A huge congratulations to Gail from Calderdale who decided to quit smoking to boost her finances, only to discover that the truly priceless asset was her health. We caught up with her to reflect on her inspirational journey.
What was your main reason to access the service?
To begin with, my core reason was financial, I wanted to save money after calculating how hard smoking was hitting both my purse and my bank balance. But after I started my smokefree journey it became less and less about saving money and more about the value of my health, and furthermore, my life.
Did you believe you could achieve 4 weeks smokefree?
I really wanted to believe I could do it, but I had doubts in my mind from failed attempts to quit smoking (on my own) before. So it wasn’t until my third week with Yorkshire Smokefree that I finally started feeling I might be able to do it this time. I was finding it so much easier than I’d ever found it trying to quit on my own.
Have you used medication to help you quit?
Yes, I used 24-hour nicotine patches to help keep my cravings under control throughout the day. I found them extremely useful, I couldn’t have maintained the strength and willpower that I did without them.
Aside from medication, what else helped you stay smokefree?
Looking forward to the daily text messages every morning full of motivation and advice helped me start the day right, rather than feeling I’d lost something, my subconscious became aware of all that I stood to gain after I quit.
Another point of great strength for me was the weekly phone calls with my advisor, they were a fantastic source of support when I felt alone.
Has your health improved since you quit?
Leaps and bounds. My breathing is so much better, I no longer experience breathlessness when I’m out for walks or on an errand up a hill. I want to get out and about and enjoy life in active ways my body couldn’t manage before, at the end of the day no amount of money can replace your wellbeing, health and ability to exercise.
I’ve noticed that my taste buds have burst back into life, I’m eating fruit with my breakfast and after lunch - which I couldn’t taste before! It also means I’m eating a balanced diet and able to cook new foods with flavours I'd never been able to appreciate as a smoker.
Did the lockdown affect your quit?
I already knew I wanted to quit smoking but the lockdown gave me the chance to focus on my goal, during that time of national pause I woke up to the fact that I was smoking more than ever due to situational stress. That realisation changed my life.
What did you find helpful about accessing the service via telephone?
It kept me going from week to week, its something I’ve kept up ever since as the support is second to none and keeps me motivated to stay quit. I have woken up from upsetting dreams about smoking and been able to speak to my advisor immediately. It’s so important to chat in a lighthearted way about nicotine addiction and know that worries, anxieties and doubts are normal.
What advice would you give to others looking to quit?
Rise above your doubts, be prepared to discover new things about yourself in the midst of quitting and don’t be afraid of having a beginners mindset.
If you’ve been impacted by Gail’s journey and would like support to quit smoking, register now for a Callback Request today.