Sandra's Story

‘Chocolate tastes so much better now!’

Sandra began smoking 20-25 cigarettes a day when she was a teenager. After 40 years smoking she finally decided to give up. It wasn’t easy but she wanted to do it for herself and also her husband and children who begged her to stop smoking on a number of occasions.

Sandra first tried a cigarette at the age of 16. Like most we have spoken to in the last year she felt pressure to try smoking from her friends. At that time, everyone else was doing it. It is a kind of pressure she regrets giving into. Sandra started smoking 25 cigarettes a day, but did however manage to cut down by herself to just seven cigarettes a day – a challenge she found hard but managed. By cutting down Sandra felt she was reducing harm but now realizes that even one cigarette a day is harmful.

When Sandra took that final step towards quitting it was not her first. Like many people, it takes 2, 3 or even 10 attempts to finally quit. Sandra tried most things including patches and gum, but she was still tempted back to the habit.

Eventually, Sandra decided to ring up Stop Smoking Wales, who referred her to her local pharmacy service. There, she found the service friendly and liked the weekly check-ups which she said kept her motivated.

Pharmacy was the right route for Sandra and with Champix tablets to help with cravings, Sandra has now been smoke free for 24 weeks. She puts her quit success down to the support she had at the service and also the encouragement of her family, telling her how well she was doing. Sandra uses the money saved from smoking to pursue her hobby of baking and has since brought new cake tins and other cooking bits and bobs. She also has a renewed sense of taste and cannot believe how much better chocolate tastes now!

Sandra’s tip for anybody wishing to stop smoking would be to get some back up from friends, family and the local pharmacy instead of trying to do it on your own – the encouragement gives you the extra will power you need to succeed!