Ivette Guell, 28, a student at the University of Portsmouth quit smoking with support from the Wellbeing Service and is encouraging others to join her for No Smoking Day, Wednesday 13 March.
Ivette began smoking aged 18 and smoked about 10 roll ups a day. In September 2018 she approached the Wellbeing Service for support to quit smoking.
Ivette says; "I wanted to quit smoking because I knew it wasn't good for my health and I'd been smoking for ten years already. I tried to quit once before by myself but it was awful and I only managed 3 days. My Wellbeing Worker Tony was brilliant and really encouraging. We met weekly at the Guildhall Walk surgery and he started me off with patches and an inhalator. I gave up the inhalator quite quickly and then reduced my patches to a lower dosage. I then gave these up altogether and had some gum to help in case I needed it. The biggest factor for me though was the weekly support as I wanted to be able to tell Tony each week that I was still smoke free. I took it one day at a time, which really helped me as it didn’t feel as daunting as saying I'd never smoke again.
"I feel so much better for quitting and my family are really proud of me. Giving up smoking spurred me on to become healthier in other ways as well and Tony supported me to improve my diet and start doing more exercise. This has helped me lose 2 stone, which I'm really pleased about. I feel great at the moment and would really encourage others to use the Wellbeing Service if they want support to improve their health. It's free as well, which makes it even better! Changing your lifestyle isn't always easy, especially quitting smoking, but having someone supporting you like Tony made such a difference and I'm really grateful to him and the Wellbeing Service."
Councillor Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said; "Ivette should be really proud of what she's achieved. I'm so pleased that the Wellbeing Service was able to support her to quit smoking and embrace a healthier lifestyle.
"Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health and wellbeing if you're a smoker and evidence shows that you're more likely to succeed with support. I hope that Ivette's story will inspire others to start their journey to being smoke free this No Smoking Day."