Wendy quits smoking after 55 years

We are so excited and delighted for Wendy who quit smoking after 55 years, with the support of Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire.

Wendy had her first cigarette when she was 14. When she retired recently, she decided the time was right to kick the habit – particularly as her smoking was costing her £250 a month!

She was referred to Healthy Lifestyles Gloucestershire and started a 12-week programme of one-to-one support with healthy lifestyles coach Michelle.

Knowing she needed to save money and having seen each of her friends successfully give up over the past few years gave Wendy the determination she needed to finally quit:

“My friends all gave up a couple of years ago and they’ve been nagging me, but I kept going because I was being pedantic I think. But I’ve done it now and I’m really happy!”

Talking about how she first took up smoking, Wendy said: “My mother and father smoked and I used to pinch the odd cigarette out of their packets when they didn’t know it was going to be me. In those days it was uncool not to smoke – so I did too - and I continued until last year when I was 70.”

She had tried giving up once or twice in the past, most recently around 15 years ago:

“I gave up one new year, as you do, and the following Christmas I started again – which was stupid but I was so much younger then.

“I totally retired last May. No other wage was replacing my salary and I thought £250 a month on cigarettes is absolutely ridiculous. I just can’t afford it now, it’s as simple as that – and that’s a great incentive!

“Now I can still go on a holiday, I can still go out but if I’d carried on smoking I’d have been confined to the house and wouldn’t even have been able to afford to come into town.

“I definitely won’t be smoking again!”

Wendy’s coach Michelle is delighted that she’s been able to help Wendy give up. Michelle said:

“Wendy made the decision – and that’s really important: it’s got to be something that they (our clients) want to do.

“We provide one-to-one support for our clients over 12 weeks, which includes going out to see them for six sessions, but it all depends on what each client needs; some come and want to give up without any aid, some want to try nicotine replacement therapy – we just take it from there because every client is different.

“I’m passionate about my job and what I love about our service is that we are very non-judgemental. If we do get clients that come and it’s not for them at the time, then we do welcome them back when they are ready to try again.

“Wendy has been brilliant. She was determined to give up and she stuck to it. Well done, Wendy – I’m so pleased for you!”

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