Thursday, 19 May 2016

Quit Smoking For Good With One You




I'm forty five and I started smoking very young aged just twelve, as a lot of my generation did. It was a cool thing to do back in the early 1980's, even though we were aware of the health risks it was still considered a popular pastime. I was hooked within months of starting. 

The first time I quit was when I was nineteen and pregnant with our first baby. Luckily when I'm expecting the smell of cigarettes makes me gag so giving up for each of my four pregnancies was a piece of cake and I didn't need any support. My body naturally rejected them. The problem was that my craving for nicotine returned the minute I gave birth and my habit continued.

I tried several times over the years, without success to quit. I set up a money pot one time and everyday I put my cigarette money in the pot until I reached £160 and then I wobbled, spent the money and bought twenty fags. It was so hard to quit and I didn't think I ever would. I enjoyed my morning smoke with my coffee and I didn't think I would ever be able to give that up. 

Then in my thirties I began suffering with regular throat infections on a major level, they would wipe me out for days at a time. My doctor told me that it was due to my smoking habit and promised me that if I quit the throat infections would disappear. I wasn't convinced so continued smoking.

Then, my mum died of cancer and I became completely obsessed with anything that may give me cancer. At the same time the NHS started airing really graphic smoking adverts on TV, showing the damage smoking does to us. I was mortified and decided to get some help and give up properly this time. I popped along to my NHS quit smoking nurse at my doctors surgery and it was one of the best things I ever did. I was prescribed strong patches and a nicorette inhalator, without both of these I don't think I would ever have quit. The support I received from the nurse was fabulous and within a month I was completely free of my smoking habit and seven years later I still am. I was determined to breeze into my forties a non smoker and I achieved that. I was worried about my future health and the damage that smoking may cause me as I aged and now I no longer worry about that part of my health. 

Want To Be The Healthiest You?

One You is a fantastic new campaign from Public Health England, launched on March 7th aimed to help adults, especially those between the ages of 40-60 years old reduce their risk of getting diseases caused by modern day lifestyles in the future. 

Most of us already know that our everyday habits such as smoking, having too many foods and drinks high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, drinking more booze than recommended and not being active is bad for us, in fact these habits are responsible for around 40% of deaths in England. Living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70 so it is a great idea to at least try and cut out the rubbish.

One You has tons of support for helping you take control of your health and to enjoy the benefits now and later in life. If you pop over to their website you can take part in an online quiz that assesses your current behaviours and shows you which areas you need to change. You can also take the quiz below. The 'How Are You' quiz will ask you how you are feeling and will get you thinking about your level of activity, diet, alcohol intake and whether you have a smoking habit. It will then direct you towards tools designed to help you make the changes in the areas needed. Pop over and take the One You 'How Are You' quiz here.




I took the quiz and was astonished that my result was a level 8 which is pretty good. I put it down to the fact I have given up smoking and I am in the process of trying to lose weight and exercise more, plus I made the decision to completely cut down on my alcohol intake at Christmas, going from a weekly tipple to just once a month at the most, in fact I have only had two merry nights since New Years Eve. I feel much better for it already.

My test results told me:



"Well done! Quitting smoking can be really hard, so it goes to show that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Channel that willpower to make other healthy changes in your life. Although you're feeling good in some ways, there are areas where you say things aren't great Emma, so you might be surprised at your score. You're already making healthy choices in your life - but as this is only a snapshot, you might find it helpful to explore a bit more to see what else you can do."


Weight Gain - This is one of the reasons a lot of people worry about quitting smoking and I did gain some weight when I quit, although it was a combination of quitting smoking and losing my mum around the same sort of time. I was comfort eating and apart from my smoking nurse there was very little online support around. One You has free, personalized support on offer, such as the new One You Coach To 5k app, the NHS Smokefree app, the One You Drinks Tracker app and the One You Easy Meals app (which is great for helping to keep those extra pounds off while you quit smoking).

