Becoming smoke-free is a challenge people are often daunted by. Dawn Whatsize was no exception but, after receiving support from the Leicester Stop Smoking Service, she found quitting much easier than she expected.
After suffering from a number of ailments including pneumonia, made worse by smoking, which led to heart failure and her mother having half a lung removed due to cancer, Dawn knew it was time she ditched cigarettes for good. She began smoking at the age of 14 and continued to do so for 37 years. At her peak she had a 60-a-day habit.
Explaining why she hadn’t quit before, Dawn said: “I was stubborn. The more people told me to quit, the more I didn’t want to do it. But then my illnesses and my mum having half her lung removed; things like that hit you.
“Now, I wish I’d done it sooner. I’ve got no regrets from doing it, and I do feel better.”
Another obstacle for Dawn to overcome has been her agoraphobia, which meant attending Stop Smoking Service sessions could be a challenge. However, she pushed herself on and was able to overcome this and advisors made sure she felt as comfortable as possible. Following her visits, as part of a ground-breaking study on e-cigs, Dawn was given an e-cig starter kit which has led her to vaping and no longer smoking.
Dawn said: “Quitting hasn’t really been a struggle – I thought it would be much harder. There have been times where things have gone wrong and I’ve wanted to smoke, but I’ve managed.
“I’d tried other products in the past like patches and an inhalator, but I just didn’t get on with them. I’m finding the e-cig really helpful and it also occupies my hands, which helps.”
The Leicester Stop Smoking Service was the first in the UK to be e-cig friendly. Since it took this stance, many people in Leicester have switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping, with the Service’s support.
When asked what she’d say to smokers looking to quit, Dawn said: “Go for it. Just really go for it. I struggled to sleep at night, but I did it. And if I can do it, anyone can. I’d definitely recommend using the service.”
If you want to stop smoking, please get in touch with the Leicester Stop Smoking Service.
Call 0116 454 4000 to speak to a friendly advisor, who will be able to provide you with more information about its FREE 12-week service and get you on your way.