Painting by numbers and support from the NHS – one mum’s key to successful quitting!

17 March 2016

Shannon Thomson, 22, was born and bred in Ramsgate and is seven months pregnant with her second child – a little girl. “I was only about 11 when I started smoking but I quit when I was pregnant with my son Brandon, who’s now six,” explains Shannon, who works part time in a fish and chip shop. “However I soon started again after he was born. When I discovered I was pregnant for a second time I realised that I was going to need some extra help.”

Shannon spoke to her midwife who referred her to the Kent Stop Smoking Service run by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. Shannon said: “I saw Kathy once a week for one-to-one advice. She measured my carbon monoxide levels and prescribed a Nicorette inhaler and patches. They really helped with the cravings but I struggled in the evenings – boredom is a trigger for me. Kathy advised me to find things to do so I started doing puzzle books and painting by numbers! Keeping busy was a great way of getting me through the difficult times – it took my mind off smoking completely. “

Shannon is now smokefree and is looking forward to welcoming her daughter into the world. “I had heard that smoking can increase the risk of cot death, so I’m really happy I managed to give up before she was born. I would advise anyone to not start smoking in the first place, but if they have started then get help. I’m never going back to it now.”