Elizabeth is really reaping the rewards of not smoking. Her health has improved and her smoke-free life is more enriched than ever before! In her own words, she tells us her story.
I began smoking at the age of 15 and have smoked for 48 years on and off, I have quit during this time on a number of occasions for 6 months to a year. I remember I started smoking due to peer pressure and wanting to belong, in my teens I also smoked cannabis for a time too. For most of my smoking years I was smoking around 25 cigarettes per day but for the last few years I have managed to reduce this to 4 per day.
I wanted to stop smoking again after being diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); this diagnosis was termed ‘severe’ which resulted in a further loss of energy, struggling to walk, especially up hill, was very hard. I wanted to quit so that I could exercise and live a fuller life.
After contacting 111, I was referred into Yorkshire Smokefree and was provided with telephone support for 12 weeks. The service I received was good and I was provided with nicotine replacement therapy to help me with my quit – I decided to use nasal spray which was very effective, the power of the spray definitely played a part in helping me quit. My worries over my health and mobility have also helped me to stay smoke free – I don’t want smoking to limit my options especially when it comes to travelling and flying. I also found (gradually) that reliance on smoking to aid concentration is overrated and now seems clearly harmful.
Since stopping smoking, my health has improved; I no longer wake up coughing and short of breath and any physical activity, no matter how short, no longer requires regular breaks. More importantly I can now cook in a hot kitchen without discomfort, or the need for heat extractors and wide-open doors.
Since I quit, I have achieved simple things like no longer having a cigarette in my hand when going through the papers or using the telephone. I have also re-referred myself back into NHS pulmonary rehab exercise and now also thinking about starting dance classes and taking up voluntary work once again.
I love the fact that I no longer smoke and that I don’t have a constant smoke-smell on my clothes or in my house. I no longer have moments of desperation when I realise I have run out of cigarettes and no longer have the dread of spending long periods of time in a no-smoking environment. There are no dirty ash trays in the house and I now have an increased appetite and love of food.
With the money I have saved from stopping smoking I plan on increasing my activities and making the most of my better mobility!
I would say to anyone who is thinking of or has recently started smoking, don’t do it! even just for one try, smoking is probably one of the most addictive habits, despite being legal.
If you feel inspired by Elizabeth's story and would like support in quitting smoking, register for a Callback Request today.