Living Healthier Quit Smoking

How I quit smoking after 22 years so I could ride my motorbikes again

Help from a Healthy Lifestyles Advisor and the desire to to ride my motorbikes again allowed me to make a major change to my lifestyle
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Help from a Healthy Lifestyles Advisor and the desire to to ride my motorbikes again allowed me to make a major change to my lifestyle

by Wayne Baker

Before I quit I had been smoking 20 cigarettes per day for the past 22 years of my life. I also smoked a lot of cannabis on a daily basis, which was a costly habit, not just in financial terms but more importantly for my general health and wellbeing.

I was spending £70 a week on cigarettes alone, not including the cannabis, I used to have broken sleep, little energy, poor appetite and I couldn’t ride my motor bikes.

A few years ago I had tried to quit using the champix tablets, however, looking back I now know that I wasn’t giving it 100%.

Smoking was a huge part of my life, the decision to make that positive life change has been really hard. If you want to quit then you must really buy in to it and give it everything you have!

Why I quit smoking

My decision to quit was made for a number of reasons. My health was deteriorating, financially I was being hit hard. I wanted to get away from the cannabis so I could start riding my motorbike again, which is my true passion!

I was slightly apprehensive when I decided to quit for the second time. However I contacted the Healthy Lifestyles Team and found that my advisor, Ollie Gold, gave me the ammunition in terms of knowledge, confidence and support to help succeed this time.

How I quit smoking

I decided upon the champix medication option again and found the course a smooth process overall.

There were a couple of little wobbles during my journey, for instance when I dropped my champix dose after 6 weeks or when I’d had some nasty vivid dreams one night.

But it was always so reassuring to chat to my advisor and discuss possible options. Knowing that these issues were normal and having weekly encouragement helped me realise I was doing really well. It kept my determination and motivation levels up.

I have now made it 10 weeks smoke free and there were a number of aspects that made my stop smoking experience enjoyable.

Each week a reading was taken of my carbon monoxide levels. At my first appointment my reading was worryingly high, however, seeing this improve over the weeks was vitally important and enjoyable for me.

It was a great motivational tool as I saw the proof in black and white that I was doing well.

The one to one weekly meetings with my Healthy Lifestyles Advisor, Ollie, allowed me to talk about what was going well, what I was finding difficult, and the ways my health and wellbeing were improving.

Now I am feeling more positive

Since I stopped smoking I have seen my appetite return. I have so much more energy now, my sleep is less interrupted, and I generally feel more positive. It really is a transformation!

Many of my friends on Facebook have been inspired to kick the smoking habit as they are all astounded that I have finally managed to do it.

I now find myself encouraging them in their new quit attempts. My advice to them is to speak to a Healthy Lifestyles Advisor.

I would like to encourage anybody who wants to change their lifestyle to look at my story and realise that it can be done.

The support is out there. It’s not easy and it must not be a half-hearted decision. You have to really want it, buy into it and give 100%…but the rewards are huge!

I doubt I would have realised my dream had it not been for his help of my Healthy Lifestyles Advisor at certain times. Ollie was brilliant.

Get help

Contact the Healthy Lifestyles team for help to stop smoking that’s based around you and your needs.

You can contact the team on 01952 382582 or healthylifestyles@telford.gov.uk

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