Alison was tired of feeling controlled by her smoking habit.

Alison struggled to quit alone, but with the help of NRT and the Sheffield Smokefree Service, she finally quit for good.

After 40 years of smoking, Alison decided now was the time to give up for good. As a tobacco smoker, she typically smoked around 10-20 cigarettes a day. When she smoked, Alison often worried about what other people thought of her and her smoking habits. Every five years, Alison tried to give up but was never successful in going it alone, so this time she decided to try something different.

“Wherever I went I had to think, is there going to be somewhere for me to smoke? Will other people be smoking? What will people think of me for smoking?”

Alison chose to get involved in a study at Sheffield Hallam University where they were recruiting smokers to offer them different nicotine replacement therapies. There were different groups using patches, e-cigarettes and stop smoking medication and from there she was referred to Smokefree Sheffield.

She originally asked advisors for the medication, but this method didn’t suit her, so after discussing this with her advisor, Alison moved onto patches, starting on a strong dose and, over time, worked towards the lower dosage. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to stopping smoking, and at Smokefree Sheffield, we’ll work hard to find the medication that works for you.

The nicotine patch provides a steady, controlled dose of nicotine throughout the day, thereby reducing the effects of nicotine withdrawal. Patch strength is reduced over time, allowing the person to wean themselves off of nicotine gradually.

With monthly appointments with advisors in the Moor Market, Alison found herself having regular contact with someone helpful and motivational, and this gave her the opportunity to express how her stop smoking journey was going.

You’re three times more likely to quit smoking with help from a service than if you try to do it on your own.

“I found it a lot easier than I expected. I only got a few cravings. They were usually after mealtimes which is when I used to smoke.”

Alison’s partner also gave up smoking at the same time as her, giving them both the motivation and confidence they needed to give up for good. As Alison weaned herself away from her smoking habit, she saw many mental and emotional benefits, but the physical and financial benefits were the ones that stood out.

“I’m fitter. I can walk a lot further without getting out of breath. Before, when I was a smoker, I’d walk to the top of a hill and my lungs would be screaming. Now I still get a little bit out of breath but it’s nowhere near as bad.”

Alison also often found it difficult to pull together the money for a pouch of tobacco as she didn’t have a lot of money to spare. She really felt the financial benefits of saving the cash to spend on things she actually needed.

Alison’s family were also extremely happy she’d given up as they’d watched her smoke throughout their lives.

“Your kids don’t want to see you doing something that could potentially kill you”.

Research shows that children are so concerned about the impact of smoking on their parent’s health that they would go to considerable lengths to get them to give up, including going without Christmas presents, giving up their pocket money and even committing to complete their homework every night.

Alison has some advice for people who are thinking of giving up quitting:

“Have a long, hard think about why you actually smoke. Does it really make you happy? What good does it do you? What are you losing by quitting?”

There are stop smoking services to help you along your smokefree journey. And together, we can create a free and personal plan that works for you.