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Vanity, economics and health appear to be the main motivators for
Marelise van der Merwe, 31, who quit twice. She started in her teens and kicked the habit for the first time when she was 25.
“I looked in the mirror and saw grey skin. I had a smoker’s cough. I was 25, but felt like I was 90,” said Van der Merwe.
The first time, quitting was easy and accidental. She had run out of cigarettes in the evening and was late for work the following day so could not stop to buy any. After making it through the day without smoking, Van der Merwe thought it a good time to quit.
She immediately started investing her cigarette money into unit trusts. After a few years, she had saved enough money to put down a deposit on her flat, spending money for a trip to Malaysia, and to fund a two-month hike through Spain last year.
But towards the end of last year she lapsed. This time around, Van der Merwe tried using nicotine patches and other aids, but says none of these worked.
Her doctor eventually prescribed a drug and she’s not had a cigarette since the end of February.
By September, she will have saved R20 000. Her next smoke-free stop is Portugal.