At About $9,000 a Year, John Swaps Cigarettes for Seeing The World

BRHS’ John Cantwell. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS


John Cantwell is quick to point out that everyone has to do it their own way.

What worked for him may not work for anyone else. Everyone’s journey is personal.

Still, his story of quitting smoking and the wonderful new worlds it opened up for him are sure to be an inspiration to anyone else thinking of taking that step.

“I started when I was 12,” John says, recalling the days as a little tacker at Sale Primary School, having a sneaky smoke out the back of the sheds.

As an adult he smoked about a pack a day, for many years.

But eight years ago he quit. He just felt that it was the right time for him.

“BRHS helped me, with the patches,” John said, remembering the program that provides BRHS employees wanting to quit smoking with free nicotine patches to get them started.

After that, the motivation for John was pretty simple: travel.

It’s a big, wide world out there and John wanted to see more of it.

So he put aside every dollar he used to spend on cigarettes and he saved it up. Let’s do the math… a pack a day @ approx. $25 per day x 7 = $175/week x 52 = $9,100/year.

Instead of spending that money on cigarettes he spent it on magnificent travel experiences, including trips to Vietnam (“absolutely nuts”), and cruises to Queensland and Fiji. Next on the travel list is New Zealand, and then, perhaps, another trip around Australia.

Sounds like money well spent. Good on you, John.

Are you thinking of quitting smoking? Here’s some resources that might help you.

BRHS employees interested in quitting should contact Community Health for information on resources available to help you.


The average Australian household spends almost twice as much on tobacco as they do on secondary or tertiary education, and more than they spend on their car, phone, electricity bill, or domestic holidays.