"After reading the 'knowing me, knowing you' article by Sarah Nunn it got me asking myself 'why do I smoke', 'why do I not explore and access the support out there', 'do I really want to stop and if so why do I want to stop?' I made a list of reasons to stop. This was the start of my wonderful journey and my divorce from cigarettes.

NHS stop smoking service was where I ended up. Easy to find, full of information and easy to register for their services. This was my first hurdle. Registering for the service meant there would be no way back. After 6 days of thinking about it, I finally decided it was all or nothing. I completed my online registration and just pressed send, it was that easy! The NHS called me 2 days later with a few questions re how many do I smoke, do I wake in the night to smoke etc. and after a few minutes I was told my smoking cessation advisor would call me Monday at 3 PM and his name was John.

John called and explained how the process worked, told me about the smoke free app (which is great), how he would wean me off of the nicotine over the next 12 weeks, the support options available to me and devise some coping strategies should I ever feel tempted again. We agreed on the NRT that would be best for me and I set a quit date, and a first review date was set for 2 weeks after that.

Over the following week I reduced my level of smoking by extending the time between cigarettes from 2 hours, to 3 hours then to 4 hours and made what cigarettes I had left last until quit day. Wasn’t easy but I just kept telling myself to keep my mind and hands busy. Strangely i felt a little excited as quit day approached."

woman cycling

Day 1 

"Patch is on, vape is charged and ready to go. Let’s see what happens. Changed my routine to avoid the first 2 most important cigarettes of the day. The patches must have worked as I rarely thought about smoking throughout the whole day. I only used my vape a few times. No cravings no stress and I made it to the end of the day!! I felt great and really pleased with myself. My breathing felt a little easier and I could no longer feel or hear the mucus in my lungs as I breathed, a sound and feeling I had grown used to.  Sleeping was a little disturbed, but this is apparently expected. What a positive day! "

Day 3

"When I logged on for a virtual team meeting a colleague instantly said how well I looked! Are the changes really happening that quick? I ran up 3 flights of stairs today and noticed no breathlessness when I got to the top. My skin is changing! It feels so much softer and my teeth are feeling cleaner and that’s before I’ve even cleaned them! Breathing is much easier. Apparently, my lungs are now repairing themselves and my bronchial tubes have begun to relax. Still foot tapping but it seems to help for some reason. Sleeping better too. Overall a very positive day and I feel fabulous!"

Day 5

"Made it through the working week without smoking! Just the weekend to go and I will complete my first full week as a non-smoker. I am forming a good relationship with my patches (my new best friend) and vaping as & when required.  The thoughts of smoking are becoming less and go as quickly as they came, but I am still not tempted to light up again. I have come this far and have no intention of going backwards. Still feeling positive and will keep moving forward taking one day at a time. My skin is now feeling so smooth its lovely to touch and acts as a reminder of why I have quit. What a difference in just 5 days! Still foot tapping now and then but not worried about this."

Days 6/7/8

"I am now experiencing a real smell and taste of foods rather than the bland ‘all taste the same’ that I’ve obviously grown used to. A cup of tea even has a taste to it! I have cleared my plate 3 times this week and seem to be developing an appetite. Keeping to my normal portions though as I don’t need to end up with a weight problem. Friends, family & colleagues are all saying how much happier I appear to be too. My skin is also becoming very soft & smooth to touch. Others are noticing this too so it’s not just my wishing thinking!" 

Day 10

"Got my bike out of the garage and cycled to work. It was great fun and really exercised my thigh muscles. Foot tapping seems to be slowly disappearing too. Will use the money I have saved to start line dancing classes." 

Day 14

"Well I made it, 2 weeks smoke free and feeling rather proud of myself. The smoke free app has also helped me to track my progress and feed my enthusiasm to keep going. My face and hands are starting to look younger and there are less wrinkles. Had some thoughts over the weekend; I was trying to remember what it felt like to smoke, John said this would happen, but I then decided it was a waste of time even thinking like this as I know I can never take a drag of cigarette again if I want to remain smoke free. I do want to remain smoke free because I feel so good now."  


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