Here at Yorkshire Smokefree, we are proud to have supported Barbara from Calderdale as she changed her life, improved her health and revolutionised her determination during her smokefree journey. We caught up with her to discuss her inspiring quit story.

What was your main reason for accessing the YSF service?

One of my biggest motivators for accessing the service was the health of my chest and lungs. I’d recently noticed that small, everyday tasks like walking were significantly more difficult, especially up inclines and hills. 

Frequently, when I got off the bus to walk home I had to stop many times, becoming more and more breathless the further I went. I knew it was time to make a change. 

Did you believe you could achieve 4 weeks Smokefree?

Before I started never would have thought it possible that I could achieve a whole 4 weeks smoke-free. But once I began to believe in myself, I was surprised over and over again that I overcame every new challenge at every hurdle.

Yorkshire Smokefree allowed me to discover that no cravings are stronger than my own determination. 

Have you used medication to help you quit? 

I was regularly prescribed 25mg Nicotine Patches and a 15mg Inhalator, both of which were helpfully supplied by the service. 

Eventually, I also began using an e-cigarette.

 How helpful did you find it?

After some trial and error, I found the patches irritated my skin, so I stopped using them after 4 days. The inhalator worked for me much more successfully, as I found the hand to mouth action helpful when changing my habits. Although the inhaler wasn’t the strongest nicotine product, it played a key role in helping my establish my quit. Half the battle was in my mind, and behavioural changes made the biggest difference. 

I have been using an e-cigarette, which I am working towards weaning off completely.

Apart from medication, what else helped you to quit and stay smokefree?

Determination. Determination. Determination. I was fully conscious that this is something I wanted to do for myself and now I have seen how far I have come, I will not let myself down.

Over the past few weeks, I have come to reflect on how much time I must have wasted smoking.  I’ve since found new hobbies and interests to enrich my time. 

I have taken advantage of the good weather and spent time cultivating my garden and begun researching my family tree, which has been really interesting.

Has your health improved since you quit and if so, in what ways? 

There has been a huge improvement with my chest and lungs, I am no longer gasping for breath (especially when gardening). I plan on measuring this improvement the next time I am on route home from the bus stop post-lockdown. 

Other than health, have you achieved anything since quitting that you couldn’t do whilst smoking?

I’ve been making plans for activities, trips and holidays I’d like to enjoy when the pandemic ends, something I could not have afforded when I was smoking because of the expense. 

Has the current lockdown helped you maintain your smokefree status? 

Lockdown has changed the game completely when it comes to quitting, its never been easier to stay away from other smokers, peer pressure and frequent purchasing of cigarettes. During lockdown, the focus is on me and making my home smoke free, healthy and safe. 

I do occasionally worry what will happen when lockdown is over but I’m very motivated and have every faith I will stay strong - especially with Yorkshire Smokefree to support me anytime I need.

What have you found helpful accessing the service via the Telephone? 

Weekly phone calls kept me focused. It’s a great comfort to have someone impartial interested in my progress, I tend to look forward to speaking with an advisor. Though I have now quit and feel more in control, the phone calls still help, especially when I’m isolating.

Its been my first time using the service, I’m happy to say my life has changed for the better. 

If you feel inspired by Barbara’s story and would like support in quitting, or to register for a Callback Request today.

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