She started the smoking habit at the age of 16. In 43 years, she smoked over 15,700 cigarette packets or 314,000 cigarettes. If she hadn’t stopped smoking two years ago, Catherine Sammut would be among the 500 persons that die each year due to cigarette smoking.
She recalls: “Cigarettes were part of me and I loved smoking”.
She couldn’t live without smoking, always thinking about cigarettes. “When I woke up, I smoked cigarettes, and even before going to bed. If I had a coffee, six coffees – I smoked six cigarettes”.
Catherine suffered a heart attack and continued smoking. “At that time I was afraid. I spend fifteen days in fear and resumed…but then I said enough”.
Cigarettes completely worsened her life. “I go for a walk, and lose breath. The pills I take every day…I cannot live without them”.
Two years ago, Catherine was determined to stop smoking; she went to the Health Promotion Directorate, which offers a service at health centres for smokers.
“I went at the Mosta Health Centre and they helped me. I stopped smoking through their assistance”.
Her six grand children may now spend time with her at her home without inhaling smoke from her cigarettes.
Pamela Azzopardi, Catherine’s daughter stated “As you enter her home you feel the clean air and she is happy moving forward in her life. We are slowly moving on.”
Catherine is one of 300 persons who each year seek the assistance of the Health Promotion Directorate. Joseph Grech said that some 500 persons die each year through smoking.
“A smoking person loses some 10 years of his/her life, that is the more they stop early the better chance of losing less”.