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Quit Smoking with laser therapy story from A Current Affair Add Video

785,300 Cggies later and Doug Walters finally declares ...

 

IF smoking was a sport, Doug Walters would have been a dual international. The dashing batsman who lit up cricket in the 1960s and '70s could have also durried for Australia. The only time he didn't have a cigarette between thumb and forefinger was when he had a bat in his hands, carving up opposition attacks. Even then, he would light one up just before he left the dressing room and leave it burning in the ashtray just in case he got out early. Walters was famous for loving a beer, a bet, a bat and a smoke, and not necessarily in that order. But now you can cross ciggies - daily average 50, Test batting average 48.26 - off that list. After 43 years and an estimated 785,300 gaspers, Dougie, at 64, has declared his smoking career over after undergoing laser therapy in a Sydney clinic.

This momentous event took place exactly 11 months and five days ago, not that Walters is counting.

It involved him lying down on a couch and submitting himself to a kind of acupuncture in which a thin stream of light emitted from a pen-sized instrument was directed at various parts of his body.

The whole process took 45 minutes and cost $495. Walters hasn't had a cigarette since, breaking a habit that began in 1966 when he was a "nasho" drafted into National Service for the Vietnam War.

"When I was lying there I thought, gee I can't wait till this is over and I can get downstairs to have a smoke," he said told The Sunday Telegraph.

"Then I got downstairs and didn't really feel like one so I told myself, 'I'll wait till I get up to the bus stop.' (Walters had caught the bus to the city to avoid traffic.) Then I said, 'I'll wait till I get home.' But it never happened; I just never felt like one again."

Walters was put on to the laser treatment, provided by the Future Health Group, by his golfer mate Jack Newton after trying to convince him to sneak off for a durry at a charity golf day. It was last February and Newton had only that morning had the treatment. He also hasn't had a smoke since, although "Jack had to go back for a $90 top-up", says Walters.

Greg Ritchie is another ex-cricketer to undergo the treatment, said to turn off nicotine cravings and provide smokers with mental tools to stop negative thoughts that derail quit attempts.

Quitline does not endorse laser treatment, due to the lack of scientific study supporting it, but that matters not to Walters. He was a non-smoker when he began working for Rothmans in the 1960s, but the combination of the company's free cigarette rations and army boot camp quickly gave him a two-pack-a-day habit.

Unless, that is, he was going out - "I wouldn't go anywhere without four packets," he said.

Walters once had a tailor make a suit for him on tour with four jacket pockets to accommodate his supplies.

How many would he smoke a day?

"Depends on how long out of bed I was. Could be 70 or 80 if I was up early enough."

The good news for fans is that giving up hasn't changed Walters. He remains as laconic as ever, and his other obsessions haven't changed.

The Sunday Telegraph found him on the back patio of the home he has owned for 40 years doing the form for the mid-week races at Ballarat while listening to 2KY. On the table was a packet of cards and some coasters.

"I'm not getting any treatment for beer and I still like a bet, but now I can afford to put on a few more," he said.

There's also an ashtray for any mates who want a smoke. "Strangely," he said, "it doesn't worry me at all."

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/body-soul/ciggies-later-doug-walters-finally-declares/story

Posted by Adam Canning on May 16, 2011 at 2:05 AM 4619 Views

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