A huge congratulations to Barry for kicking his long term smoking habit for good and overcoming the obstacles in his life for the sake of his health. He talked to us about his experiences in his own words.
I wanted to quit smoking for my health, finances and because of the risks associated with COVID-19. I also suffer from COPD, a condition I know is the consequence of my own behavioural habits but becoming smokefree was something I found extremely difficult at the beginning of my journey.
During September 2019 I completed the 12-week quit program with Yorkshire Smokefree and I was feeling fantastic because my COPD was fully under control, allowing me to breathe easily again. A benefit I’d never expected to feel so quick.
After finishing the program I maintained my quit for quite some time without running into many difficulties, aside from the odd fluttering doubt. It wasn’t until a death in the family that my resolve was tested, unfortunately, it resulted in my relapse and I was quickly back smoking.
Within days of starting again, I noticed that I was struggling with my breathing especially when I was out walking. These are the same walks I was doing only a few weeks previously with ease, all of a sudden they become arduous, and I was short of breath. I was so annoyed with myself as I thought I had got past the smoking hump and thought I was back to square one with my COPD.
But there was a silver lining. As silly as it sounds, from my experience it doesn’t take that long to notice the benefits that come from stopping smoking. I’m talking weeks not months before you feel the difference, I realised how important it was to maintain my smoke-free status no matter what, how much of a difference not smoking made to my life.
Normally during these periods I struggle, contemplate stopping but I don’t. This time I knew enough is enough. I knew I needed help again so I contacted the stop smoking team at the Laura Mitchell Health and Wellbeing Centre where I’ve quit previously.
Accessing the service this time around was a lot different as they currently provide all the support I needed over the phone. I’ve always liked the support I’ve received face to face and I’ve missed been able to pop into town and speak with an advisor to help me keep on track and keep me motivated, but I discovered how useful being able to ring up and speak to an expert directly can be, especially in weak moments.
I’m using a tried and tested combination of nicotine patches, lozenges and an inhalator. I’ve always found the patches work really well to when combined with the lozenges and inhalator. The hand to mouth habit is especially hard to break but healthier distractions like inhalers help to train your brain in a different way.
I’m really glad I’ve used this time in lockdown to establish the quit as my breathing is clear and I now look forward to getting out of the house and going for regular walks again without struggling, puffing or panting.
If you feel inspired by Barry’s words and would like support in quitting, register for a Callback Request today.