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Hi, my name is Natalia. I decided to quit smoking because I was beginning to feel heavily dependent on cigarettes. I was constantly anxious about not having cigarettes on me, knowing where the smoking areas would be, and always having a lighter on hand.

I was struggling to exercise at the gym due to shortness of breath and decided I needed help to quit. I had never tried to quit before and used to smoke around a pack a week, but recently, my smoking increased. At that point, I knew I had to seek help to stop for my health and due to the cost implications. I hated being dependent on cigarettes and didn’t believe I would be successful in quitting.

I attended the Wakefield clinic at Agbrigg Community Centre on Tuesdays, where I met Julia, the Stop Smoking Advisor. Together, we discussed the best medication for me to start my quit journey, and we talked about distraction techniques. I decided to try nicotine patches and mouth spray. Both products really helped me with my cravings.

I had always avoided running due to being out of breath, but since quitting, I have started running again and am really enjoying getting back into fitness. This has helped distract me and stay focused. I particularly like the motivational messages, which encouraged me during times of temptation. I find that I have much more free time since quitting, and with a busy full-time job and a university degree, my time is precious. I have also managed to read the timeless masterpieces by Dostoevsky! The weekly appointments were a massive help, and the Smoke-Free Advisor was always there to support me.

I now wake up in the morning feeling well-rested, and my sense of taste and smell has significantly improved. My mouth is no longer sticky, and the bad breath in the morning has disappeared. The money I save now goes towards holidays and days out. I have genuinely improved my quality of life…and I love it!