I couldn’t have done it without them, they were amazing and so supportive. I just called them up and made a plan.
Medical secretary Nadine Smith, from Woodhouses, quit smoking last year after seeing first-hand the devastation it can cause to lung cancer patients.
Forty-two-year old Nadine said: “I’d started to feel a bit like a fraud at work. I’m a secretary for lung cancer nurses and I was surrounded by people whose lives had been devastated by smoking, yet I carried on every day.”
Nadine started smoking when she was 13. She said: “I started smoking at school due to peer pressure. I did quit while pregnant but started again when my mum died soon after I gave birth. I think it was the stress and it felt like a way to cope. I’d tried to quit a few more times over the years but I always did it by myself with no support and it never worked. Every time it got hard, I ended up starting again.”
Nadine’s partner didn’t smoke and she was always conscious of the smell, both at home and at work: “I didn’t like to smell of smoke so always had breath freshener and perfume with me.”
After almost 30 years of smoking, Nadine made a pinkie promise to her two children and finally found the motivation to quit. She contacted Be Well Tameside’s Stop Smoking service who gave her all the help she needed.
“I couldn’t have done it without them, they were amazing and so supportive. I just called them up and made a plan. I’d tried nicotine gum in the past and it hadn’t worked so they suggested I try stop smoking medication. This time, when it got tough I had the support I needed and it worked.
“Now I’ve been quit for over a year and I’m so happy about it. It’s amazing not having to worry about the smell, I no longer feel self-conscious at work and I feel like I’ve got more energy.
“I was quite a heavy smoker and worked out I spent about £160 a month. I’ve been using the money I’ve saved to treat the kids to trips to the cinema.”
She’d offer the following advice to others who want to quit: “Use something to help you and change your routine so you don’t feel like you’ve lost something. I always used to go outside and have a cigarette straight after breakfast so when I quit, I started making the kids packed lunches instead to break the habit.
“You’ve got to want to do it for yourself and your own health and then you’ll find the motivation. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”