Paula’s Story

I used to smoke 80 a day… and it cost me more per month than my mortgage!

Paula began smoking from a very early age, copying her mum and dad and also being encouraged to try it by her friends – something she since regretted. Paula started her habit on 10 cigarettes a day, which grew to a staggering 80 a day at its peak. She would go out to the shops in the morning to stock up on packs of 80, with her habit costing her a massive £348 per month – more than she paid on her mortgage.

Paula has a grand total of 26 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren with another one on the way. Her grandchildren were a big factor in Paula’s decision to quit – they would often tell Paula that her clothes and breath smelled from the smoke. She said she felt disgusted to hear them say this – if this is what they thought, what were other people thinking?

In September 2014, Paula went completely cold turkey. She wanted to do this on sheer will-power, without any help from the GP and pharmacies. Paula did not even try using e-cigarettes, saying it was completely pointless as it was just like smoking and still contained nicotine.

Paula says she rediscovered her sense of taste within 3-4 weeks of quitting smoking. She stressed the need to have determination and will power to quit – to keep at it even when it’s not easy, in order to feel happier in the long run. Paula now wants to have the ‘good life’ with her grandchildren, and also hopes to encourage some her children to kick the smoking habit, by leading by example.