“I enjoy being an administrator for Quit Support for several reasons. I feel that if I can help people stop smoking, they won’t have to go through what I did.”
Lesley Booth, our Quit Support administrator (known to forum members as jillygirl) is this year celebrating 10 years on our dedicated stop smoking forum. But she hasn’t always been an administrator, she first joined as a member after deciding to start her quit smoking journey in 2011.
She recalls the first time she smoked a cigarette, “I smoked from the age of 15. My parents smoked, so seeing cigarettes around me became the norm. I smoked mainly to look ‘cool’ with my friends at school, but I suppose looking back, I was in the wrong crowd.
“Without realising it, smoking ruled my life for several years. And then later in life, it took it’s toll on my health.
“I had been suffering with recurrent chest infections and a persistent cough for a several years before even thinking about quitting smoking. Doctors advised me to quit, but I would find any excuse not to heed their advice. However, in 2012 aged 63, my whole world turned upside down when I was diagnosed with lung cancer.
“I had two tumours and at first I was told it would be too dangerous to operate on them due to their location. But thankfully, this wasn’t the case. I was able to have a full pneumonectomy (removal of a whole lung) and chemotherapy. Six years later in 2018, I had my last cancer check-up and received the all clear!
“I like the fact that on Quit Support, I can help, advise, and support people; without pressuring them. And hopefully with the support of myself and the other forum users, people will be able to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by kicking the habit for good.
“From the very first day I joined Quit Support, I made lots of friends, some of whom are still on the site today. I have met one or two face to face and I feel they are true friends who would go the extra mile to help – I call them my cyber family.
“I feel Stoptober is a brilliant way to encourage people to quit smoking, without being singled out. There is lots of support and advice through various channels, giving people who smoke a choice of how to start on their quit journey.
“My advice to anyone wanting to stop smoking? You must take it one day at a time. Don’t be afraid to ask for support, there’s so much out there. There will be good days and bad days, but no matter what, the Quit Support family will be there for you every step of the way.”