Carol is celebrating five months smoke-free, using Livewell’s remote support and home delivery of treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 56-year-old from Derby had smoked 10-20 cigarettes/roll ups a day over 42 years. Whilst at an eye appointment for cataracts at the Royal Derby Hospital in early March, she saw a poster on the wall explaining why smoking is bad for eye health. 

“Smoking is known to cause heart disease and lung cancer but I had no idea about the detrimental effects that smoking could have had on my vision.  It made me think about my chances of having other health problems so I decided it was a good time to try to quit. 

Carol joined Livewell to stop smoking just as the country locked down.  She was advised to use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) patches as these had worked well for her in a previous quit attempt 20 years ago.

“The remote support actually worked better for me.  The delivery of patches to my home compelled me to use them and keep going.  It would have been so easy not to turn up to a drop in and pick them up which is how the service normally works.”

“My advisor, Gemma text me regularly - checking how I was doing and offering call support if I needed it.  She also put the onus on me to request more patches when I ran out. I knew I’d feel ashamed if I slipped up so I stuck to it.” 

Carol loves that her house and clothes smell fresh.  She’s also saved £465 since quitting and £180 on patches since Livewell offers up to eight weeks of Nicotine Replacement Therapy products for free.  Even better she’s developing other healthy habits such as exercising more.

“I’ve started the Couch to 5k course with Derby Joggers, something I never would have tried as a smoker.  I’m still a bit wheezy but I’m determined to give it a good go.”

“I hope my story will inspire other smokers in Derby to join the Stoptober challenge.  It’s never too late to stop smoking no matter how many times you’ve tried and with Livewell’s support, your far more likely to succeed.”    

Carol’s Top tips

Don’t keep tobacco or cigarettes in the house – get rid of any temptation.

Set yourself a project to keep busy and distracted – I started growing vegetables in my garden.

Remind yourself you’re a non-smoker (introduce yourself in that way) – I used that mantra every time I woke up craving a cigarette. 

Tell your friends and family (in person or on social media) about your quit – they will support you and you’ll feel you can’t let them down.

Accept praise/rewards – it makes it difficult to go back. 

Use a treatment that works for you – patches remove the physical withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and worked well for me as I weaned off them. They enabled me to focus on the psychological aspects of quitting.  I kept telling myself that I’m no longer addicted and that I can do it!!