Claire Hawthorne, a medical secretary from Cathcart, picked up a
20-a-day habit when she was 16. Now 36, she decided to help her
health, and her bank balance, by giving up for good.
A few years ago, using willpower alone, Claire managed to quit
for seven months. But as soon as Christmas rolled around the
temptation to smoke during social situations was too great and,
before she knew it, Claire was smoking a pack a day.
Tired of seeing her hard-earned cash go up in smoke every day,
Claire realised she had to give up cigarettes permanently.
The local smoking cessation adviser, Agnes Kerr, visited the
Department Claire works in at the Victoria Hospital to deliver some
leaflets about the help on offer. Claire plucked up the courage to
visit Agnes to find out more.
She was prescribed a 12-week course of Champix to curb her
cravings and also downloaded an app to her phone which calculated
the minutes, hours and days since quitting and, more importantly
for Claire, the money saved.
Claire said: "A few days into taking the tablets, the cravings
began to disappear and I wasn't enjoying smoking as much as I used
to. I was feeling healthier, and my carbon monoxide readings were
getting smaller so I knew it was doing good. At the start of my
treatment my readings were at 12 and at the end only 1. Seeing
those numbers go down helped motivate me to keep going. I've now
been smoke-free for five months and have no intention of ever
returning to old habits."