I wanted to quit for a while but when COVID-19 struck and the harm it causes to lungs and airways became obvious, I knew it was time to change.

Wake up call

I first lit up at school and smoked on and off for years.  I managed to quit twice – for a year and then 9 months but a couple of major life events made me slip back into old habits.  I’ve had asthma since I was a child, and smoking made the symptoms worse. I regularly experienced breathlessness and had a persistent cough which made my ribs hurt.  Health experts have made it clear that smoking can make symptoms of coronavirus worse so with my health on the line, I knew I needed to quit.

An opportunity to change

The lockdown presented me with a good opportunity to become tobacco free.  As with lots of people, my smoking increased on nights out so the social restrictions actually removed one of my triggers.  My mum, sister and work colleagues all smoke but as I live with a non-smoking partner and work from home (until government guidance changes) so the change in situation and routine are actually making things a little easier.

Getting the right support

I’d quit before with Livewell’s support so knew I could again.  Because of the pandemic, I had a phone appointment instead of a face-to-face one but that didn’t really change the level of help.  My advisor, Rania encouraged me every step of the way and prescribed a medicine called Champix which worked for me previously.  She also encouraged me to call or text her if I had a wobble or needed any advice.

Life for me now

I’m now 6 weeks smokefree and feeling great. My partner commented that my cough has almost vanished and my chest feels so much better.  It’s reassuring that I’m doing all I can to protect my lungs.

Financially I’m better off too, saving around £35 a month that I would have spent on tobacco.

My top tips

Get stuck into a home or garden project – I used the lockdown and my quit attempt to tackle my garden.  Throwing myself into a project kept my hands busy and provided a good distraction.

Believe in yourself – getting the right support in place helps you have the confidence to succeed.  Stopping smoking is hard but it can be done.

Feeling inspired?

There’s never been a better time to quit and your odds are four times higher using a support service like Livewell than going cold turkey.

Livewell offers free remote support and safe access to treatments including Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

Book your phone appointment to get started at the Livewell website.