot. As soon as her daughter leaves the car, Emma lights up a cigarette.
  • She times her cigarettes
  • Emma has tried a load of times to give up, it’s always her New Years resolutionand says that she tries to quit twice a year , Emma has also tried patches.
  • She had managed to get off them for a year
  • Started smoking again due to stress. She was 19 when she had her first daughter and wasn’t smoking. Emma’s daughter died a day after she was born. She says that she took up smoking the day of the funeral
  • She is really motivated to give them up now – conscious of her own health.Her uncle and mother have emphysema and they all still smoke in the house and her daughter hates going over there because of the smoking.
  • She has noticed her own health being affected –every winter she says she is choked with a cold and a chest infection for about 3 weeks, and knows that this is because of smoking . 


Family Doctors and on Twitter @RathfarnhamGP

  • Emma will be getting medication  - Champix
  • She needs to write a list of why she wants to give up
  • Her daughter also needs to write a list – to emotionally blackmail her (in a nice way)
  • Set a date to quit
  • Throw out all ashtrays, lighters and smoking paraphernalia
  • Tell her family so that they are all behind her and warn them not to sabotage her
  • Change her routine – absolutely no smoking in the car, give the car a good clean, have things in the car to replace cigarettes, fruit such as satsumas, nuts and a moderate amount of lollipops or jellies, have plenty of water on hand as well.


Hi Anton,

my name is Gary. I am 40 today. I have 2 girls who are 16months old and 2 weeks old. My wife has been off cigarette for about 2-2.5 years, but startedsmoking again in the last couple of days. I am a 20+ a day smoker for 20+ years and have tried to give up loads of times, I'd love to give up for loads of reasons especially my girls. I want to stop smoking, thanks, Gary'


  • Gary wishes he never started smoking, started when he was about 16 with a group of friends and has a love/hate relationship with cigarettes.
  • Gary will have his first smoke first thing in the morning and will have two cups of coffee and four cigarettes before he leaves the house.
  • He works for himself, installing CCTV’s so will smoke in the car.
  • Punctuates his day with cigarettes, will have one driving, when he makes a phone call
  • Has tried to quit about 20 times and has tried pretty much everything, got the Alan Carr book, did gum, E-Cigs and ‘cold turkey’.
  • He found ‘cold turkey’ most effective and was successful for about a month
  • Motivated to give up because of his kids Cara and Ailbheand says that now is the time to give up.
  • He has not noticed the effects on his health yet too much, Gary says that he is relatively fit, but he is conscious that he is nearing the age of when his father died of a heart attack
  • His wife Jenny started smoking againbut he knows that once he gives up she will be able to give up because they enable each other.
  • He finds himself thinking about smoking all the time and he really wants to just cut them out

Michael Lawlor -  Acupuncturist

Monkstown Natural Health Clinic. 

  • Michael will need to meet Gary twice weekly for 3 weeks at the start.
  • Then depending on how he is doing once every two to four weeks for two to three more sessions.
  • He should have his last cigarette the day before his first treatment and then throw out any smoking paraphernalia he has on that day.
  • He will also receive nutritional advice that can ease the cravings.


'Hi Anton. I try most Mondays to give up the fags and usually fail by Wednesday or Thursday. I was off them for 2 years before so know its possible but I put on nearly 3 stone in weight and very fearful of that happening again. I would love to take part if possible. Peter from Kilkenny. Thanks'


  • Peter HATES smoking. Started in school when he was about 16
  • The 1stthing he does in the morning is have a cigarette
  • He smokes mainly due to stress– says that they are a great crutch for him whenever he is worried about anything, because they make him feel like he can cope with anything
  • He gives up every Monday, is cranky by Tuesday and back by Wednesday says he will have one just to get him through till Friday, which then spirals
  • Once gave up about 12 years ago for 2 yearsthanks to cold turkey but sank back into the habit
  • Has a couple of motivations for wanting to give up – his partner doesn’t smoke and although he doesn’t smoke in the house – she HATES it.
  • He has a nine year old sonthat is making his communion next week and he wants to give up for him
  • He also has started waking up coughing in the morning and says that it is like the cough of a 90 year old man
  • A big motivation is money– he swore blind a few years ago that when a packet went up to a tenner he would give them up, because there was no way he would spend that much on his habit
  • He thinks it’s really ironic that he smokes to cope with the stress of paying bills, when smoking costs him so much money
  • He is really open to trying ANYTHING to giving up, and says that this time, he wants to quite for good

Nigel Brennan – Hypnotherapist 

Dublin Hypnosis Center and also [email protected]

  • Peter sounds like he is committed to giving up, but suffers high levels of stress any time he tries. Stress reduction and control will be important for Peter to ensure he doesn't slip back into the habit. 
  • There will be an initial treatment to help him reduce and manage stress, followed by a treatment more focussed on quitting smoking. The treatments will be one week apart, with a phone call a few days after each treatment to monitor his progress. At that point we'll assess if further treatments are necessary for him. 
  • I will advise and help Peter to find ways to reduce stress in his life, and to plan healthy snacks if he feels he needs "a little something". I will also go through some relaxation exercises to help him in the initial few weeks. 
  • The stopping smoking treatment itself will include using hypnosis to break old smoking associations, like smoking when stressed, and helping him establish new ways to deal with stress. We'll also look at any other associations he has built, like smoking first thing in the morning, or after a meal.