Author: Nicole Taylor

Stop Smoking Blog 4: Nathan’s Fourth Blog

The lesson from my experience of giving up smoking is that you have to do it for yourself. As a smoker, you are always under a latent pressure to quit. Co-workers raise eyebrows, your family express concern and every day, stamped in bold black on the front of the packet, your cigarettes advise you to quit. But unless you are completely persuaded, unless the will to quit is your own, you won’t be able to kick the habit. So, in this final blog, I’m not going to try too hard to persuade you to give up. That is your decision, for you to make when you’re ready. But I am going to give you some advice on how to go about it when you get there, based on my own experience as a smoker, as a former failed-quitter and, now, as someone who has finally and definitively given up. Firstly, get help. Going cold turkey, without support, has a rugged kind of appeal but in my experience it just doesn’t get you very far. In the contest between the effects of withdrawal and your own willpower, it helps to have some allies. You probably won’t want to tell everyone that you’re quitting, but a choice few – your partner, your parents, your best-friend – can make a big difference. They will be there for you when things are most...

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Stop Smoking Blog 3: Fired up about quitting smoking

Quitting smoking has changed my life, there’s no way around it. On one level, that change looks like a number of modest little adjustments. It begins in the morning, where my routine has become, well, gentile; rather than lighting up while the day’s first coffee is brewing, I now start things off with a mint tea. The aim is to break my longstanding associations. Then I leave the house and I take a new route to work. On the advice of my pharmacist, Claudio, I’ve established a routine that doesn’t take me past the shop where I’ve been buying my cigarettes for years. I try to keep my mind on other things, like not getting lost on this unfamiliar journey. But when you take them all together, these small steps make up the great leap of quitting an addiction to smoking. Over the last week, these little tactics, combined with my Nicotine Replacement Products, have got me over the hump. I now classify myself, proudly, as a non-smoker. I appear to have left the cravings behind, besides the occasional, slightly odd yearning for a cigar. I paid a visit to Lloydspharmacy this morning and, after a conversation with my pharmacy assistant, we’ve agreed to reduce the amount of Nicotine in my patches from 25 milligrams to 15. With this new confidence in my progress, I’ve decided to out myself....

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Stop Smoking Blog 2: Nathan Salmon’s Life without Cigarettes: Week 1

After 22 years, I am now a former smoker. That little sentence feels fairly momentous. Last week I signed up to Lloydspharmacy’s Stop Smoking Programme and, with their help, I’m on my way to kicking the habit. The question I keep being asked is “How is it?” The answer, delivered with stern resolve, is always the same: “difficult, really difficult”. There’s no hiding from the fact. After all those years, nicotine gets a powerful hold on you. The fact that I’ve stuck it out has been down to three things: personal determination, the support of those close to me and, no less crucial, my Nicotine Replacement products. The patches have been vital. I don’t think I could have made it this far without their steady and constant help. I had tried quitting before but hadn’t been successful. I boldly thought that giving up would be a case of mind over matter, but the advice from Lloydspharmacy that I should use patches to slowly wind down on the amount of nicotine in my system has proved spot-on. The Quickmist is working well as a crutch by being an immediate response to those sudden cravings. I had a little hiccup when first using the product – literally, hiccups. In a desire to blast away the sudden craving, I was dousing the back of my throat in the stuff. I have now...

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Stop Smoking Blog 1: Enough’s Enough: I Quit

My name’s Nathan Salmon and I’m a smoker. That’s not a phrase that I’m going to be able to use tomorrow: this is my last day. After 22 years it’s going to be strange referring to a 30-a-day habit in the past tense. I’d been thinking about giving up for a while (not quite the full 22 years, there were lots of guilt -free – and frankly enjoyable – cigarettes at the beginning) but like most smokers I’ve been able to push the health risks to the back of my mind. But then I turned 40 and started getting a bit more breathless. And then I found out my girlfriend was expecting twins. And then I decided that I really had to give up. My previous attempts at quitting had all misfired. ‘Cold Turkey’ was better left as a Boxing Day snack. On a tip from a friend, herself a former smoker, I decided that this time I would do it with help from LloydsPharmacy. A phone call later I was in my first private consultation. The pharmacist, Claudio, talked me through the process of giving up. What he offered was useful information, and expertise on using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), but also personal reinforcement. His explanation of the health risks and of what was actually involved in quitting steeled me for what I assumed was a grueling task....

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