Joanne’s Story

My children were scared that ‘Mummy was going to die

Joanne is a 48-year-old mother of two, who has smoked 20 cigarettes a day for the past 25 years. In September 2015, after some serious health worries, she decided to give up smoking completely, with the help of a television campaign.

Joanne had started smoking in her early twenties. A lot of her friends smoked so she joined them. It wasn’t long before a cigarette was a part of her daily routine and lighting up was her first priority when she got up in a morning. Joanne had associated smoking with her need for a bit of peace and quiet or ‘me’ time so giving up was hard. Joanne’s father was also a smoker, but after a heart attack at the age of just 39, he gave up.

It was this life event and a combination of factors that led Joanne to finally give up smoking for good. Her husband would worry constantly, her children kept telling her that she was going to die and a deterioration in her health all led her to think enough is enough.

Joanne signed up online to the Stoptober campaign after seeing an advert online. When her pack came in the post, Joanne hid the kit from her family, so that she didn’t feel pressured into quitting. She was determined to do this on her own.

Having a hectic life, Joanne found the email reminders and milestones a fantastic help, reminding her of how far she had come. The advice on the Facebook Quit for Them page gave her useful hints and tips to keep her going on the tougher days.

Joanne noticed the benefits immediately – the feelings of guilt were gone, her bank balance had improved and she felt so much stronger both psychologically and physically. She could also taste food again and still gets her ‘me’ time, without the need for a cigarette. Joanne said that the psychological fear that you can’t do it is false – you can find an excuse for anything. Now, she can go into a shop and think ‘ I don’t want a cigarette’ – a point at which she never thought she would get to. Joanne now concentrates her efforts on her rowing club, and today she knows that she feels a lot stronger and healthier now that she has quit for good.