WITH his wife in labour, Coxco business manager Yugal Gupta popped away from Gisborne Hospital and smoked a cigarette vowing it would be his last.
Ninety minutes later he and wife Sadaf welcomed beautiful Tianna into the world and ever since then Yugal has been true to his word.
“I’m not going to smoke anymore, it’s over for me.”
Yugal, 35, is Coxco labour solutions business manager, and he’s been smoking for six years.
An entertaining guy with a wicked turn of prhase Yugal admits the birth of his daughter led to some funny moments.
“No lie. My wife looks up to me and says ‘I’m in hospital, I’m dilating, you’re still smoking. When are you going to quit!?’”
Yugal says his nicotine addiction crept up on him. What started out as idle curiosity about the taste of a cigarette turned into an all encompassing addiction which at its worst cost Yugal $210 a week.
Luckily for Yugal, Gisborne’s Coxco Farming and Horticulture, has been part of Turanga Health’s Tū Mahi Workplace Wellness programme for seven years ensuring its hardworking staff have access to on-the-job health checks. Turanga Health quit smoking coaches are also available for Coxco staff but for Yugal, his first few attempts to quit had failed.
After Tianna was born the new dad reached back out to Turanga Health quit coach Walter Walsh and asked for help.
“I had been strong since my baby was born but I knew I would be vulnerable when I went back to work and I needed a bit of extra support.”
Walter, or Wiz as everyone knows him, is 26-years smokefree himself. He’d met Yugal before, helped him find incentives to quit, but nothing had stuck. Wiz says he could tell this time was different.
“I could see the drive was his newborn.” Wiz asked Yugal to blow into a smokerlyzer machine and it revealed that Yugal had no carbon monoxide on his breath. “That confirmed it. I could see he was smokefree and now we needed to keep it that way.”
Wiz says meeting Yugal “kanohi-ki-te-kanohi or face to face” meant the men could talk and make a plan. “I could help get him through the next few weeks.”
Wiz organised smokefree gum and lozenges to help with the nicotine withdrawl, and watched on with pride as the new dad pushed through his addiction. “I knew I was strong enough in my head to quit,” adds Yugal.
Since quitting four months ago Yugal takes takes some of the weekly money he normally spent on cigarettes and deposits it into a bank account set aside for his daugher.
“I will be able to continue putting $100 a week into her account and hopefully when she turns 18, she will have enough money for a deposit to buy herself a new house and start her new phase of life.”
Yugal says his wife reminded him just this morning that life would be different if he hadn’t quit smoking.
“She said to me ‘if you were still smoking you would be outside the house not spending time with us’ and it’s true, and that would be too hard. Did I mention Tianna is beautiful!”
Yugal says thanks to the love and support of family, and with help from Turanga Health, he will never smoke again. “It sometimes takes a couple of go’s. I recommend Turanga Health to anyone else who is ready to quit.”
Yugal on missing moments: “I went to visit my mum back in India. I love my mum. It was disrespectful that I had started smoking and I didn’t want her or the neighbours to know. To have a cigarette I would have to: get on a motorbike and drive four kilometres away; make a cigarette holder out of paper so my hands didn’t smell; eat a lemon afterwards so she couldn’t smell it; then motorbike back to her house. The effort took half an hour and I did it multiple times a day. Talk about missing moments!”
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