bexIt’s that time of the year again, a couple of days before Stoptober and I’ve found myself volunteering to quit. Again! But this year it’s going to be different. How? This time it’s for real.

So, where do I start? With the help of local pharmacist Maulik I have had a health check and been forced to face up to the affects smoking has had on my health. Though I’m only 25, the impact smoking has had makes me realise I’m not as invincible as I first thought. Maulik has suggested that I use nicotine patches to provide me a continuous flow of nicotine to take the edge of cravings and also keep another NRT for worst moments like when I am in the car. A friend has given me an e-cigarette which I will keep as a backup.


CO testingThe results: My carbon monoxide levels were at a mighty 22! For a non-smoker, the levels should be 0 ppm but are usually around 5 ppm due to air pollution, so the detrimental effects of smoking are clear from the off.

My blood pressure though appears to be at a normal 124/70



One of my main motivations for quitting is my fitness; I’m an avid runner and would like to improve as a result of quitting. Today’s mile took 9.30 minutes which is not bad but I’m keen to see if quitting smoking can make my miles faster.

30th September (One day to go till Stoptober)

I’m feeling nervous today, but I’ve worked out that the 10 cigarettes I usually smoke a day mean I’m spending nearly £2000 a year! It’s shocking!

Lynda & Maulik

STOPTOBER has officially started and I feel extremely anxious.

October 1st

I feel very strange; not smoking is going to take some getting used to. I think I’m going to struggle with kicking the habit, but I realise I smell nice today – just perfume and no tobacco. I’ve also had my CO levels checked again and they have dropped to 12!

October 2nd

I surprisingly feel much better today. I have a headache which is lingering but I managed to run an eight minute & 30 second mile, so I’m really pleased with that!

October 3rd

I’m going strong so thought I’d get my CO levels checked again and it appears to be down to three now, I’m very happy about this and feeling confident and happy with myself.

October 6th

I may have had a minor slip at the weekend and unfortunately had two cigarettes, but I woke up hating the smell of tobacco so I’m back on track now.

October 8th

My CO level is at seven, which could possibly be due to driving for five hours yesterday. Maulik has asked me to check it again tomorrow.

October 9th

My CO levels have been re-done and it is back down to three and I’m feeling confident again.

October 11th

I’m now managing to run an eight minute mile! It’s a struggle but I can do it and truly believe it is only possible because I have stopped smoking.

October 13th

I felt brave today so tried to do the day without a patch. I felt ok throughout the day but after work I was suffering with massive cravings so I had a quick dash into the pharmacy for some more patches on the way home!

October 14th

After being smoke free for a while now I feel amazing. No guilt, no ashtray mouth and I feel like I’m breathing easier. I like this new me and I’m determined to keep it up.

October 15th

The halfway point, I’m very proud of myself to have got this far and feel the way I do. Here’s to the next two smoke free weeks!

If you are finding stopping smoking difficult, then LloydsPharmacy can help you, click