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.
"I used to be a heavy smoker - three packs if out with friends and always looking to go for a cigarette when at work.
"Then the big push came for everyone to stop smoking, and yes I went to the groups got all the patches, plastic cigarettes etc , read the book "how to stop smoking" which said that by the time you finish this book you will have stopped smoking. Well they were right, I did cut down and nearly stopped, but I didn’t read the last chapter so went back to smoking (I wasn't ready to quit yet).
"My arguments were
- wait till the nonsmokers have to pay the tax
- I get more fresh air than non-smokers as I'm always outside
- I will put on weight if I stop
- what will I do with my hand?
"Then one day it seemed like a switch just turned on in my head. This time I knew it would work as I was doing it for me not all the family and friends that said “you should give up” or the people at work that kept saying "why are you still smoking it's bad for you?" it was for me.
"So off I went to see Bernadette at the stop smoking group. That was nearly three years ago and now I feel like I never smoked. The smell doesn't bother me I can sit with friends that smoke – it’s all good.
"So remember you have to wait for that switch (it worked for me) and do it for you..."