Q: Now that the advertisement’s been on air for a few months, how are you feeling about your involvement in the campaign?
A: Where do I begin! I have had so many lovely random strangers approach me and ask if I’m the guy off TV. I’ve had positive feedback left right and centre. It's nice to be recognised by a lot of people who paid attention to the ad - and how much of an impact it's caused.
A lot of regulars in the group fitness classes I do are shocked to see my fitness levels are high. I'd like to think I've made new friends at the gym with the ad being aired. It's like a conversation starter, they say, "Hey, are you the guy off the smoking ad?"
It's hilarious to think that people think I'm some sort of "famous" person. I'm just an average person. There’s nothing spectacular about me. I was just a part of this ad encouraging smokers to quit.
I wanted to inspire people who are struggling with their fitness levels, and to encourage them to continue to get results. I went from being someone who was obese and smoked like a chimney, to completely changing my overall lifestyle to benefit my future.
Q: Can you tell us about anyone who has attempted to quit as a result of you being in the commercial?
A: I have a friend who is on his first week of not smoking, because I inspired him with my fitness levels.
Q: How have you been going with quitting smoking?
A: I won't sit here and say this journey was easy. It is hard. It took me a while and I have not touched a cigarette, I even feel guilty having one in my dreams! Literally, I have dreams of smoking. It doesn't bother me as much as it used to, to stand in the same space as someone having one.
Being an ex-smoker doesn't mean I don't think of having one. I still live such a stressful, busy lifestyle, and yet I've managed to go another day, week or month of not having one. I've built a routine that has worked so well that I don't even acknowledge it.
Since the ad was aired, I sort of have a reputation. If someone saw me having a cigarette, I feel I would be a disappointment to a lot of people, especially at my gym. And obviously, I would be disappointed at myself for relapsing.
Q: Would you like to tell us anything else?
A: It's been an incredible journey, and I can't wait to progress further.