Matthew Reeves is starting 2022 with a spring in his step, celebrating three months being free from the ties of smoking.

The 28-year-old dad from Alvaston decided to quit in October to be a positive role model to his 10-year-old daughter and to reduce his risks of health problems in the future.

Matthew shares his journey so far:

“I decided enough was enough.  Smoking was costing me too much money and taking up valuable time that could be spent with my daughter.  I was sick of the interruptions of needing to light up multiple times a day.  

Killing two birds with one stone I decided to not only quit smoking tobacco but to stop using cannabis too.  I felt I needed to do both at the same time to become a better version of myself and sought support initially for tobacco addition from Livewell. 

During my first phone appointment advisor, Casey explained how the service works and the different Nicotine Replacement Therapy treatments available.  I set a quit date and she arranged delivery of patches and lozenges so I was ready to manage the withdrawal symptoms from day one.  Unfortunately the patches caused a rash but I kept going with the lozenges which really helped keep my cravings under control. 

Casey checked in with me every couple of weeks and arranged further deliveries of lozenges so I didn’t need to worry about running out or paying for them as they are free for up to eight weeks.  She guided me through some stressful moments and was a great source of support.

Now I’ve got through the most difficult stage, it’s good to reflect on the benefits, like having money in the bank.  I’ve saved almost £500 already and can treat my little girl to shopping trips as well as having more energy to play with her.

My body mass index was extremely low but with my appetite returning I’m steadily building up to a healthier weight. My clothes and breath are fresher – I no longer need to spray myself to mask the smell of stale smoke. Walking and running feel easier on my lungs and it’s good to know I’ve added 10 years to my life by quitting. 

With a smoke-free home, I’m protecting the health of my daughter and to top it all off, I feel happier than I have done in ages!”

Casey Baxter, Livewell advisor added:

“Like many smokers, Matthew cut down his cigarettes straight away but was struggling to give up completely.  As he was still smoking whilst using the NRT products, I advised him of the health dangers of overdosing on nicotine.  After his first two weeks of medication, I offered him one more week but explained that any further treatments would require him to have stopped smoking completely.  After that, he quit and has never gone back. He has really pushed himself to turn things around and has noticed a massive difference and so many positive benefits.  He is a great example of sticking with something and trusting his advisor and the process to support him and be where he is today.  If you want to quit and feel ready, definitely give it a try – you have nothing to lose.”

Ready to quit?

With professional help you’re three times more likely to quit for good. Livewell supports people in Derby to stop smoking tobacco with FREE support and treatments.  Find out more and book an appointment at the Livewell website.

Whilst Matthew stopped smoking cannabis and tobacco at the same time, Livewell does not offered tailored support for drug or alcohol addictions so recommends using a specialist service such as Aquarius – Derby Drug and Alcohol Service.