Quitters' Stories

Quitters' Stories

It has never been so easy to get the support you need to quit, so speak to a stop smoking advisor today!

Sera's Story

Sera Rifat, 48, from Bellingham, is the 15,000th person to quit with help from the Lewisham Stop Smoking Service. Sera has been smoke-free since quitting with the help of the Lewisham Stop Smoking Service.

Jackie's Story

Jackie started smoking when she was 16, and smoked heavily for 26 years. She decided to kick the habit after becoming ill with pneumonia and other lung infections. Her will-power and group support helped her quit.

Yvonne's Story

Yvonne Alger works as a Therapy Assisant and used to smoke heavily - up to three packs of cigarettes when out with friends. Yvonne quit with support from the Lewisham Stop Smoking Service three years ago.

Does this sound like you? "I need a cigarette to relax me" - if so read these comments from smokers and our experts replies:

1. I need a cigarette to relax me.

Tobacco gives you the impression to be relaxing for two reasons:  it relieves the nicotine craving (which you won’t be feeling anymore when you are smoke free), and it also gives you a window to maybe sit down, or have a break.  That break or that rest is what is calming.

2. I have a really stressful life – how am I going to manage without a cigarette?

We have other abilities to manage our stress, look at non-smokers and how they cope, would you advise them to start smoking? Would it help them?  Learn or rediscover ways of dealing with stress in ways which are not harming your health.

3. I have smoked for 40 years, you’ll never stop me smoking

Surprise yourself and trust in your own strength.

4. I have failed twice already, I don’t think I can ever do it

Call is a lapse, not a failure, and learn from it, every time you quit, you are closer to permanent success.

5. What if I just cut down a bit instead?

There is a big difference between cutting down and stopping. As soon as you stop smoking your body starts to recover. Also, by only cutting down, you maintain dependence and a struggle.  Only when you have stopped completely will you feel that feeling a freedom and accomplishment.

6. But I like that high and clear headedness it gives me

The high is momentary and that is what your brain gets addicted to. It is the lack of a quick fix that people get frustrated by.   Studies show that your mind is actually much clearer when you stop smoking.

7. But I will put on weight if I stop smoking

Cigarette smoke accelerates our metabolism, so when you stop smoking, some people (but not everyone by any means) can put weight on.  They also have more energy and more money from being smoke free, they can then walk faster and further, go to the gym. 

When you stop smoking, you learn how to cope with cravings, frustrations, boredom etc in a different way.  These new coping mechanisms can then be used to address eating habits. 

Trust in yourself; a change leads to other changes.  We saw a patient who joined Weight Watchers at the same time as she came to our clinic.  Here is her testimony: “I felt I had to write and say 'Thank you' for the help and support you have given me in my quest to stop smoking. It has been successful, it is now two months since I have had a cigarette, and I intend to carry on being 'smoke free'. As you know, I have not only packed up smoking, I have also joined Weight Watchers and to date I have lost 16 1/2 lbs. I have decided if I had enough will power to stop smoking I could also lose weight, I'm pleased to say I have been successful in both. Once again 'Thank you', I could not have done it on my own. Hopefully I'm on my way to a healthier life style."