No Smoking Day: Boston mum quit her 25 a-day habit

Angela Cook, of Boston, has been free of cigarettes for a year.
Angela Cook, of Boston, has been free of cigarettes for a year.

Willpower and the ‘kind’ support of Pheonix Stop Smoking helped one Boston mum quit her 25-a-day habit.

Angela Cook had tried previosly to quit smoking - but it wasn’t until family tragedy struck that she finally said ‘no more’.

“I gave up for health reasons,” she explained. “Around New Year a family member went for a flu jab and ended up with a big lump in their arm the size of an orange.

“They were later x-rayed and doctors found they had lung cancer. Twelve weeks later they were dead.”

“It just all really made me think about my own health. I had wanted to give up previously and tried a couple of years before, but it didn’t work. This time I just thought ‘I don’t want to smoke anymore’ and made a conscious decision about it.”

Angela had been smoking since she was 14, so it was a long-standing habit to break. But she managed to quit without the aid of nicotine gum or patches - and only tried a vapouriser for a couple of days.

She says the support from Phoenix advisor Alison Plastow was vital: “Alison didn’t judge me, but was very encouraging - and honest too. She gave me some great tips. One tip about having your last cigarette right before going to bed really helped because you then have eight hours without smoking. And when you wake you tell yourself, ‘I’ve gone eight hours, I can wait a couple more’. And you keep going like that.”

Before long, Angela was going the whole day without, waiting until that one cigarette before bed.

“Then it got to the point where I thought ‘well, I’ve gone 24 hours without one, I can go another day’. I just built it up gradually like that.”

Since quitting, she has saved a staggering £2,548 which otherswise would have been spent on cigarettes.

Angela admits she has put on two stones since quitting but is now reversing the weight gain with exercise.

“When you first stop you’ve got you head in the fridge all the time,” she said. “But I go swimming three times a week - and I can be active without getting out of breath now. It’s definitely made a difference.”

One of the difficulties for those quitting is managing stress without reaching for a cigarette. Angela says she now has another method of coping.

“I run my own business from home, called Angie’s Transport Services Ltd, which can be quite stressful - but now I just take a deep breath and a five minute time-out if I need to. I would recommend Pheonix Stop Smoking Service to anyone - and have been telling friends who are smokers about it. Just make an appointment.”