Such a good feeling to say “I don’t smoke anymore!”

17 March 2016

Such a good feeling to say “I don’t smoke anymore!”“I’d been smoking regularly since I was a teenager, around 20 a day,” recalls 63-year-old Angela, who shares her home with husband Peter and four noisy parrots. “I’d tried to pack it up before but couldn’t even last a day. Then in 2011 Peter and I went on a walking holiday in Snowdonia. He was skipping up the hills in front of me like a mountain goat but I couldn’t keep up. Then I tripped and fractured my ankle. The X-ray showed that I had early signs of osteoporosis – a condition where the bones are weakened over time and you end up bent double. I knew that smoking was a factor and that I didn’t want to go down that route. I thought ‘this is it now, my last chance’.”

The receptionist at Teynham Health Centre gave Angela the number for the NHS Stop Smoking service, and she received an appointment the following week with advisor Claire. She was prescribed Champix to help with withdrawal, and given advice and support to break the habit. “Claire explained to me that smoking is both an addiction and a habit, and that I needed to tackle both to succeed” recalls Angela, “I couldn’t believe how quickly I saw the benefits! We went out cycling and I could keep up with Peter, I didn’t have to get off and push. No more nicotine-stained fingers or ginger moustache, and my bank balance is much healthier too. It’s such a good feeling to be able to say “I don’t smoke anymore”. Claire didn’t judge me, or give me a lecture, just friendly support and advice. I couldn’t have done it without her.”