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Stop smoking success stories

Ted's story

Breathing had become increasingly difficult for Ted and he was becoming more aware of his health. Trying to smoke on a pension was also becoming less and less possible. He decided enough was enough and chose to quit smoking for good!

Ted, now retired, has lived in Greenwich all his life and had smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 50 years. After enjoying breakfast at his local Morrisons, Ted spotted a Kick the Habit stand and within a week he was on his way down to Charlton Athletic FC for his first group session.

Breathing had become increasingly difficult for Ted and he was becoming more aware of his health. Trying to smoke on a pension was also becoming less and less possible. Ted used nicotine patches and attended group sessions once a week, finding the additional support made it easier than he had expected. But Ted is under no illusions, “it’s hard and it still is hard”.

It’s now over two years since Ted quit and he feels healthier, his breathing has improved significantly and he’s noticed “a hell of a lot of difference” financially. To someone thinking about getting in touch with NHS Greenwich Stop Smoking Services, he says “it’s the best thing they could do. The help and support is second to none but it’s down to the individual”.


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Angela's story

Angela, 35, is a voluntary worker from Greenwich and had smoked since she was 17. Having seen family members quit who had smoked for longer than herself she thought "I can do it too".

Angela, 35, is a voluntary worker from Greenwich and had smoked since she was 17. Having seen family members quit who had smoked for longer than herself she thought, “if they can do it, then so can I”.

Walking past the Job Centre, she spotted a stand on the street. She signed up and within a week had a letter with her start date for quitting. Angela attended group sessions at Charlton Athletic football ground for a month and initially used nicotine patches andmicrotabs. The patches weren’t right for her because it was just another thing to try and remember in the morning. The microtabs suited her better and she just put one under her tongue every time she felt the urge to smoke.

When she quit she began to feel the benefits after only 3 weeks, “I was calling my friends telling them how I can taste the apples in apple juice”. It’s wasn’t easy but Angela kept herself busy.

"I was constantly on the go all the time and didn’t give myself a minute to think about smoking"

The hardest part for Angela was cigarette breaks with the girls from work but, being determined and competitive, she made herself go out with a cup of tea anyway. Most people would find this torture but Angela’s attitude was gritty, “If I find something hard, I do it and do it and do it until it’s not hard anymore”.

Angela has bags of energy these days and more money in her purse. Going to the group sessions really helped, not only because of the knowledge and support she received butfrom knowing how other people were handling it, “if I did it on my own I wouldn’t have had the determination”.


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Mick's story

Quitting was hard at first but now I’ve quit for two years I feel brilliant - it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I’d been smoking over 40 years and up to 50 a day. I started when I was a teenager - it was the ‘in’ thing to do.

When me and my wife eventually decided to quit together we both went along to the stop smoking Charlton group at the Valley. We’d already started trying to quit but the group gave us the support we needed.

It meant you had somewhere to go every week when you were quitting and you could hear how other people in the same boat were getting on. Our group had some nice people in it and I still bump into some of them now and then! The highlight for me was having a carbon monoxide reading at the last group session and it had gone all the way down to zero-the same as a non-smoker. I was over the moon! The support was brilliant and easy to get to - I can’t fault it.

Quitting was hard at first but now I’ve quit for two years I feel brilliant - it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not out of breath anymore and our home smells better. We’ve really noticed the money we’ve saved as we were spending a fortune and it’s meant we can use that money to treat ourselves. Next year we’ve got a family holiday planned with the kids and grandkids. We wouldn’t have been able to do that if we hadn’t quit.


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Libby's story

I started smoking at Primary School so had been smoking for over 25 years. I was at the point where I was smoking over 20 a day. I tried to stop a fair few times on my own but found it really stressful and would always go back to smoking.

I started smoking at Primary School so had been smoking for over 25 years. I was at the point where I was smoking over 20 a day. I tried to stop a fair few times on my own but found it really stressful and would always go back to smoking.

I think I was also terrified of quitting for good and what it would be like - what would I do instead? Smoking a cigarette was the first thing I did when I got up in the morning.

I finally decided to quit with the help of the nurse at my GP practice. She gave me exactly the type of encouragement I needed over 12 weeks and also prescribed patches which absolutely helped with the cravings. I now know I really couldn’t have done it without her.

I’ve been quit now for 6 years. It’s still hard some days but there’s also a lot of freedom not to be thinking all the time when can I get out for the next fag. I find I have more time now to other things instead. Smoking actually took up a lot of my time in the day. I’m a lot fitter now too - I can walk up hills much more easily and go swimming a lot.


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Tenzin's story

I was finding smoking was getting more and more expensive so I started smoking roll ups and through that started smoking a lot more. I was up to 20-30 a day. I’d try to quit four times before on my own but never made it very far and would always go back.

I had been a smoker for about 10 years. I knew it was bad but I started because of the pressure of life circumstances. I used to smoke as part of taking a break at work and with friends. It was a big social thing.

I was finding smoking was getting more and more expensive so I started smoking roll ups and through that started smoking a lot more. I was up to 20-30 a day. I’d try to quit four times before on my own but never made it very far and would always go back.

Then last year I saw the Stop Smoking Roadshow in General Gordon’s Square in Woolwich. I had a lung age test which made me want to quit even more!

The staff on the Roadshow were really helpful and encouraging that I could quit.

They helped me sign up with a local GP and through this I got prescribed Champix to help with my quit attempt. After 2 weeks my cravings went right down and then I started to feel a lot better. I stopped coughing, my skin looked better and I felt mentally good - more relaxed and more healthy.

I have been quit for a year this month. When I look back on it, it was the staff in the service that were the main factor in helping me stop. I really appreciate these people. Since quitting smoking I feel like I have another life. That’s a fact.


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Call our free Stop Smoking hotline on 0800 470 4831
Text 'QUIT' to 60060 or email us at support@greenwichstopsmoking.org.uk