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Getting ready for a smoke-free Christmas: Helen’s story

14th December 2021

Up until a few weeks ago, Helen*, 50, was a heavy smoker. She has asthma and, having smoked all her life, she constantly suffers from chest infections.

Now, with the help of the Solihull Stop Smoking Service (part of the Solihull Lifestyle Service), she’s quit smoking – just in time for Christmas!

Smoke free in time for Christmas

Helen’s motivation to give up smoking came from her family. Her daughter stopped smoking when she went on holiday recently and managed to do it ‘cold turkey’. Her sister quit smoking this year with the help of the Solihull Stop Smoking service. And she’s a carer for her dad, who stopped years ago and is always asking her to try and give up.

Now that Helen was the only smoker in the family, she decided she had no more excuses, and contacted the Solihull Stop Smoking service.

Stop Smoking Practitioner
Karen Goldingay

With support from her trained Stop Smoking Practitioner Karen (pictured, right), Helen decided to use nicotine patches, inhalator and gum to help her quit.

For the first few weeks, she really struggled and, at tricky times, found herself having the odd cigarette, but she didn’t let it get her down. She was determined to keep trying because she wanted to become completely smoke free.

Now, Helen’s managed to go four whole weeks without a ciggie. She’s incredibly proud of her achievements so far and has started to see how much she prefers a smoke-free life, just like her family told her she would.

In the run up to Christmas she’s been able to go shopping and browse for hours without having to keep going outside to smoke in the cold. As well as having more money to spend on food and presents, she’s enjoying only having to take her phone and purse with her when she goes out. But most importantly, she’s excited that there won’t be a single smoker in the house when everyone comes over for Christmas dinner!

She’s also feeling the benefits physically already, too. Last week, she had a cold, which would usually make her very unwell. Previously, even minor colds would go to her chest and leave her poorly for weeks. This time, her breathing is easier and she’s been able to function just fine.

Helen says, “I know it’s early in my quit attempt but I’ve already achieved more than I ever have before. I’m determined never to smoke again!”

Free support from the Solihull Stop Smoking Service

Anyone who lives in Solihull, or has a Solihull GP, can get FREE one-to-one help and support from the Solihull Stop Smoking Service (part of the Solihull Lifestyle Service).

Expert support from local stop-smoking services gives people the best chance of success. In Solihull, this expert support is provided by NCSCT-certified Stop-Smoking Practitioners, who offer a one-to-one service. In addition to information and access to stop-smoking medications, our practitioners provide advice, support, and encouragement during regular phone consultations and text messages.

Live in Solihull, or have a Solihull GP? Call 0800 599 9880 or complete the online referral form and start your quit journey today!

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