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World No Tobacco Day

Donal Gray is a Plant Manager for KTL. His role includes managing all fleet, plant and assets for the business. This involves managing all the vehicles, equipment, hire of equipment for sites etc.

At the beginning of 2019, Donal took the first step of his quitting smoking journey. Thanks to the Alan Carr programme offered to staff at KTL, Donal smoked his last cigarette more than two years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Read Donal’s story here:

When did you first start smoking? Talk us through that journey.

I started at a very young age (It was “cool” at the time to smoke) You could buy single cigarettes back then & it was a big thing at school to smoke to be with the “in” crowd. It progressed from a couple of cigarettes a day to around 60 a day at the height of it.

What was your catalyst to stop?

I suppose like all smokers I had myself convinced that I could stop whenever I felt like it. My main reason for stopping was my health.  I think you get to a certain age & realise what’s important in your life.

How did you hear about the Alan Carr programme?

I had heard about the Alan Carr book a long time ago – My wife read it & quit at the time. I heard about the Alan Carr programme through Sinead Larkin at KTL who arranged the course for any employees who wanted to avail of it.

What was involved in this programme to help you quit for good?

I was very sceptical going in to the programme; honestly I didn’t think it would work for me. However, over the course of the day it was basically stating the obvious, (Health, Anti-Social, Money etc.) something must have sunk in because that was January 2019 and I haven’t smoked since.

What were the challenges of quitting?

I suppose the toughest part was in the first week.  I found it very hard to sleep and I was eating more than usual, but the cravings subsided after the first seven days.  I also didn’t go for a drink for a few months (that was a challenge in itself 😊).

How did you overcome those challenges?

I had tried quitting many times in the past but always used a ‘crutch’ or substitute (like gums, sprays, tablets, plasters, vape). One thing that was drummed in on the course was go ‘cold turkey’. I stayed away from the pub for the first couple of months.

What would you say to people who want to quit smoking, but are finding it difficult to take the first step?

I would say to decide on a date to quit, smoke your last cigarette the day before, but keep telling yourself tomorrow is the day I quit. Don’t use a crutch just go for it. Drink lots of water as it flushes out the nicotine. I know it’s a cliché but if I can quit anyone can.

For more information on quit smoking and the Alan Carr programme, KTL staff can email Sinead Larkin at


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