STORIES FROM A QUIT COACH

Success Stories from Lynn Crossland, Quit Coach, NMDHB 


  • Patient was admitted to ED  with pneumonia, was given antibiotics and asked about her smoking status and decided it was definitely a good time to give quitting a go. She was issued a quit card and commenced on patches and lozenges.

    We contacted her a week later and she hadn’t had any cigarettes at all.  She watched the Alan Car DVD which helped to motivate her; she also said she wanted to be around for her grand children.

    She decided not to have coffee any more as she had previously always had a coffee and a smoke and also rekindled a previous hobby, which was knitting; this helped her keep her hands busy. Also she has moved on to gum, instead of the lozenges.

    It is now 5 weeks and she only gave in to a craving once when out drinking and was offered a cigarette, afterwards she coughed up a lot of phlegm and hasn’t been tempted since.

  • In ICU I spoke with a 52 year old lady. It was her second M.I.  and she was very shaken up, the Dr, had said if she didn’t give up smoking she was really in danger of putting her life at risk.  She had given up after her first M.I but when her mother died she resorted back to smoking.  She commenced on patches 21mg as she was on 40 cigarettes a day and written up for 2mg lozenges, but found she didn’t need those.  She has also been smokefree for 5 weeks – she says she is too frightened to touch another cigarette.  She found her weakest time was in the morning, so to get around this she decided as soon as she got up, she would go for a walk.  She says she feels so much better and now reducing to 14mg patches.  She knows if she faces another stressful situation to be aware of not returning to smoking but to look towards other relaxation methods for when she gets stressed.

  • Had a patient referred from pre-admissions, he was explained the risks of smoking and possible post-op complications with his approaching operation. Again given 21mg patch and 2mg lozenges, advice given about keeping busy and changing habits, he couldn’t believe how good the patches were, and only needed 4-6 lozenges a day, although he had been smoking for several years he couldn’t believe how much easier it was to quit using the patches.  He hasn’t had any cravings and been smokefree for 3 weeks.

  • A member of staff recently referred himself, as he wanted to become smokefree because his daughter had said she didn’t want him near her baby when it was born, if he still smoked.  So he took 2 weeks leave, spring cleaned his flat and kept himself really busy, and with 21mg patch and 2mg gum has now been smokefree for 8 weeks.  It was his fourth attempt to quit and was determined this time.

  • A patient from ward 9 on her last day decided she would see the quit coach, she had gone 6 days without a cigarette in hosp but was a little anxious to how she would cope at home.  As she previously smoked 10 day she was started on 7mg patches and 1mg lozenges, but found she had cravings so now up on 21mg patch (she tried one of her dad’s patches and found they worked better for her).  She has now been smokefree for 3wks but also on gum as she didn’t like the lozenges.  She found by changing her routine and having gum straight after her evening meal when her cravings were strongest helped her not to give in.

  • Mrs A 39years old, was seen in pre-admissions for an operation on her veins.  She had smoked since aged 10 and now suffered painful legs.  Smoking affects the walls of your blood vessels making them hard and narrow; when blood is squeezed through it can be painful.  She managed to quit smoking 24 hours before her operation and whilst in hospital used lozenges and patches.  Her biggest issue was that she associated a coffee and a smoke, so changed to drinking tea, which helped her not to not think about smoking.

    At 4 weeks still Smokefree and continuing with the lozenges, she found it easier than she thought. She said changing to tea and changing routines really helped.   

  • A young hairdresser plagued with tonsillitis throughout her life had smoked 10/day for several years at pre-admission 1 week before her operation was asked to be Smokefree, this helps to reduce the risk of post operative infections.  She reduced down and was Smokefree for 24hrs then after her operation just didn’t feel like a cigarette, had some lozenges and gum there for just in case.  Being at home enabled her to break her habits and she kept herself busy doing cross stitch.  On returning to work had got over it, and had occasional gum or lozenge to get over a craving.

  • A 50 year old man was admitted to Intensive Care after collapsing on the soccer field.  He suffered a massive heart attack, unconscious for 3 days and ended up in hospital for 10 days.  He started on a nicotine patch and lozenges, admitted he felt his life flash in front of him and knew it was all because of the smokes.  He has not been tempted at all to have a cigarette, and has no cravings.  He says being in hospital for 2 weeks in a different environment and having patches and lozenges limited withdrawal symptoms.

  • A pregnant woman was referred by her midwife, having smoked 25 cigarettes a day for 8 year once she found out she was pregnant started to reduce but was finding it hard.  She started on patches and gum and reduced to 6 a day over 2 weeks.  Over the next month reduced to 3 day, came off the patch and just stayed on the gum.  Her partner was also given a card for patches and gum, and together they tried to keep busy and supported each other.  They found it hard when friends came round, so had gum before friends came and sat inside (home was Smokefree) with fruit and nuts on the table so they enjoyed a social time together.  They found the gum really helped to keep cravings away and both became smokefree before the baby was born. They are continuing on the gum still, it doesn’t matter how long you stay on Nicotine replacement.

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