From non-sticky nicotine patches to emotional highs and lows, Swadlincote resident Liz Price admits that the road to becoming smoke free wasn’t quite as straightforward as expected.
Liz, aged 50, is straight talking, funny and admits that she’s the last person anyone would have expected to give up on her lifelong love of smoking.
Liz works for P3, a Derbyshire charity dedicated to improving the well-being of Derbyshire residents and was an ardent, dyed in the wool smoker.
She cheerfully states: “People had suggested to me before that I give up and I had said no way, absolutely no chance.
“I like smoking and that’s my thing thankyou – we’ve all got to have something – I don’t drink, I don’t go out, I don’t gamble, let me have my smoking!”
So when Liz decided to quit, people took notice, including her 74 year old mum who has also stopped too.
So why does Liz now class herself as a born again non-smoker?
It’s all down to the support and help that she received from Live Life Better Derbyshire’s friendly team of stop smoking advisors plus a big shake up of her daily routine.
Liz suffered from severe asthma and had to use two inhalers every day. She says that her breathing was dreadful, especially at night.
But within a week of quitting she didn’t have to use either inhaler at all. Her CO2 levels have also dramatically dropped from 56 down to one.
“Just think to yourself – I want to live” Liz says simply.
Not only has quitting had huge health benefits, Liz’s wallet is also reaping the rewards. She used to spend on average £45 a week on tobacco, now with all the money she has saved she’s got her eye on a new hot tub.
It’s not all been plain sailing though. Liz is honest about the ups and downs of her quit journey – not least her struggle with nicotine patches.
“I tried the patches to start off with – but they wouldn’t stick to me – I repelled them!!
“I got in a right fluster, I tried everything, I put micro-pore tape on it, plasters. I even bought a tubigrip bandage and gave myself a dead arm. In the end I lost patience, ripped it off, bought a pouch of tobacco and smoked it!”
But even though she fell off the wagon, Liz got right back on, thanks to the advisors who have seen it all before.
They suggested alternative products including quick mist and inhalators that worked better for Liz.
She says: “The support the advisors give is amazing – they are friendly, professional and supportive
“They don’t suffer fools gladly and they would rather you go in and tell the truth than try and flannel them and lie as they can work with the truth they can’t work with lies.
“If you really want to stop smoking and have had a hiccup then you just need to be really honest, like I did, and say and they were able to put me back on track.”
As well as the firm but fair support from advisors Liz drastically shook up her routine in order to break the cycle of smoking.
She said: “Instead of getting up and having three of four cups of coffee and half a dozen fags, now I get up in the morning and go to the gym and do a hour on the treadmill and some weights then come home and get changed for work.”
Leaving the last word to Liz she says “I would definitely recommend that people take part in Live Life Better Derbyshire.
“I have had people coming up to me who have said Liz if you can give up smoking then anyone can because you were such an ardent smoker.
“Now I have completely changed that and I am like a born again no smoker, so I would say to anyone just give it a go, what have you got to lose? Nothing – just a lot to gain.”