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Quitting smoking during COVID-19

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1800 201 203

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Catherine Meehan quit smoking using the Quit Service following a referral from a nurse at the after a smear test. Here is her story.

‘I started smoking at 17 not because of peer pressure but because of being with smokers during dinner break on my first weekend job. I developed the habit quickly and found it very relaxing and enjoyable after meals. However, the numerous other cigarettes smoked during the day and night were purely a habit and not really enjoyed. I have smoked for twenty-eight years and am smoke-free for the past month. I decided to stop due to the adverse effects on my health and the current lockdown gave me the ideal opportunity.

The fear of coronavirus and the adverse effects of the virus on the lungs and in addition to travel restrictions for essential items only were also good reasons to quit. I had decided for a while that I wanted to stop and the nurse at the smear clinic had made the referral to the HSE Stop Smoking Service. This service helped by giving weekly support and checking my progress. Also, the NRT (patch) helped immensely to reduce withdrawal symptoms. I realised I was an emotional smoker and that I needed to find positive coping methods for dealing with stress. There never is a good time to stop but I was expert at making excuses, now I try to focus on all the benefits of not smoking and celebrate every day being smoke-free.’

‘Whatever your reason for wanting to stop smoking we want to support and encourage you on your stop smoking journey’ says Elaine Cunniffe, Sligo and Leitrim Smoking Cessation Officer.

‘Our free stop smoking service aims to help people to give up smoking. We provide advice, support and encouragement to help you stop smoking for good. We also know that smokers are up to four times more likely to quit successfully with help.

During our first consultation, we establish what the person’s motivations are for quitting smoking. If the person is finding their quit attempt challenging at a later point we remind them what they told us in the beginning and ask if this is something they are still striving for.

Smoking is usually linked with certain triggers so we try to get a little insight into the client’s daily routine. We can then brainstorm some ideas with them to see what they can do instead of smoking.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have changed our appointments to a telephone consultation. As circumstances allow, we will be reintroducing face-to-face clinics. Whatever your reasons or motivation to quit smoking, it is a positive step and we want to support and encourage you with your goal and increase your chances of success.’

If you would like to find out about your local service visit for details.

You can also call the Quitline on Freephone 1800 201 203 or sign up for an online Quit plan.

page last reviewed: 25/08/2020
next review due: 25/08/2023

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