Hospital domestic Bernie Wilton is being given the help to quit smoking. Thanks to a health trust’s community stop smoking team.
As the trust marks No Smoking Day next month, Bernie has shared her story about her own experience giving up the habit.
Bernie first quit 18 months ago, going completely smoke-free using her own will-power and determination to be healthier and fitter.
Over this period she has been feeling much healthier and more energetic. She has also taken on a role helping to advise and support visitors outside the main reception area at the University Hospital of North Tees.
What Bernie had to say about quitting
Because of the ongoing challenge of remaining smoke-free, Bernie went along to a smoke-free hospital event. She was referred to the community stop smoking service.
She said: “Over the last year and half I have been feeling so much better in myself.
“I’ve got more energy and I feel happier. I walk about all day now and even go up and down the seven floors of the tower block twice a day!
“I feel like quitting smoking is a constant effort though. Whenever I got stressed in the past, I would use smoking as my way of coping.
“Now I feel I need the help of the stop smoking team to help me stay off the cigarettes for good!”
Why people take up the challenge
Rafeed Rashid, stop smoking specialist adviser, said: “No Smoking Day provides a good opportunity for people to join others attempting to quit on the same day.
“Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to stop smoking. For some people it is about making a lifestyle change. To be healthier or get fit. Or to save money. For others, it’s about the way their smoking affects the people close to them, such as their family and friends.
“No matter what their reasons, if people are thinking about quitting smoking, their best chance of success is to visit one of their local stop smoking sessions. Just like Bernie has.
“NHS trained advisers offer friendly and non-judgemental help to smokers at drop in stop smoking sessions.
“Quitters feel fitter, save money, have better skin and teeth, are less anxious and reduce the risk of any serious smoking related diseases. They make a big positive change in their lives.”
For any staff looking for help to quit, contact occupational health.
No Smoking Day will be held this year on Wednesday 11 March.
To find out how you can get help stopping smoking visit www.nth.nhs.uk/services/stop-smoking-service/ or call 01642 383819.