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I had smoked since I was a teenager and was a relatively heavy smoker during my 20s – although mainly only smoking in the evenings and first thing in the morning. I easily quit during both my pregnancies and whilst breast feeding, but just as easily restarted. I convinced myself I wasn’t a smoker as I only smoked in the evenings once the children had gone to bed, but I was still smoking at least once a day if not more, especially if I had an alcoholic drink.

My main motivation for quitting was when I realised that I was kidding myself if I thought I wasn’t addicted to nicotine and that I wasn’t in control of my smoking habit, even if I had managed to convince myself for years that I was self-disciplined. I didn’t want my daughters seeing me smoking, disliked smelling of smoke, I enjoy running and doing yoga and didn’t want smoking to affect my fitness. I was also aware that at 41, I needed to start being kind to my skin. I spent most of the time pretending I didn’t smoke, or saying that I only smoked occasionally, and hated being hypocritical.

I have never felt supported before when trying to quit – Tom really talked through my habit with me first, understanding where my headspace was, before he suggested a course of action for me to try. All the way through the twelve-week programme I was on, it was good to know I had someone to discuss any issues and it also made me accountable for my actions.

I have managed to finally stop smoking. The biggest change is an acceptance that I now know I can never ever, smoke even one cigarette again – and interestingly, I have no desire to try having gone this length of time without smoking. I’m enjoying not smoking and being around others smoking strangely does not bother me at all. It is entirely my decision not to smoke and it’s not a big deal – in fact, I haven’t actually mentioned it to many people. This really has been a personal choice and not one I’m concerned with sharing. Quitting this time has made me very happy and therefore, I’m not needing to discuss it, as it hasn’t been a problem.

I’m really chuffed with myself for quitting!

It’s good to know I’ll have a follow up phone call in about 6 months, again helping the personal accountability attached to quitting and I definitely feel confident that I won’t try to start smoking once again.

It’s been a great experience that I wasn’t expecting to appreciate to this extent. The support has been hugely beneficial and I genuinely think it’s made a massive difference to my success in quitting smoking.