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Make it your New Year’s Resolution to Quit Smoking – Sally’s story

When Sally* started the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Course at Peninsula Health she had smoked for 48 years.

“I had no intention of giving up smoking even though I had COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease),” explains Sally.

“I started smoking when I was 18 and now I’m 66.”

This all changed when Sally started the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Course. 

“I mentioned to the instructor that I would like to stop smoking but I don’t find it easy, and he put me in touch with Peninsula Health’s Quit Smoking Support Service.”

Sally says the thought that she was going to see a Quit Counsellor, motivated her to stop smoking.  

“I thought right I’ll stop now so I can tell them I have stopped.”

“The Quit Counsellor gave me education about my diet, what to eat, snacks as well as the triggers for smoking.”

“The build up to Christmas can trigger some habits from the past, as can going on a holiday.” 

The Quit Smoking Support Service provided Sally with some practical tips for dealing with cravings and triggers.

“We talked about podcasts I could listen to at night – if I was having trouble sleeping I would get up and have cigarette – so rather than doing that I could listen to the podcast.”

Sally acknowledged some smokers may be apprehensive about accessing quit smoking support services as they feel like they might be judged, but she says this wasn’t the case.

“They’re not judgemental at all, you can say anything,” says Sally.

“I found it very helpful, as was the follow-up service where the Quit Counsellor would ring up and see how I was doing.”

“I was so happy to tell them I haven’t had one cigarette!”

It has now been five months since Sally quit smoking.

“I went on holidays and that didn’t trigger me to start smoking again,” says Sally.

“I’m also feeling better. I’m not taking any medication for my COPD, I can concentrate for longer and I now go walking every day without getting out of breath.”

If you’d like to make it your New Year’s Resolution to quit smoking, there is support available . Make an appointment with the Quit Smoking Support Service by phoning Access on 1300 665 781. The individual counselling sessions to assist people wanting to stop smoking are available at all Community Health Sites.

If you’d like to share your experience or have feedback or questions for the Smoke Free Working Group, please email smokefree@phcn.vic.gov.au.

*Name has been changed.