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Joanna's smoke-free success!

Joanna, an Office & Operations Manager from Netley, received support from Quit4Life and has successfully quit smoking after 18 years!

Joanna managed to give up smoking and quit smoking for good with help from Quit4Life Hampshire stop smoking service NHS smokefree

Joanna said “I actually do not remember starting smoking at all, I don’t remember my first cigarette, but I was soon addicted.

“I had tried giving up before, cold turkey, but after 24 hours I was so agitated and stressed that I started again. I tried again age 21, unsuccessfully, using patches. But recently I got bronchitis and the GP said that my lungs sounded awful. The bronchitis made me really short of breath.”

Joanna made an appointment at her surgery to see her local Quit4Life adviser, and this time she tried Champix – a stop smoking drug which helps by reducing your craving for a cigarette. “Using Champix has made the symptoms less severe.  I’ve had days where I really crave a cigarette but the craving hasn’t lasted for too long. On other days, I might not even think about smoking.”

Now, with medication and support from Quit4Life, Joanna is now a proud non-smoker after smoking for over half her life. “Paula was wonderful and has been amazing! She is so positive and very encouraging each time I go in. Now I’ve given up I know that I’m healthier, don’t smell, and don’t have to constantly be anti-social - or sit in a meeting at work and willing it to finish so I could smoke (or wishing I didn’t have a meeting in the first place!).

“Since stopping smoking I haven’t had to go out in the rain just to smoke, or leave the table at a restaurant to smoke. My family hate the smell of cigarettes so it’s made it nicer for them. My mum is very happy that I’ve given up! I was born 7 weeks premature so my lungs weren’t as strong as they could have been.”

Joanna also credits the support from family and her fiancé for her successful quit. “Having support from my fiancé was a big help but there was no pressure whatsoever to give up.”

As an official non-smoker, Joanna has some great advice for anyone else who wants to stop smoking.

“Try the Champix. I am such a huge pessimist and truly believed that it wouldn’t work at all. After spending half of my life smoking, I just had to accept that I would always smoke even if I would have rather been a non-smoker.  It might not work for everyone, but it’s at least worth trying. Just the thought of giving up was quite scary because it was like a comfort blanket, so it’s a big leap of faith to take but worth it.

“I actively tried to cut down before my quit date (only having one cigarette at a particular time rather than two, or not having one just because I’m bored). Blowing into the carbon monoxide machine I initially blew 26, which is a very heavy smoker. Before my quit date (and trying to cut down a bit myself), I blew a 16 which, was so much lower, so I was already quite hopeful even before my quit date.

“I’ve also put some money aside each month as a “treat”, instead of using that money for tobacco.”

And now how is Joanna feeling? “I recently got a tickly cough, which in the past has always turned into a chesty cough or chest infection, and this is the first time for as long as I can remember where it hasn’t gone to my chest! I know that my lungs are getting stronger.”

Congratulations to Joanna for all she has achieved!