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The Incredible Stories

The Incredible Stories

We know that quitting smoking is far from easy, but it’s one of the most incredible things you can ever do. Discover the incredible quit stories to motivate you on the journey.

Daan Verhoeven – From 20 cigarettes a day, to achieving national freediving records

Meet Daan

Name: Daan Verhoeven
Age: 41
Hometown: Born in the Netherlands, but Cornwall is where I call home
Biggest Achievement: Quitting smoking and achieving several national freediving records
Previous smoking habit: 20 a day

“Quitting smoking and starting freediving really changed my life dramatically. I used to smoke about a pack a day. I tried several times to quit, because I didn't like being addicted, but also because my father died of lung cancer and that really frightened me.“

“I found freediving and it sparked a big passion in me. Suddenly my breath became much more important, much less taken for granted, and I could feel how smoking was holding me back - literally, I needed all the oxygen I could get in order to dive.”

“I started seeing quitting less as an obligation, and more as a present I could give myself. Give myself more oxygen. It was tough, but I allowed it to be tough; I'd learned from breath holding that if you relax once it gets tough instead of fighting it, you make it easier for yourself. Within a week I was holding my breath almost a minute longer than I could when I was smoking, and the worst of the withdrawals were behind me.

A year later I went from being a withdrawn and rather depressed soul to being a national record holding athlete, with friends all over the world.”

Daan now runs a freediving academy in Cornwall with his girlfriend Georgie. Daan was paid for his story and all opinions expressed are his own. To find out more about Daan, visit

Mark Cooper - From 20 cigarettes a day, to running across Europe in 56 days.

Meet Mark

Name: Mark Cooper
Age: 32
Hometown: Edinburgh
Biggest Achievement: Quitting smoking and completing my first 10km run!
Previous smoking habit: 20 a day


“I realized I wasn’t happy with my life. Quitting smoking was a big part of changing that, but it also gave me the confidence and determination to change lots of things. Whether it’s 50 marathons in a row or 50 yards more than you did yesterday, what it come down to is not the magnitude of what you set out to achieve. It’s whether you finish the damn thing or take the easy way out”.

“Friends and family have been so important in helping me to stay motivated to never go back to cigarettes.”

Mark lives happily with his wife Ferelith and their two cats. Mark was paid for his story and all opinions expressed are his own. To find out more about Mark, visit

<p>The makers of NICORETTE® are not responsible for the content of third party websites. Johnson & Johnson Ltd doesn’t support any entity directly or indirectly related to Mr. Cooper or Mr. Verhoeven.</p>

Myths about Quitting Smoking

Think quitting will make you more stressed? Think it’s too late to quit, the damage is already done? We want to give you the real facts about quitting smoking.

We understand that quitting smoking is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. These tips will help keep you motivated and on track.