Relapsing is not uncommon among people trying to quit smoking, particularly during this uncertain time.  For Katrinea it was the stress of starting a new job that caused her to light up after stopping successfully for a year.

However, the 36-year-old soon realised that smoking didn’t help her anxiety, so she decided to quit for good with Livewell’s free support and Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), which had worked for her in the past.

“When my doctor told me to contact Livewell in the second week of lock down, I was sceptical the service would be open.  I was surprised to find that it offered phone appointments.  Unfortunately I slept through the first early morning call from my advisor, Joe but he persevered in getting hold of me and we chatted through the support and free treatments available.  Because mouth spray had helped me to quit before, Joe organised for it to be delivered bi-weekly to my door.  Reassuringly he also arranged for it to be dropped in a safe place when I returned to work after being furloughed.

I must admit I struggled with cravings during the first couple of weeks but the mouth spray helped me to cope with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms and Joe checking in with me every week meant I had expert support when I needed it. 

Now that I’ve been quit nearly three months, I’m finding I can breathe more easily on my walk to work.  My husband tells me I don’t smell of stale smoke anymore, something I wasn’t even aware of.  Setting a good example for my three children is really important to me and whilst I never smoked around them, I always felt a hypocrite telling them not to start smoking when I did it myself.  The icing on the cake is the money we’re saving each month, as a family we can do lots more fun things with the extra cash, especially once restrictions ease.

I love the feeling of being free from smoking and not having to worry when and where I could have my next cigarette.  I’m proud to have waved goodbye to a 24-year habit and I’m determined to stay smokefree this time.”

Katrinea’s Top Tips

Stick with it – quitting is hard particularly in the early days.  Commit to it 100% and give the treatments a really good go - they really help with nicotine withdrawal.

Plan your quit – beat the urge to smoke by making a plan of what you can do to manage cravings, particularly during the first couple of weeks.  I found keeping busy with a project at home a good distraction.