Stopping smoking is not easy but it can be done. To be successful you have to really want to stop and you have to be ready. We will give you practical guidance on how to quit.
There are over 12 million ex-smokers in the UK. If they can do it so can you! Many smokers need more than one attempt before they stop completely but each time they learn more about themselves and their habit and are better prepared for the next attempt.
Hundreds of ex-smokers enter Quitter of the Year. To provide some inspiration we have the stories of successful quitters. Quitter of the Year has been inspirational to the thousands of smokers who want to quit.
Have you already quit smoking? Then you’re an inspiration! Would you be happy to tell your story to the media? Email Us
A health scare was the encouragement mum-of-two Barbara Cowell, 40, from Manchester needed to stop the habit she had since a teenager.
Barbara had gone to the dentist for a routine check up, and remembers: “They found white spots under my tongue, which were still there six months later. I was referred to the hospital, who told me that I was in the early stages of mouth cancer and I should stop smoking right away.”
Barbara stopped immediately and has been given the all clear. She said: “I was shocked and scared. I am proof that smoking can contribute greatly to the risk of cancer – not just lung cancer, but other cancers that are not as common. I am so grateful to my dentist and I believe it is important for them to be extra vigilant.”
She added: “I couldn’t imagine smoking again, it has changed my way of life. I really feel the benefit – I swim a lot more and am generally in much better health.”
Melanie & James Pritchard
James and Melanie Pritchard, of Prestatyn, North Wales quit smoking ready for their wedding day.
Melanie wanted to be able to buy the wedding dress of her dreams, and James was encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
James and Melanie said: “Using nicotine replacement therapy, giving ourselves treats with the money we saved from not smoking and supporting each other were the main reasons for our success.”
James said: “It really helped being able to support each other through it. I wanted to quit because I was turning 30 and was starting to worry about the effect it was having on my health.”
Mel said: “Giving ourselves treats was a great way to keep ourselves motivated. I started with buying myself a new top when I’d quit for a week and then after 6 months as a non-smoker I was able to buy the wedding dress of my dreams.”
Anne, from Glasgow, found quitting smoking difficult, even after her father died of lung cancer, after smoking for 60 years.
She finally managed to quit after a conversation with a nurse who worked in an amputee ward. Anne said: “My father pleaded with me to give up smoking before he died but I thought I couldn’t as I found the addiction too strong. However, a conversation with a nurse who worked in an amputee ward changed my life. I imagined how I would feel it one of my limbs had to be removed as a result of my smoking.”
Anne used to smoke 15 cigarettes a day for 12 years. She used nicotine replacement patches to quit, and said:
“I have more energy now I have quit and I feel less tired. I also have a better throat – it doesn’t feel raw anymore like it used to, particularly after being out for a night drinking, when I’d always smoke more. I‘ve noticed I have more time at work too – I’m not running downstairs to smoke outside and I’m not anxious thinking about my next cigarette.”
Brian Burns quit smoking after a heart attack gave him the wake up call he needed to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Brian said: “I’m hoping that others will realize that it’s never too late to stop smoking. I’m in my 60’s and I can’t believe the difference it’s made to me. For the first time I can consider going on a long haul flight – when I was a smoker I could never consider flying too far because I couldn’t manage without a cigarette for too long.”