Caroline will soon be celebrating her 3rd year of being smoke-free, after successfully giving up smoking with help from Quit4Life back in 2014. And since giving the cigarettes the boot, she hasn’t looked back.
Caroline is a mum of two and a cake decorating teacher from Gosport. She decided to try to give up smoking after she became unwell. “I was not well with a virus and smoking was making me feel worse. I also developed asthma in the meantime.
“I heard about the Quit4Life stop smoking service from my doctor’s surgery. My surgery was difficult to get any appointment at so I went to a Quit4Life clinic. Every kind of help was there, whether it was assistance with products or just someone to talk to confidentially. They were lovely ladies that understood how I felt and gave me the encouragement to keep on going.”
Amazingly, even though she had smoked since her teenage years, Caroline didn’t require any NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) to help her quit this time around. “I found it rather easy at first because every time I had a smoke I felt ill, so that made me stop, but when I felt better I was worried I could have started again. But with the help of the stop smoking clinic every week I could just talk about my experiences and my cravings. I recognized the difficult times and dealt with it in a different way. I have tried to quit many times in the past on my own, using different products, but this time I did not use any products - I had help of someone to talk to.”
Since giving up smoking for good, Caroline says her family are extremely proud of her. “I also feel better physically and emotionally; physically because I do not have a smoker cough anymore, my clothes do not smell and I just feel better all round. I feel proud of myself and there is nothing better than feeling that emotion. My daughter is very proud of me for quitting, and always says ‘well done mummy’ all the time. She often came with me to the clinic for support, and because she loved the ladies in the clinic too.”
And it’s not just Caroline’s health that’s improved. “I have a very healthy bank balance now which always makes you feel better too. So much so that I bought myself a new car.”
What would Caroline say to others who are thinking of quitting? “Just give it a go. Focus on what you will gain if you quit, make a plan month to month. If you don't succeed try try again - you will get there in the end.” And the best bit for her about going smoke-free? “In a nutshell: healthy bank balance, new car, feeling proud of myself and healthier lungs too - you could not ask for more!”
Congratulations to Caroline for all she has achieved since giving up smoking!