Congratulations, Sara! We loved reading about your quit journey experience and keeping your promise to your young son!
Please tell us approximately when you started smoking:
I was 18 when I started smoking, which was about 15 years ago. During my time smoking, I was going through almost 15 cigarettes a day.
Do you remember why you started smoking?
I was having a hard time due to various personal issues. My whole family were smokers and I found myself buying cigarettes and smoking alongside them. I told myself I wasn’t addicted and that I would stop soon, but I never did.
What were your reasons for quitting?
I was sick of the fact that smoking was the first thing on my mind when I woke up and it being one of my priorities throughout the day. I was sick of smelling of smoke and felt self-conscious about being a smoker.
My husband (who joined me in quitting) wanted to quit and our ten-year-old son was constantly reminding me that I needed to quit – I had promised him that I would quit before his birthday.
I decided to call the Yorkshire Smokefree service and made an appointment to start my quit journey – I was excited to quit and couldn’t wait to attend my first appointment!
How did you access stop smoking support?
I had one-to-one appointments with a specialist adviser, she suggested a prescription of Champix (which was free because I live in Barnsley!), her help was a huge influence on my successful quit – whilst quitting has been a challenge for me, I never thought it would be as easy as it has been.
The support from Yorkshire Smokefree has been absolutely fantastic, that teamed with my own personal motivation, willpower and the support of my friends and family is what has pushed me over the line.
Has your health improved since you quit and, if so, in what ways?
Whilst I didn’t have any health conditions, I have noticed that I am no longer coughing and I generally feel healthier.
Before I quit smoking, I lost over 3 and a half stone with Slimming World and was worried that if I quit smoking that I would put the weight back on. However, I am pleased to say that I have maintained my weight loss and I haven’t felt like I needed to snack or eat anything extra.
Have you achieved anything since quitting that you could do whilst smoking?
With the money I have saved from not smoking, I have bought myself some new home furnishing, I can enjoy them as I’m not spending half my time sat outside smoking!
What do you like about not smoking?
Wow… where do I start?
I like the way I smell.
I like the way I don’t have to rush in a morning to have a cigarette before work and how much time I have now that I’m not spending it smoking.
I like that I have money left over to buy nice things and that I don’t have to budget for cigarettes when working out my income and expenditure.
I like that I can go into meetings at work, not worrying that I smell of smoke.
I like that I am not worried about going on long journeys on public transport.
I like the way I feel.
Most of all, I like how proud my husband and our son are of me and how proud I am of myself!
Do you know how much money you have saved by not smoking?
I was spending £50 on cigarettes every week and have already saved over £350 so far!
Do you have plans to treat yourself with the money saved?
I’m going to continue to decorate our home and treat our little family to more activities together that we never really did before.
What would you say to anyone who has recently started smoking?
I would encourage people to contact Yorkshire Smokefree, they have been so helpful and have been an absolutely vital part of my quit!
I would also encourage people not to worry about putting weight on, I have managed to maintain my weight during my quit and have not put on any additional pounds.
Use the medication, it will help more than you can imagine.
There are lots of online groups that are full of encouragement too. If I can do it – so can you!
If you feel inspired by Sara's story and would like support in quitting smoking, register for a Callback Request today.