11th March 2020

Sandra’s Quit Smoking Story

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Today is No Smoking Day [Wednesday 11th March]. If you’re trying to stop smoking – or even thinking about quitting – that’s great. You’ve already taken a big step and could soon be on your way to a smoke free lifestyle, just like Sandra…

“I grew up in a town in the North West of England. Both of my parents (now deceased) smoked for all their lives.  My father quit when he was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 68 and lived for around 12 months after that. 

My mum smoked right up until her death at age 70.  My mum was a lady who was never sick or on any medication. She died suddenly of an aneurysm, which was possibly related to her smoking.

I think I started smoking as a result of peer pressure, but I do remember friends smoking before me.  You definitely felt that you were ‘the little soft one’ of the crowd, if you didn’t smoke.  I was probably around 14 when I started, and I have smoked on and off since then. 

I’m currently two months smoke free and am feeling lots better. I have more energy and I keep checking in with the Quit Support group

Sandra is two months smoke free

I’m now 53, so I smoked for just less than 40 years.  I was a social smoker.  I very rarely smoked in the daytime, but in the evening I couldn’t resist. I’m more like a ‘2 or 3 cigs when I came in from work’ smoker but if I went out drinking or socialising, I could easily go through a full packet of 20 – and maybe buy more.

Time to quit

I have tried to quit a few times before, but it’s so difficult. My husband smokes and, with the exception of one friend, all my friends are smokers.

However, I was starting to have difficulty breathing and I had noticed my skin aging.  In the last year, I really haven’t wanted to smoke, and I really don’t like the smell anymore, so I decided to have another go.

I quit cold turkey; I really can’t do things by half!  I am really determined this time and the only way is to follow the NOPE technique – that’s Not One Puff, Ever!

I’m currently two months smoke free and am feeling lots better. I have more energy and I keep checking in with the Quit Support group, but it’s not been easy.

I now live in Dubai and smoking here is still accepted in bars; cigarettes are around £2.00 a packet so temptation is high. But I really don’t want to look back or go through this ever again, so I will keep going, one day at a time. That’s all I can do.”

It’s never too late to quit

Often, people who have smoked for many years believe that “there’s no point in quitting because the damage has been done”, but recent research shows stopping can reverse the damage caused by smoking – regardless of how much you previously smoked.

And we can help you along the way. Our online Quit Support forum is here to give you support and practical advice whenever you need it.

You’ll find it a friendly, welcoming community, keen to offer constructive support to help you break free of the habit.

Even if you don’t succeed the first time, or the second – or the tenth!  – don’t despair. Just keep trying; you’re doing your best and you’ll get there in the end. Just like Sandra.