Written by Elaine O'Connor, Senior Consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

Read what inspired this Surrey mother and father to quit for the sake of their boys, and gain new insights for improving your own practice of offering help.

Tammy Madigan started smoking at 10 years old.

Her parents smoked. Both her siblings smoked. When she married, her husband smoked too. But the Surrey mother knew she needed to break the cycle with her two boys – especially when she realized how her second-hand smoke was taking a toll on their health.

“Smoking seemed like a normal thing to do,” recalled the 35-year-old Fleetwood resident. “It was something that was just a regular thing inside my home. But both my parents died from smoking and their other addictions and I struggled with smoking too and I wanted to break the chain.”

She and her husband had tried to keep their smoking away from their boys, but even so, her seven-year-old son struggled with asthma and frequent chest infections, while her three-year-old suffered from repeated ear infections, eventually requiring surgery.

“We didn’t smoke in the house, we didn’t smoke in the car, but it would cling to our clothes. We were telling ourselves this was how we were preventing them being exposed to it, but we were fooling ourselves,” she said. 

So Tammy and her husband Brian made a vow: when their youngest son came home from his latest surgery last spring, he would come home to a smoke-free house and family.

Read the full story, “My Quit Smoking Story: Breaking off with cigarettes for the sake of my boys,” to learn how Tammy and her family went smoke-free and how it affected their health. Also, access resources for helping yourself, your loved ones, and your patients to go smoke free.

For more valuable insight from the patient perspective on quit-smoking motivation, techniques for reducing cravings and advice for making lasting lifestyle changes, have a read of these three patient-focused stories: “What’s your reason for going smoke-free?” “What helped you quit?” and “How did you overcome smoking struggles?


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