Weymouth-based mum Carola, smoked 20 cigarettes per day for 12 years. Three times she quit and un-quit. She used lockdown as an opportunity to switch the cigarettes for vape. This is her story.
"I smoked around 20 cigarettes a day for 12 years, and more when I went out. I managed to quit through my pregnancies in 2012 and 2013 but started up again afterwards. When we moved to a new house two years ago, the fresh start encouraged me to quit again. It was a completely new start, so I had a reason to quit.
However, it was short-lived. The stress and busyness of family life led me back to cigarettes a year ago. I’ve always enjoyed it; it gave me a break and I felt it was helping me stay calm. I never smoked in front of my children. Similarly, when we welcomed a foster child into our family; I didn’t want her to know that I smoked as I’m a role model to her.
I was tired and frustrated by my smoker’s cough! It was quite annoying! Then coronavirus arrived, I anticipated how tricky it would be to hide my smoking during lockdown and knew I had to do something. It would be impossible to explain to my children why mummy goes outside every hour and comes back in smelling of smoke, without them discovering my habit. So, about two weeks before lockdown, I decided to find out more about vaping. I wasn't ready to give up just yet, so vaping was the only solution for me.
I went to see Grant at Wessex Vapes in Dorchester and he was extremely helpful. He suggested I try the starter kit and 15mg nicotine vapes. I found these too strong, so I went back and swapped them for 6mg juices. These seem to be perfect for me; not too strong and not too light. The switch itself was very easy! I smoked my last pack of cigarettes and then just switched to vaping. As easy as that. I’ve tried lots of different flavours and like the fruity flavours best; Pinkman, Red Lips & Blueberry.
No, I never think about cigarettes. I don’t miss them at all. Vaping is so much cheaper and I don’t smell any more (ask my husband as he always complained!) I probably spent £60-70 a week on cigarettes. Now, with vape, it’s around £15. That’s a saving of over £2,500 a year! My friends are pleased for me, and I’ve tried to encourage a couple of smoking friends to switch too.
To anyone thinking about switching to vape, I would say, do it! I’m saving a lot of money. I feel healthier. I’m no longer coughing. And I don’t kick up a stink anymore, people seem to be much more accepting of vape fumes than cigarette smoke."
We’re providing 8-10 weeks of NRT free of charge to help smokers quit smoking. Stopping smoking brings immediate health benefits particularly to the heart and lungs. Reduce your likelihood of added complications from coronavirus. Smokers who register for our smoking cessation support will be able to choose one of three different options available for smokers who would like support to quit smoking:
Our coaching sessions will help you to become smoke-free by supporting you to identify the things you think are preventing you from quitting and working out how you can overcome them. You will also be encouraged to set a quit date as part of your quit attempt.
Our smoking cessation coaches will work with you to work out the right strength of patch and gum for you and will run through how to use each product you are sent. 24-hour patches and gum are on offer for clients who require it to help them quit and will be sent directly to your home from us.
If you are new to LiveWell Dorset, welcome. We support adults in Dorset to take steps to a happier and healthier life. Our free advice and coaching is provided by your council.
Pick up the phone if there’s anything we can do to support you. You can call us on freephone 0800 840 1628. Register to receive our support. Once you’ve registered we'll call to discuss your stop-smoke plan.
Carola from Weymouth
To anyone thinking about switching to vape, I would say, do it!