Finances - I have noticed a significant improvement in our finances since I quit, we are so much better off than before. The price of cigarettes was financially crippling and nowadays I have a lot more cash to spend on nice clothes, days out and holidays. 

Health Benefits - I noticed health benefits almost immediately, within two weeks my early morning wheeze had completely disappeared, I was nowhere near as breathless and my chesty smokers cough vanished. The biggest benefit though has got to be no longer suffering from the dreaded throat infections since quitting. My doctor was right! 

Studies show that you're four times more likely to quit with help. There's a free local Stop Smoking Service near you and the Smokefree app can help you stop smoking by providing daily support and motivation. If you stay smoke free for the 4-week programme you’re up to five times more likely to stay quit for good. There's lots of other free support on offer – from a Quit Kit, emails and texts – so you can choose the support that's right for you. Plus lots of success stories on Smokefree NHS. 




Are you a smoker?
Would you like to quit 
or do you have your own success story?



I’m supporting One You, Public Health England's new health campaign which provides free and personalized support, advice and tools to help adults make small changes to improve their health now and in the future. Take the online ‘How Are You’ quiz now, It's completely free!


13 comments:

  1. Wow Emma, you did SO WELL to quit and stay smoke free for seven years! That is awesome - a real inspiration to others in the same boat, it just shows that it can be done with the right support.

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  2. Well done! I have never been a smoker, but know a few people who have tried and failed. It is very hard and you should be proud of yourself! If you need any fitness tips, give me a shout ;-0) @Fitness4Mamas #FitnessTuesday

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  3. Well done, my dad gave up smoking about 10 years ago and I know it was hard for him. There are so many reasons to stop but you need to want to stop which you obviously did and with the right support it makes it so much easier.

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  4. Brilliant! Well done you. I gave up 11 years ago. Had the odd craving from time to time, but now I can't imagine ever smoking again! :) x

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  5. Well done you! I know how hard it is to quit!!! I started smoking when I was 11 and finally quit for good 3 years ago now. x

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  6. I never realised you can put on weight if you quit smoking. Well done on quitting! My brother smoked a lot, tried quitting a number of times but eventually managed to after some health scares.

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  7. Well done on quitting, and for so long too. I dated a smoker for the first time a few years ago and I must admit the smell really put me off him!

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  8. Well done on giving up. Like you I started smoking as a teen, gave up with my first three pregnancies and then found myself picking up the habit again after a few months. Thankfully after Kian I gave up for good so have now been smoke free for 15 years. Sadly my teen has started though and despite my nagging won't give up yet

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  9. I was the same as you, started in my teens because it was cool. I tried numerous times to quit but never did very for long, until I fell ill about 5 years ago.
    I got a pulmonary embolism and feared I was going to die. I was in hospital for 10 days. On the first day I was admitted and they told me what was wrong, I told them I wouldn't have another fag and I never have.
    I didn't have problem with quitting because the fear of dying had hit me hard and I knew I wanted to live more than I wanted a fag.
    Very well done for staying off them for so long :) xx

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  10. Well done you on giving up. I smoked from my teens until I was pregnant with Maxi and like you they made me gag. I am so glad I never went back on them.

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  11. I have never really smoked apart from a novelty puff once to see what all the fuss was about, hubbie thankfully gave up when we got together. Well done for giving up and encouraging others to get the support to do the same x

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  12. This is really interesting Emma and I'm an ex-smoker too. It's been over ten years now and I do well unless I see I specific couple of friends when I might wobble after copious amounts of wine! I quit when I got chest pains - was fine but later did a test which showed my lung age vs my actual age! I later found out they made a mistake but they initially had my lung age as 62!

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  13. Any smoker reading this couldn't help but be inspired. Sounds like you have had so so many benefits to quitting. I love that you went right back through your history with smoking. I did too with my #OneYou weight story. Great that you have now quit and you are so right the price of fags now is truly bonkers so no wonder you are way better off. If only I could get my Mum to quit. Liska xxx

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