No Smoking Day - Anne Marie's Story

27/02/2017

It’s almost been a year since Belfast Trust went Smoke Free and since then many members of staff have been reaping the benefits.

Over one hundred Trust employees have received support by the Stop Smoking Service since the Smoke Free policy was implemented last March and the smoking cessation clinics available throughout our sites have been a huge asset to those trying to kick the habit. The clinics help individuals to monitor their progress throughout their journey by having regular follow ups with cessation specialists who will offer support and guidance during their initial 12-week period.

One of the Smoke Free success stories is Anne-Marie McCormick, a Maternity Support Worker in Royal Jubilee in Belfast. Anne-Marie, who smoked for 35-years, decided to give up on January 18th 2016, and hasn’t looked back. Talking about what made her choose to quit, she said: “I just decided that as the Smoke Free campaign was coming onto the Trust site, I wasn’t going to waste my break times finding somewhere to go for a cigarette, so I thought it was a good time to think about giving up.

“I was a 20-a-day smoker and I enjoyed smoking that much that I’d never thought about quitting before.”

Anne-Marie went to see Anne O’Brien who is a Smoking Cessation Specialist in the Royal Victoria Hospital, who she felt was a huge help to her mission to becoming smoke free: “She was fantastic. She gave me loads of support and gave me a 12-week supply of patches. I used them and then that was it, I stopped, I’ve used nothing since and I’m now off them a year and a month.”

Anne-Marie added: “A lot of my colleagues at the Royal Maternity were a great support too and were a great influence. The financial aspect was great too, I’ve saved £2,700 in a year and was able to get new windows and doors for my home, it was a lot of money to be wasting.”

The physical benefits have been a huge asset for Anne-Marie too, she has started to walk a lot and has noticed that her food even tastes better now: “I’m totally smoke free and I feel great. I’m glad to say that I did it and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

She added: I don’t miss the smell either, my clothes smell fresher, my hair looks and smells fresher and the whole process has just made me feel better.”

Although Anne-Marie is delighted with her progress, she still has occasional cravings but is determined to remain smoke free.  She said: “I do still think about it now and again but then I say to myself that it’s just not worth it, it’s easier than you think and if I can do it, you can do it too.”

This year’s No Smoking Day is on Wednesday 8th March 2017 and is a great opportunity to make a positive change to your health.

The Stop Smoking Service will be hosting roadshows at a number of Trust venues to promote No Smoking Day and is open to all to drop in for a chat, meet the team and get some freebees.

Date

Time

Location

Monday 6th March

10.30am – 2pm

Mater Hospital atrium

Wednesday 8th March

9.30am – 2pm

Belfast City Hospital Tower Block foyer

Wednesday 8th March

10am – 4pm

Royal Victoria Hospital foyer

Wednesday 8th March

10am – 2pm

Royal Victoria Maternity Hospital Foyer

Thursday 9th March

1.30pm – 4pm

Old See House foyer

No Smoking Day also falls within the Lent period and if you are a smoker and like one of the thousands of people in Northern Ireland who will be giving up one of their habits for forty days why not make stopping smoking yours. It begins on 1st March Ash Wednesday.

This challenge will certainly be a test of your resolve. It will also give your body a much needed breather and evidence shows if you can achieve four weeks of not smoking you are five times more likely to quit for good.

For more information on how to give up for good check out www.want2stop.info