After smoking since she was a young teenager, Wendy Clark from Leeds never thought that she’d be able to stick to quitting smoking for good – that was until she joined our online Quit Support forum.
“I joined Quit Support in 2016. I loved using the forum because it made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
“Nobody judges you if you have a wobble and fall back into the habit; when I ended up smoking again briefly, the other forum members totally understood how I felt, didn’t judge me in the slightest and continued to offer their support no matter what!
“I honestly believed I could never be happy without having my cigarettes. I can remember feeling sick at the thought of getting out of bed and not being able to enjoy my first cigarette of the day.
“My future looked bleak with nothing to look forward to. Now that I don’t smoke, it blows my mind that the habit can have such a hold over your mind and body.”
“All the benefits of stopping smoking are endless. Of course, there’s the financial benefit, and I am so much healthier. I have COPD and since quitting, my condition has not deteriorated any further.
“I hadn’t realised how much that smoking compromises our immune systems. When I smoked, I suffered with at least three chest infections and colds every year.
“The month that I finally quit for good, I was due to go away on holiday to Italy and I had already had multiple courses of antibiotics for a chest infection. I remember driving to the out of hours GP in tears thinking that I would have to cancel my holiday. Since quitting five and a half years ago, I have only had one mild cold and I’ve not had a chest infection.
“I am now far more focused on staying the healthiest I can be. I love going for long walks with my friends and enjoying the outdoors. Never underestimate the benefits of fresh air!
“Absolutely everything about my life is better since I quit smoking. I know that by quitting, I have extended my life expectancy by many years, and I will be around to support my daughters for many years to come.
“I still visit the forum occasionally; I love catching up with everyone and hearing about other success stories.
“I can still get breathless sometimes, but only when I walk uphill. Overall, my breathing is a million times better than it was. I no longer need to use an inhaler too, which is great.
“If you’re reading this and thinking about quitting but are hesitant, please don’t give up trying. Don’t worry if you’ve had failed attempts in the past, you will succeed eventually – not smoking is amazing!”