Oh, what's happened to this? Oh, you stood on the buttons. Oh! That's why I don't let the cats in, look what they've done now. They've reset the sound, hang on, bear with me. My name's Craig. I've got seven amazing cats, which are the main reason that I gave up smoking. At the height, I think I got to about 30 a day. I stopped smoking because of the harmful effects it would have on all the little ones. This is the family. We've got Athena, the little girl there is Ebony, she's the shyest of them all. We've got my two eldest boys, Raven and Shadow. Thunder and Storm, mother and daughter. They both can be really grumpy, especially around the latest addition who is little Ron. I started smoking mid teens. When you get hooked on something like that, you tend to become a bit of a lifer. I tried acupuncture, in the hope that relaxation may stop the urge, but that failed as well. So I went through the route of hypnotherapy. So in the space of 40 minutes, I went from being 30 a day, to as if I'd never smoked in my life. I'm based in Ashton-under-Lyne, which is on the outskirts of Manchester town centre. It's a quiet area, very old fashioned. I work as a pensions administrator, which is basically day-to-day computer admin. But aside from the cats, I've got a passion for theatre. I also write the odd bit of poetry. I do get out and about once in a while, a bit of socialising. This was a gift that I got from work, name says it all: Crazy Cat Man. If it hadn't been for stopping smoking, this little play area for my cats wouldn't exist. So all the money that I've scrimped and saved as a result of not smoking, has resulted in this. I would have been smoking, in excess, of 80, 90 cigarettes a week. It was hindering me financially, I couldn't do stuff for myself, and I couldn't do anything for my babies. It was a sacrifice well worth making. They all got a bout of cat flu three or four months ago. If I smoked, I wouldn't have been able to put the money in place to save them. The smoking? It can affect cats just like it can affect people, and secondhand smoke as well. They are just as prone to getting the carcinogens in through their lungs as babies would be. And the other thing is as well, because they lick themselves clean, they get the secondhand smoke into them that way as well. And there are studies to show that they are twice as likely to get lymphoma which is a very nasty cancer... if they're exposed to secondhand smoke, compared to cats that aren't. Because of how important they are in my life, it wasn't fair for me to risk their health at all. We're planning a bit of an upgrade today. I've brought me dad along, who's gonna help out with the construction. If I hadn't have stopped, we wouldn't be here today doing this, because I wouldn't have a catio. All we need to do now, is find a willing victim to give it a go. Basically, the tattoos represent my babies, my love of music, because I play the keyboard as well. You're awesome. I've also got this. This is just a tatty bit of art, to represent the battles that I've been through, and my inner strength that helped me get through them. Ever since I got over depression, and then additionally quit smoking, life has been on the up. When I got me initial two cats, I was in a very dark place, I didn't feel mentally, that I had a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I got these two babies that had to rely on me for food, for safety, for love. It gave me the strength to carry on and give me a purpose. The babies saved my life. I'll just basically do anything for them. There's no logic to smoking at all. Although you get this, maybe false high; everything else is just negative. You're polluting your lungs. You're killing yourself. You're killing those around you. "Polluting innocent furry lungs, gave me a certain chill. "The damage that I could have been causing, all against their will. "Quitting smoking was almost impossible, no matter how hard I tried. "In the end I took a punt, got myself hypnotised. "Now my babies they can breathe easily, their lives no longer under threat. "As the guilt to causing harm to them, would be a pain I'd always regret. "Over two years I've now been smoke free, with the proceeds that I've retained, "the catio built for my babies, a safe play area that's kept them dry each time it's rained."


How Cat-Lover Craig Quit Cigs For His Feline Friends

This is a sample from our ‘Quit Cigarettes’ mission, which is currently live in the UK. Our goal is to increase the amount of people in the UK who quit cigarettes. Read more about our first mission here.

Craig's furry 'babies' were the catalyst for quitting his thirty-a-day habit - he wanted to give them the best life possible. And now the money he's saved from not smoking has gone into a 'catio', so his seven cats can play in a safe, smoke-free environment.