Mary on Quitting Smoking

It was coming up to 2004. I had been smoking for a long time. I thought enough is enough and I should give up. I’d given up in the past on nicorette patches. I’d done eight months, then I had a relapse. I didn’t think I’d get addicted again if I had just one. But I did, as I’d been under stress I started smoking again and continued to do so for three more years.

Next time I decided to try and quit with my own will power because I had become dependent on the nicorette patches last time. In the past the doctors had recommended the patches or to pick at fruit or salad instead of going for a cig. Then by 2004 I thought I am determined to give up. I thought the amount of years I’d been smoking it would be nice not to.

I didn’t think I’d last a week. It was the day after Boxing Day, I was living in shared housing in Stretford, one of my carers had brought loads of food in at Christmas and there was still loads left. They had brought in stuff like chocolates and mandarins. Since being diagnosed with having migraines I couldn’t eat chocolate any more. I used to love it but because of headaches and dizziness I had to give it up. I thought if I can do without chocolate, I can do without smoking. It was a few days to the New Year. I tried one of the mandarins my carer had brought in for Christmas, it tasted so refreshing.

I thought ‘I’m not letting the taste of a horrible cigarette in my mouth again!’

I ate a couple of mandarins. The next day I went to Summerfield and got mandarins to pick at instead of having a cigarette. It was coming up to the New Year and I hadn’t had one cigarette, I was really pleased with myself. I decided to keep off the cigarettes for my New Year’s resolution. I told my carer I wanted to give up smoking. My carer was in my room and she said it smelt very fresh and clean, this was because I had already done three days of non smoking.

After a week staff said they were very pleased for me. I was still craving but determined to keep off the cigarettes. I started feeling really hungry, where I couldn’t stop eating. Normally I never eat breakfast and was satisfied with two meals a day. I became really greedy but thought it was better than smoking. I was feeling really good about not smoking and proud of myself.

I have not been smoking for nearly four years. If I can do it, so can you!


If you would like help giving up smoking, call the NHS Stop Smoking line on 0800 022 4 332.

If you are supported by Creative Support, why not sign up to our ‘I Quit’ programme.