JOHN Kelly firmly believes he will never touch another cigarette.
The Upwey resident credits meditation and exercise — and a dose of willpower — for helping end his 28-year addiction. He smoked his last cigarette on Melbourne Cup Day last year.
Mr Kelly said relaxing the mind was a big part of his journey.
"I began exercising and meditating. You've got to control your mind. It's a difficult thing to quit smoking.
"When you're doing something else, you don't feel like smoking.
"Smoking rarely crosses my mind. Only when I'm around a smoker I think about it, but now I'm committed to being a non-smoker."
Mr Kelly also had the support of Yarra Ranges community health service Inspiro and QUIT Victoria. He took part part in their four-week course to help people quit smoking.
Physiotherapist and QUIT educator James Sloane wants to help smokers fight nicotine addiction.
"QUIT's a health promotion exercise. It helps people make positive changes early on, before they develop health issues such as bronchitis, asthma, heart disease or lung cancer."
Mr Sloane recommends plenty of physical activity.
"I'm a strong believer that exercise is the best type of medicine for anyone."
To find out more about the program, visit inspiro.org.au