Simon O'Brien - proud to be a Hackney quitter
Simon started smoking when he was 15 so had been smoking for half his life when he decided to quit. He was at school and smoking was seen as the cool thing to do.
The people he looked up to smoked so he decided to follow their example. Looking back, he now he sees what a cliche that was, but at the time he would never have admitted it.
Last year Simon found a lump on his lip and was referred to Homerton hospital for a check-up, which turned out to be nothing serious. At the check-up he was given a flyer for the Hackney Stop Smoking Service, which he brought home and put to one side as at the time he had no intention of quitting.
After coming across the flyer a number of times over the subsequent months when clearing out paperwork he realised that he must be keeping it for a reason so he decided to text the helpline number.
At his first appointment at Kingsland Hub, Simon was still bit dubious about whether he wanted to quit and, more to the point, whether he could actually do it. However, the support he received from the Stop Smoking Service made him realise that he did actually want to give up.
The Stop Smoking Advisor went through with Simon all the NRT options available and together they decided that Champix would work best for him.
Simon admits that he was very unsure about whether it was going to work and whether he had the ability to give up, but his Stop Smoking Advisor really helped with these fears and offered great support throughout his quit attempt.
Simon decided to remove himself from situations where he knew he would be tempted.
Since quitting smoking Simon has noticed that he feels much fitter and just a simple thing like walking up flights of stairs at work has got easier. When smoking Simon would wait for the lift rather than take the stairs to save the embarrassment of being out of breath when he got to the top, but now he can do this with ease. Simon has also got back into swimming which was something he was really good at when he was younger but found it difficult when he was smoking.
Quitting can make improvements to your lifestyle and health in ways you might not expect.