Posted on Wednesday 6 January 2016
Doris Gaga, stop smoking specialist (left) shows Janice Hosier how to use the carbon monoxide monitor
Smokers in Lambeth and Southwark are getting NHS help to quit smoking in their own homes this winter so they can avoid being admitted to hospital with a smoking-related illness.
Guy's and St Thomas' stop smoking service offers free treatment and support in a range of locations including cafes, leisure centres and at home. Treatment of smoking-related illnesses costs the NHS £2.7 billion a year.
Last year, Guy's and St Thomas' stop smoking specialists gave help and advice to almost 1,500 smokers. More than 50% of those who set a quit date were still smoke-free four weeks later. And 40% of smokers who accessed the community stop smoking service received a home visit.
Janice Hosier, 65, from Bermondsey, started smoking at 15. She's tried to quit her 20-a-day smoking habit six times but without success. But now, with the help of Guy's and St Thomas' stop smoking specialist Doris Gaga, Janice says she has kicked the habit for good.
Janice, who receives stop smoking support at home, says: "When I got the news that I had multiple sclerosis I was devastated but after a few days I felt positive again and was back to my old self. Smoking is different. It’s just too powerful and it kept beating me.
"I'm alright to start off with but after a few months something happens, like my Dad getting pneumonia, and I'll start again.
"I look after my two grandsons and the one-year old is asthmatic. My mum smoked all her life and had an awful death with machines at home to help her breathe. How can I smoke around him knowing that?
"With the help of Doris I know this time it's for good. The wheezing has stopped completely, I feel more alert, and people say I look better."
Doris Gaga says: "Smokers have to say 'no' a hundred times a day - from the moment they wake up, at the bus stop, after a meal. If you throw physical exhaustion into the mix, it becomes even more difficult for smokers to keep their energy levels high to fight temptation.
“Because the challenge of quitting is so enormous, our service goes out to people where they live so they have fewer hoops to jump through.
“We help people to talk about the triggers for their smoking and give treatment and advice in places that are accessible so they stay smoke-free."
Guy's and St Thomas' became a smoke-free Trust in June 2015. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on our premises.
For more information about the stop smoking service call 020 7188 0995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.