The Turkish senior tax analyst is one of hundreds of PMI employees to share their stories in our #Unsmoke campaign, which aims to tap into global efforts to rid the world of smoke.
Volkan decided to quit cigarettes and nicotine altogether when he and his wife were expecting their child. Together, they have given up and are not looking back.
“I had been smoking since I finished university,” he says. “I would describe myself as a social smoker, I really only smoked when I was out with friends or having meals. But that changed when I found out I was going to be a parent.”
“My partner and I decided to quit and we told our friends. From that moment on, they would have to smoke outside if they wanted to have a cigarette when they visited.”
For Volkan and his wife, the decision to unsmoke was the easy part. But getting their friends to agree was more of a challenge since they were accustomed to smoking in their living room when they visited.
Volkan says he and his wife want their guests to feel welcome and at ease. So he was apprehensive about telling them they could no longer smoke in their house.
“I was a bit shy when I first told my friends. I didn’t want them to think I was being rude. Fortunately, they understood why we wanted to do it.”
I would say, if you smoke you may see an episode of a television show. But if you unsmoke, you will see the whole series.
Volkan and his wife decided that as parents, they would ensure their house stayed smoke-free and their friends supported them. This support was valuable for Volkan because his decision to quit was driven by a desire to be around to enjoy every moment of his young son Okan’s life.
“I’ve got one son and he’s got one life. It’s the same for me and my wife. I unsmoked so I could spend every moment of my life with them. I would say, if you smoke you may see an episode of a television show. But if you unsmoke, you will see the whole series.”