World No Tobacco Day – 31 May 2022


We spoke to Paddy Brogan, Ireland’s Operations Manager KTL about his quitting journey for World No Tobacco Day, May 31st, 2022.


The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.


Thinking smoking was “cool” until he decided to start a family, Paddy was sponsored by KTL to go on the Allen Carr program to help him stop smoking and he decided then, that “It was the right time to quit”, that’s over 15 years ago.


The Allen Carr Easyway organisation has clinics in over 50 countries worldwide and has been helping to set people free from their issues and addictions for over 35 years.


Paddy took it one day at a time. Here’s his journey:


When did you first start smoking?

I had my first cigarette at the age of 14. I bought a packet out of my first week’s wages from a summer job working on a farm. I was smoking on a regular basis by the age of 16 - it was driven by having money from part-time jobs and peer pressure. Smoking was cool and everyone was smoking. I was young, fit and healthy and it didn’t affect me.


What was your catalyst to stop?

I initially quit smoking in early 2007 and the driver behind this was starting a family. I just used willpower and never smoked a cigarette from that day. Until June 2013 when I was the best man for a friend’s wedding and as part of the celebrations, I bought cigars for the wedding night. Then slowly but surely, I got addicted to nicotine again and couldn’t go a day without having a few cigars.


How did you hear about the Alan Carr program?

KTL sponsored a group of employees to participate in the Alan Carr program. To be honest, I hadn’t heard much about the program before this. Once the offer was made, I was keen to get involved as the cigars were starting to affect my health.


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

The program involved a five-and-a-half-hour group session where the session removes the smoker’s belief that smoking provides any sort of genuine pleasure or crutch. It removes the feeling of sacrifice and deprivation and therefore rids the smoker of the fear of stopping.


What were the challenges of quitting?

For me personally, the main challenges were centred around social occasions and handling the stress of being without a cigar in these types of settings.


How did you overcome those challenges?

I took one day at a time and marked every day as an achievement, it also helped a lot that other KTL staff were on the same journey with me and were there to support me.


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

I would tell them to take it one day at a time and reward themselves throughout the quitting process, focusing on all the positives of being a non-smoker. As the positives far out way the negatives. Believe in yourself and seek the support of those around you.


For more information on quitting smoking and the Alan Carr programme, KTL staff can email Sinead Larkin at sinead.larking@ktl.ie


For more information on the Alan Carr programme: https://www.allencarr.com/about-allen-carrs-easyway/#ref