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Avril first attended a local open group in Ryde, May 2009, she always wanted to quit smoking and kept on telling herself that she needed to give up. She had smoked since the age of 16, making that 40 years, however she was not a heavy smoker until she was in her 30’s, smoking between 16-20 cigarettes a day.
She wanted to quit for herself, many people do not want to do it for the right reasons. Avril’s sister was diagnosed with a smoking-related illness last year and died in January 2010. Her sister’s illness was not the reason she wanted to quit, as the likelihood is she would not have succeeded had she not wanted it for herself, but it did drive her on to stop.
Avril had always wanted to quit and she felt that the time was right in her life to finally give up, the main reason was because she felt her health was deteriorating. The treatments Avril received were patches which she describes as the ‘bedrock’ to quitting. Also, for the first two weeks she used an inhaler which helped enormously especially as it kept her hands busy, but she realised she wanted to stop using the inhaler as soon as possible and changed to 2mg lozenges. She is still having 1mg lozenges around 6 times a day, but hopes she will be completely free within the next couple of months.
Avril says after quitting she now feels fantastic and is glad that cigarettes no longer have a hold over her life as it did for many years. She describes it as being ‘liberating’ and feels like she has been ‘born again’. She is however concerned at the weight she has put on, since quitting she has put on over a stone but has recently bought a dog which she hopes will help her exercise and in turn lose weight. Avril says she will never smoke again and has no desire or intention to ever start again but she does still quite like it when she can smell a cigarette close by. When asked she says the best thing about smoking is that she doesn’t smell anymore, she always felt very conscious of how she smelt and that other people could smell it too. The cost is also an advantage, with Avril smoking around 20 cigarettes a day that’s a saving of £5.70 which over the years really adds up!
Avril has been able to see the benefit in her health, she is a member of the Medina community choir which was a huge incentive of quitting because she had noticed how short of breath she would get when singing. Now she says she really can feel the difference in her lungs because there not filled up with all the mucus caused by smoking. The choir reached the BBC Radio 3 heats and although they didn’t get through it is still a massive achievement, they also played at the main stage of the Isle of Wight Festival this year and in August they are touring France.
Her overall health has improved and she highly recommends firstly NEVER to start smoking and secondly if you do start always tell yourself to stop and make the decision, she has seen the difference and feels that life is far better without cigarettes.
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Figure out what triggers your want for a cigarette it may be a few factors such as stress, the end of a meal, socialising with friends. It is a good idea to avoid these triggers whilst trying to quit if you can’t you need to think about controlling yourself whilst in those trigger situations.