8 March 2017

Giving up smoking is like winning the lottery for Maria

A Portslade woman has said giving up smoking has been ‘like winning the lottery’.

Maria Chapman, 65, said giving up the ‘filthy habit’ was the best thing she’s ever done. A smoker for most of her life, Maria ended up housebound and using a wheelchair for a number of years.

She gave up in October after being taken to hospital with very severe breathing problems.

Maria said: “I ended up losing my health and my independence. I hated that wheelchair – but by giving up the fags my health is so much better and I’ve been able to give up the wheelchair as well.

“I wish I’d done it years ago. I feel so much happier as well as healthier. Being stuck in the house and in ill health got me down. It’s fantastic just to be doing everyday things again like baking, getting out into the garden or going for little walks.

“I used to feel really bad about smoking in front of my grandchildren. Now I’m proud of myself for setting a good example.

“The house smells so much better now, and it’s amazing how much better food tastes as well.

“And then there was the money. I was spending about £10 a day on cigarettes. Giving up in October more than paid for our Christmas.

“I’d wanted to give up for a long time but couldn’t find the willpower. The support I’ve had from my stop smoking adviser has been fantastic. She visited every week at first and she’s still in touch with weekly texts.

“I feel like I’ve been given a new lease of life. Every day is great. It feels like I’ve won the lottery!”

Services to help people stop smoking in Brighton & Hove are funded and organised by the council’s public health team.

Stop smoking advisers work with you on an individual basis to agree a start date for giving up and a programme of ongoing support.

They also help you work out the best range of support products for you. These can include nicotine patches, inhalers, lozenges, gums and nasal sprays.

With all the different products and support that are now available it’s never been easier to give up.

Visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/stop-smoking to find a service near you, or phone 01273 296877.