12 years ago, Shirley (now 51) gave up smoking with the help of a local stop smoking group, following a referral by her GP. She achieved 10 years smoke-free before taking up the habit again.
However, after losing a close family member to lung cancer in January 2020, Shirley became determined to quit for good.
“I gave Champix a go recently on my own, but the side effects made me feel ill so I carried on smoking, even though I hated the smell and really didn’t want to be a smoker.”
Taking matters into her own hands, Shirley called the Quit Ready service and was soon put in touch with her personal adviser, Lauren, whose support Shirley has valued throughout the 12-week course:
“Lauren’s been absolutely smashing. I’ve looked forward to her phone calls every week as we’ve always had a good chat. Considering the whole programme was done over the phone and I didn’t actually meet Lauren, I really felt like I was part of a personal service.”
With Lauren’s support, Shirley moved on to an e-cigarette which she rarely feels the need to use anymore:
“I specifically chose the tobacco flavour to put me off using it, as I don’t like the taste. Lockdown boredom has meant that I still use my vape occasionally, but my plan is to wind down the vape and eventually knock it on its head.”
Shirley has just finished the Quit Ready programme, but has already begun to reap the benefits financially: she has worked out that she is at least £80 a week better off.
When asked whether she would recommend Quit Ready to others, Shirley’s reply was emphatic:
“Very much so – I already have, to many people!”
Finally, Shirley has a few words of advice for those struggling to give up smoking:
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Give it a try – it might be the best thing you ever did.”