Jay* was around 18 years old when he started smoking regularly. Now 51, he recently made the decision to quit for health reasons, one of which was COVID-19.
“When I was younger, information about the effects of smoking on health wasn’t in the news as much as it is now. I’d been thinking of quitting for a while, partly due to my asthma and mild COPD, but the pandemic highlighted the potential risks of smoking for those shielding with respiratory issues, like me.”
Jay contacted the Quit Ready service and embarked on a programme of telephone advice sessions with his adviser, Hilary, who also arranged for Jay to continue his course of nicotine replacement therapy.
“I’d already started using patches before the programme and they seemed to be working. For me, the craving element is as much a problem as the habit of smoking itself.”
Currently around halfway through the programme, Jay is finding that taking his time to quit without the stress of hurrying is an effective approach for him.
“Stopping smoking is different for everyone – some people prefer to quit as fast as possible, but I find a gradual approach with support works better. I’m planning to continue with the patches for a while and work my way down to a lower strength bit by bit.”
Finally, Jay has offered the following advice to those struggling to give up smoking:
“If you don’t manage to give up the first time, try again. Don’t think that you have to do it overnight, and don’t look too far into the future – set certain targets and take each day as it comes. Quit Ready exists to provide positive help to people across Leicestershire who are looking to quit with support.”
*Name has been changed in line with service user’s wish to remain anonymous.