With the support from one of our NHS practitioners, Julie, Kirsty has recently been able to quit smoking through our smoking cessation service, and we’re incredibly proud to share her story with you.

Kirsty started smoking when she was 11 years old and was smoking around 20 cigarettes a day before she became smokefree.

Why I Quit

Quitting smoking had been on her mind since the start of the year, but the increasing guilt she felt about all the time that smoking breaks consumed from her day that could have otherwise been spent with her child compelled her to stop.

Breaking the Habit

Kirsty quit smokin­­­g with the aid of Champix which greatly reduced her cravings and helped with the withdrawal symptoms associated with giving up smoking: “Champix really did the job and made me hate smoking.” However, she found that she was still smoking even though she didn’t enjoy it anymore from force of habit. “I didn’t enjoy smoking anymore thanks to the Champix but I kept smoking out of habit.”

Using Distraction Techniques

To break the habit, Kirsty redirected her attention and used distraction techniques. “Instead of having a cigarette I would read my daughter a book which we both enjoyed.” The key was to find the distractions that worked for her as an individual. She found that even the simplest things could jolt her out of a certain mindset and break those negative thought patterns that come up when trying to break nicotine addiction.

I Had Great Support

She found her adviser Julie very supportive. “Julie gave me her contact number so that I could call if I needed any extra support, I found this really encouraging…just knowing there is a professional there for you is really reassuring”. We would also celebrate all the important milestones: Two, four and six weeks smokefree. “Julie gave me lots of praise which I found really spurred me on”.

On this day of writing, Kirsty has been smokefree for 8 weeks and she is really proud of herself. She has enjoyed some important health benefits too: Her breathlessness has greatly improved, and her sense of smell has returned.