“I quit smoking 7 weeks ago and I’ve saved over R1800”

Ishraad Gangat (Photo:Supplied to DRUM)
Ishraad Gangat (Photo:Supplied to DRUM)

During lockdown cigarette sales have been banned and although this is a tough reality for many regular smokers, it could mean good news for both your health and finances.

Drum interviewed Ishraad Gangat -- a East London man who shared how quitting changed his life for the better in January 2020.

Ishraad Gangat from East London has fought hard to kick his addiction to nicotine and although he is only 7 weeks clean, it has paid off big time for him.

Speaking to DRUM about his decision to quit, the 34-year-old shared how much he feared quitting because of the bad experiences the people around him had spoken about.

“I feared quitting smoking purely because of the withdrawal symptoms people told me they had experienced.

“My reason for quitting is because of health reasons and a few months prior to consulting my GP I started feeling that smoking extremely unhealthy and I questioned why I would chain smoke. I also had to consider my family history of medical conditions,” Ishraad tells DRUM.

He explains that his GP encouraged him to stop smoking.

“My doctor told me, ‘You will stop smoking by next year’. His statement stuck in my head for a long time. I look forward to going back for my check up to inform him that I am two months clean.

Although this was my decision the support from my loved one played a huge part in my being clean.

My husband quit two years ago, and he kept on telling me it is not bad at all. However, his support, close friends and my colleagues was most appreciated especially during two and three” he explains.

Not only did smoking affect his health but it also put quite the dent in his finances.

“I easily spent R900 – R1200 a month on cigarettes. Since being clean I estimate that I have saved over R1800. I have used the extra money I have to spend time with my loved ones.

“In December I travelled to Port Elizabeth and in March I will be spending time with family in Kenton on Sea. I am looking forward to enjoying life.”

Ishraad also adds how his lifestyle changed tremendously during this time, from gaining weight, mood swings and how he started chewing gum to fight and overcome the craving for cigarettes.

“I was the grumpiest and most moody person ever during my journey. My appetite increased and I started to panicking when I started gaining a bit of weight which is bad as I am diabetic.”

“My friends and colleagues kept me calm by advising that I focus on one thing at a time.”

“The nausea, headaches, zoning out and slight cravings drove me insane. I then started chewing gum to keep my mouth busy besides eating a bit more” he says with a giggle.

Ishraad tells Drum that he loves the fact that he can taste food again and encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle to reduce their medical expense.