A woman who smoked for more than 20 years has thanked a health trust’s stop smoking team for helping her quit.
Claire, who goes to a clinic at Billingham Health Centre, was put on a 12-week programme on a medication called Champix which helps reduce cravings and the effects smokers feel if they do have smoke.
Speaking on the last day of the programme, 40-year-old Claire said: “I smoked 25 cigarettes a day for 20 years. My mum and dad also both smoked for many years so I knew it was going to be very hard to quit.
“I feel so much better. I was meeting with the stop smoking advisors every two weeks who were a huge help. They encouraged me and gave me advice to help me keep going.”
Claire said she got extra motivation from the children she teaches at Tees Active as well as her own two children.
She added: “One day one of the young boys I teach saw me smoking and said to me that it made him feel very sad. That really hit me hard and made me think how what I was doing was affecting others. I also thought about my own two children and didn’t want them to copy what they saw me doing.
“I’m so happy I went to see the stop smoking team, thanks to them I don’t even get cravings anymore.”
Alison Johns, stop smoking specialist advisor, said: “It’s fantastic when people like Claire successfully quit smoking – it shows other smokers that it really is possible.
“Our stop smoking services provide one-to-one support and treatment to help smokers in Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool
“Quitting smoking isn’t easy but people who receive support from their local stop smoking service find it easier to stop and are much more likely to stay smokefree.”